I’ve overheard and observed so many interesting conversations and interactions at a local deli where I often go for the excellent food and the free WIFI that I’ve decided to start a new feature on my blog: Scenes from a South Florida Deli. Because writing is such a solitary activity, there are times when I take my laptop to this local hangout and continue my work, surrounded by the sights and sounds of humanity. One of my friends recently asked how I could possibly concentrate amidst all the noise and mayhem; doesn’t it interfere with my ability to churn out good content?
As strange as it may sound, when I am in the “zone” of type, type, post, there could be an earthquake going on around me and I’d barely notice. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do have the ability to tune out most things when engrossed in creative activity. As paradoxical as it is, that’s just me.
Anyway, the deli also provides some great fodder for blog posts, much in the same way the cafe does for my good writer friend, Brooke Musterman, who penned the excellent book, Reptiles on Caffeine, based on her experiences as a barista.
In my first installment of this series, I would like to address the oft-repeated conventional wisdom, “Men are pigs” (the truth of which is upheld by even the decent guys I know, including a very good Facebook friend). An incident that occurred in the deli the other day would seem to support this hypothesis.
The owners of the establishment have two plasma TV screens located at the front and back of the dining areas. Without fail, one of the shows they broadcast every day (in addition to their unfortunate inclusion of CNN in the daily line-up) is Live with Regis and Kelly. Now, let me state forthrightly that I have never been a big fan of Kelly Ripa, Regis or this show, which I’d never willingly watch in the privacy of my own home. However, I am going to defend Kelly here because whether you like her or not, the fact remains that she is a beautiful, accomplished woman.
But try telling that to the “pigs” that frequent the deli, all of whom I truly like when they’re not channeling their inner hormonally charged, perpetually immature high school adolescent. None of these men are particularly attractive and it’s safe to say most of them could afford to shed a few pounds. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop them from commenting on Kelly Ripa’s lack of cleavage, as they ridiculed her “flat-chest” and stated that her male co-host probably has bigger boobs than she.
And as I looked at the trim, effervescent and radiant Ripa, I marveled at the fact that she hasn’t succumbed to the pressure of our superficial culture by undergoing surgery to transform herself from an “A” to a “D” — just to make the day of some slobbering men with beer bellies and receding hairlines. Kelly Ripa obviously cares about her looks, wears make-up, gets her hair and nails done, and stays in shape — all very admirable. I do believe in looking one’s very best and I am certainly not demeaning any woman who chooses to increase her bust size via implants. If it’s her choice and hers alone (not one made under pressure by a spouse or boyfriend), more power to her.
What I am stating however, is that there is something terribly wrong with our culture when a woman as physically beautiful as Kelly Ripa is mocked for being an A-cup.
Ironically, later that day I ran into a woman who’d obviously been under the plastic surgeon’s knife a multitude of times. She was unnaturally thin, yet sporting breasts that looked like two inflated hot-air balloons, and occupied pretty much every inch of her chest — to the point where you couldn’t differentiate between her waist and her upper body. Botox-enhanced lips completed the entire Boca Babe vibe. And if her attitude was any indication, this woman was thoroughly convinced she was a femme fatale — a sentiment with which the Kelly Ripa critics in the deli would no doubt concur. I didn’t actually speak to her, but I am pretty sure there wasn’t much going on between her ears, as if that even mattered to most men. Superficially speaking, if I were asked to deem the more attractive woman of the two, Kelly would get my vote in a heartbeat; while the guys in the deli, I am quite certain, would choose big and fake over small and real.
Beauty after all, is in the eye of the beholder. Some of us believe it comes in all forms and sizes — unlike the “pigs” in the deli — who would be wise to invest in a full-length mirror before critiquing a woman they could never hope to date (even if she was available) on a good day.
Update: My good friend Suzi — who concurs that Ripa is adorable – just informed me that lips do not get botoxed, but instead are filled with a substance such as Juvederm or Restylane. Thank you, Suzi, for the clarification! 🙂