Monday, March 12, 2007

Vanity Pants

Riddle me this, Batman.

I was pretty skinny in my college days. Blessed with a high metabolism and a neurosis about my weight, I looked pretty darn good—especially for someone who never met a donut she didn’t like. Depending on the cut and maker, my clothes were in the 5-6-7 range for size.

Fast forward 15 years and 25 additional pounds (darned metabolism slowed down after my 30th birthday). I may not fall in the “heifer” range, but there’s definitely more of me than there used to be. Yet what size are the pants on my body right now?

Size 6.

Yep, you read that right. Somehow I’ve miraculously managed to gain a two-year-old on my hips and still wear the same size I did in college. Hmmmmm…

We wonder why the American public is overweight. If you can continue to buy clothes in the same size you always have, why bother questioning that additional flesh?

I have a skirt in my closet from the Gap that’s a size 4. I was never a 4 in my skinny days, and I know for darn sure my current butt is not an actual size 4. Let me tell you, though, I did a happy dance around the dressing room when I slipped that 4 on (completely ignoring the jiggling cellulite that proved I was no size 4). I could have looked like death in a taco and I still would have bought that skirt, simply because it was a 4.

Vanity sizing, they call it. I call it insanity. It’s bad enough women have never been able to actually be a size. Men never have the joy of taking three of the same pairs of pants in different sizes to the dressing room because a size 8 is not standard across the board. The clothes in my closet range from a 4 (my lovely little skirt) to a size 12 (a pair of pants that hurt me just to look at the label). I cover the whole Small-Medium-Large range. I think clothing manufacturers actually hate women and get an evil giggle out of watching us try to decide what size we are today…

As I type up this little rant on the injustices of clothing designers and the increasing girth of my thighs, I can’t help but notice the collection of books in my TBR pile. I’ve never been a fan of the “hook” titles some of the series lines favor, but now I’m starting to see the attraction. When you pick up a book titled “The Millionaire Cowboy’s Secret Pregnant Bride,” you know exactly what the book will be about. No question about it. No trying out “Love’s Secret Splendor” and “The Willow and The Fern” hoping there might be a millionaire cowboy waiting inside.

So where am I headed with this post?

I don’t know. It’s a rant and I tied it into books.

What kind of titles do you like? The "hooky" ones, or the more poetic (if vague) ones? Have you ever bought (or not bought) a book simply because of the title?



Sabe said...

PC, Consider yourself lucky. Even with vanity sizing, mine has continued to climb. In college I wore a size seven. In my twenties after the birth of my children I crept up to an eight. In my thirties I wore a size 10. In my forties I moved to a twelve and in my fifties -- well, we won't go there. Let's just say that a size 12 would look really good to me now.
As for what makes me choose a book -- I usually buy something if the blurb on the back piques my interest. But the cover is what first gets my attention. I actually bought a book once because of the color of the book jacket. It was the most beautiful blue I had ever seen and it drew my eye like iron filings to a magnet. And I didn't care what it was about, I just had to have that book. It was THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold. It was a really good book, thank goodness, but the beautiful cover was deceiving, because it wasn't a beautiful story. Oh yeah, there was one book that I bought simply because I liked the title. It was called HOW TO MURDER THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS. I got lucky with that one, too. It was a good book.

Pat said...

Size 6 - I just decided I hate you. LOL.

The titles rarely grab me - the covers, favorite authors and back blurb are what really grab me.

Sometimes a catchy title may grab me, but I cant think of any off hand.

Rhonda said...

Ditto what Sabe said on the sizing. :-)

As for what makes me choose a book, I'm a teaser page girl. A pretty cover might make me pick up the book, a clever blurb on the back might make me think twice about putting it back on the shelf, but ultimately it's the teaser page where I can see how the author is going to tell the story that hooks me.

Kathy said...

I see where you're going with this rant, PC. And, I despise the fact that you've opened my eyes to my weight. Though my weight has changed, the size of my clothes has stayed the same. Hmmmm. I used to take pride in that. Thanks a lot!

Book titles entice me, I have to admit. Titles tell me what I'm getting. And if a title has poetic flare, I'm all the more intriqued. I'll look at the author's name, cover art, read the back, then flip to the front teaser page that Rhonda mentioned. If I like the story line and the style of writing, I'll buy the book.

Ranting is good. It releases toxins that prohibit the desire to buy more clothes. Who in their right mind would not want to buy more clothes?


Jen said...

The blurb usually grabs me and then I'll take a look at the teaser page and see how I like the author's voice.

And thanks a whole lot for busting my delusional size bubble. I had actually wondered how I was a solid size12 twenty years and twenty pounds less ago but a size 10 now. Here I was thinking things had just shifted around some. Dang. And I have a skirt from Ann Taylor hanging in my closet. Size 8. Ain't nothing about me a size 8 but yes, death in a taco (love that, pc) -- you know I was buying that sucker. However, 4 years ago I was busting out of a 16, so I'm pretty happy to see that 10 hanging in my closet and damn near ecstatic over my lone 8. ;)

Playground Monitor said...

PC said it all. I won't beat a dead horse.

Covers don't make it or break it for me, but I do say a little prayer for an author when there's a bad cover since they have no control over it. I like back blurbs and front teasers. And of course there are certain authors whose grocery lists I would buy. *g*

Angel said...

You know how many women can't stand you because you are a size 6 and trying to lose weight, right? :) We love you anyway.

Speaking of diets, the cookie dough from my daughter's school came in today. Sigh...

I like titles that have something to do with the actual plot. They can be poetic, funny, whatever, just tell me something about the actual book.

Problem Child said...

If I were a REAL size 6, I'd gladly accept the dirty looks of others. And since even the Weight Watchers site has told me to lose 20 pounds, there is some dieting that needs to go on...

catslady said...

I too agree about the sizes. I think shoes are crazy too.

I'm not a fan of some of these cutsey titles and since I am older, I hate anything with baby in the title lol.

Loribelle Hunt said...

Sizes are crazy. And mine's gone up quite a bit after three kids lol.

Books...I don't pay much attention to titles. I buy my autobuys, friends' books or based on the back blurb.

Angel said...

Yeh, but PC, weight watchers also says I should weigh 102 pounds. I haven't been that size since I was 8 years old and won't be again until years after I'm dead. :)

Playground Monitor said...

Am I the ONLY one not on Weight Watchers? I may be foreced to join for solidarity purposes, not to mention the extra pounds.

Carol said...

I think we all agree about the clothes sizes! I'll say no more! lol

As far as books go, I think I'll just skip The Millionaire Cowboy’s Secret Pregnant Bride! roflmao

I like a lot of suspense books and I usually buy either because of author recognition or the blurb on the back of the book.