Last night I was in the college's fitness center - a rather small series of basement rooms, but at least they're out of the rain - when I had the privilege of overhearing a most appalling conversation.
One guy and two girls were hanging on the treadmill next to mine, chatting about the sort of random stuff college students talk about, when the subject turned to bodies. Not surprising, I suppose, considering that most of the people in the gym were there to work on their physiques.
First they started to trash one woman they know because of her powerful build - "she's super strong, but she looks like a dude."
Then one of the girls started bitching about the fact that this other young woman doesn't see anything wrong with being naked in front of other people. "Like, gross."
This, of course, segued into her ranting about how no one would ever see her naked, not even her boyfriend. "I'm a lights out girl. I mean, just LOOK at these thighs. I think not." Girl in question was probably 5 foot 3, 5 foot 4 maybe, and I'd guess her weight at about 125-130 lbs. In other words, not a large person by any stretch of the imagination. Actually, I don't think of myself as a particularly large person and I have a good 20-30 pounds on her.
Now, I've been seen naked in all different lighting conditions, and not once has a guy ever said, "WHOA - your thighs look huge!" In fact, the response is usually more along the lines of "You look so hot. C'mere. Now." But enough about my sex life...
By the guy's awkward pause, cough, and shuffling of feet when the girl made her "I'm so fat and ugly" comment, I'm pretty sure he was thinking that he wouldn't mind seeing her naked in whatever circumstance she wanted to offer. Why are women so hard on themselves about things that don't really matter to anyone?
I wanted to say something to this effect to her, but one, the circumstances were totally wrong (her trying to impress friends, me panting and running) and two, people with distorted body images will never believe suggestions that don't fit their warped views. Learned that from a friend with an eating disorder.
I suppose that's a topic we might eventually address in the OurCollegeName women's group if that ever gets off the ground.