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Trying Too Hard, Fitness Edition: From A Metal-Studded Sports Bra to A Book Proposal For Celebrating Thin People

Posted Dec 06 2012 12:33am

My hair doesn’t do “casual dreadlocks” a la the kind Angelina Jolie sported in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds (also known as movie #284 where Nicholas Cage is supposed to be the romantic lead but instead comes off as a total creeper). I found that out the hard way in high school when I spent two hours meticulously twisting my Manic-Panic’d hair into fake dreads with hair wax and elbow grease. The wax fell out but the grease stayed, ruining the whole “I just woke up looking this sexily disheveled and edgy” look I was going for.

That’s right, I lost two hours of my life when I could have been watching Felicity instead trying to make it look like I hadn’t tried at all. (Why all the wasted time and hair product? For a boy. Of course. ) 

This is what is called Trying Too Hard. And sometimes, I’ll admit, I have it. I’ve even (especially?) been known to Try Too Hard in the gym. I can be a show-off which is stupid for a variety of reasons but particularly because I’m not, shall we say, a gifted athlete. If there was an award for falling on my butt in public, I’d win it. But the upside of being such a dork is that I can recognize Trying Too Hard when I see it.

And this, my friends, is it:

This was the picture that accompanied my invitation to a fitness charity event titled “Bubbles, Baubles and Boobs.” What – no Booze? It’s alliterative too!

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Chick is hawt. And I kinda want those pants. Even though they look like bandages. And even though they’d make me look like Tweedle Dee at the rollerderby. But the faux-hawk, spaceman shoes and smokey eyes all scream make-out not workout. Even still, I could get past that. Heck I’m the girl who works out in a liquid silver top and teased ponytail . I own 12 tutus and I’ve never had a ballet lesson in my life.

It was the bra that did me in. Those are metal insects glue-gunned to her high-impact zip-front push-up! This is why you should never mix Pinterest and Pabst! When I saw this all I could think about was the time I wore a hot pink leotard covered in black sequins and how bad those little suckers CHAFED. I was rubbed raw in all the wrong places by the time that 80′s-themed Turbokick class was done. There’s fashionable and then there’s completely non-functional. Unless you can do your entire workout holding your arms away from your body. And your tetanus shot is current. (But – could you count the weight as part of your chest press?)

But faux-hawk girl is sort-of delightfully Trying Too Hard. Yeah so she’ll have permanent dragonfly-shaped welts and sweat Boy George tears. It’s all in good fun.

Then I got to this girl who is, forgive me for being judge-y, Trying Too Hard to be a jerk:

Yes, her frowny-face sign (oddly positioned in front of the ENTIRE Les Mills catalog) actually says “I’m sorry the butt I work for isn’t as good as the one you ate for.” 

Meet Britton Delizia, officially Trying Too Hard to be the face of fit women. She started a Kickstarter (a site where you propose a project and then people give you money to kickstart it if they like it) to “write a book celebrating thin and beautiful women” because she feels like “skinny-shaming” is out of control and she doesn’t want to “apologize for her metabolism anymore”.  She describes her project as a “collection of images of women standing up against a society that protects fat culture while bastardizing thin and athletic women” I see two problems with her business plan.

1. That book has been written. It’s called Maxim. And Vogue. And EveryMagazineEver.

2. No one should be shamed for being skinny – I don’t care if it’s an eating disorder, hard work or just their God-given genetic jackpot, we shouldn’t make people feel bad about their bodies. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean fat-shaming is the cure. And honestly given the two, I think fat-shaming is the much larger problem in our society.

3. Also: I don’t think “bastardized” means what she thinks it means. But taken literally that does put the book in a whole new light. I might actually read that book.

Anticipating the inevitable backlash, she writes,

“It doesn’t make you stupid or shallow or un-motherly or bad person to want to take care of your body.” [Charlotte's note: Who said it did?]

“I think this book will probably upset a few people, i think it will be looked at wrong by some people..” [Charlotte's note: Really? You think? Forge ahead then.]

“But.. if it just makes it into the hands of ONE little girl who feels like she has to be overweight to fit in with the current 70% of the overweight population of America, and it gives her the strength to know that being healthy isnt a bad thing.” [Charlotte's note: This has got to be a joke, right? Survey a group of heavy people and a group of thin people and ask them who feels like they don't fit in in America. "Being healthy" is the entire platform of First Lady Michelle Obama - if that doesn't make it popular I don't know what does! This is the woman who convinced us all that "griege" is the hottest nail color of the season!]

On a kinder note, I get her point. I don’t like it either when people tell a thin girl to “go eat a sandwich already!” or wear XXL t-shirts that say “I conquered anorexia”. It’s rude. But after reading her whole proposal (yes, my grammarian’s heart hurts) I get the feeling that it’s born less of a desire to help a marginalized group and more to get attention and a whole lot of “zomg you have amazing abs!!!” comments. Which, you know, she does. Still doesn’t give her the right to be a jerk about it.

Have you ever “tried too hard” in the gym? What do you think of the metal-bugs top? And what say you about Delizia’s (it is taking everything in me to not write Ditzy Delizia) kickstarter?

 

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