This piece is inspired by the Posts:
“Does This Computer Make My Ass Look Fat?” by Bill S .............and
With our siblings, some of us were fortunate to have vocal, honest critics. For me, it came in the form of my big brother. He was very good at metaphor and analogy in his youthful criticism.
“I am feasting, at Gare-ee’s nose which never runs dry!..........”
The creativity of substituting words with an old church hymn, popular poem or song was never lost on me, and sometimes I had the final laugh as I saw my brother being grounded by Dad for the unprovoked insults.
My brother's little jingles did, nonetheless call attention to my various body parts, and naturally being young enough to discover many complex forms of feelings of inferiority and self loathing, I looked in the mirror, thinking:
“Does my nose really run like a fountain?”
I was trying to find evidence of my own unusual, physical anomalies. No matter the amount of assurance from my parents I was normal looking, I wanted to find the things the other most important people in my life (my brother, his friends, my peers, and bigger kids) found so glaringly offensive.
In working with students, I find I have to become an involuntary critic outside of the acceptable limits of their various sculpture projects. I do this service reluctantly, somewhat assuaged in the notion that it is a metaphor for the larger world. Some of the questions teasingly move us into the realm of abstraction……
make my posture look bad?"
I’ve never done it with any success:
“Does this antiquated, torn, filthy, gawdy dress make my ass look fat?”
“No, but it does make me question your attitude towards my opinion.”
“Sorry I asked!...........”
I’ve always been surprised at the things people have asked me about their own appearance. And for me, I am surprised at myself for the things I have asked.
It would be very interesting for readers to share their most interesting, embarrassing, enlightening, etc. vanity questions……either asked, or received. Share the best ones, no matter how inconceivable they seem to be...