This weekend I attended events where I saw a common sight: young women in skinny jeans. Not running in much of a hipster crowd, most of the young men wore less revealing attire, diminishing attention to their body shape. As a woman who benefits somewhat from thin privilege, form revealing clothing strikes at one of my feminist difficulties. I am able to survive in the patriarchy without wearing make-up, and my tendencies toward comfort and (some) modesty mean that my clothes are rarely form-fitting, especially in winter. So my thinness, which could earn me cookies from the patriarchy, goes somewhat unnoticed. Obviously, people can see that I have a patriarchy-approved body type (up to a point), but they have no idea just how thin I am unless they see me in a swimsuit or one of my more –but still not very — form-fitting articles of clothing, which usually sit unworn in the closet.
Here is where my mind bifurcates, and I call out my inner anti-feminist. Why should I want people to give me approval for my body type? Why should I be jealous about said patriarchy cookies when they are doled out to women who wear what I would never feel comfortable sporting, namely skintight jeans and shirts just as form fitting? In an ideal world, approval and compliments would be based on people’s kindness or their ability to help others, or at the very least on their skills or erudition, rather than on appearance. By my very attention to the approval they garner, I play into the patriarchy’s game, and make myself crazy. Additionally, neither I, nor the skinny jeaned ones, have earned their shapes. While I am a runner, and I like working out and eating (mostly) healthy foods, realistically genetics have caused my shape. I would likely remain thin if I stopped running tomorrow and started regularly chowing on french fries. In other words, the attribute which I want people to notice, comes to me through the vagaries of chance, much like white skin. My desire for approbation, then, rings doubly false.