Just recently, I had reason to stop and ask a young woman for proof of her age before I would allow her into the venue where I work as a doorman at weekends.
At the time, storm clouds had been lashing it down for quite some time and doing a blinding job too, flushing away the urine and chunder that trickled out from shop doorways while nearby, un-suitably dressed night revellers skirmished for cover like troops, tactically advancing in a hostile, built up area.
The young woman, who at first appeared somewhat thickset as she approached from a distance but was in fact enormously obese as she stood before me, looked utterly miserable as the unremitting rain pummelled down intensely upon her generous exterior. Trembling with cold, her drenched hair had separated into tufts that stuck tight against her forehead then continued down slightly obscuring her eyes and over her face where by this time, black eyeliner had inked thick wavering trails down and over each of her cheeks joining together under her chin forming a large globule, where it hung poised and ready to drip onto her white tee-shirt.
She was visibly desperate to be allowed in and I was thankful for her lack of complaint as it took me perhaps longer than usual in the deficient light to read the small print on her driving licence. In fact it was only when I stopped to take a sip of my coffee when her patience expired and she let rip. ‘Fuckin ‘ell mate!’, she screamed at me, ‘I’m nineteen! . . . let me in will ya? I’m freezing an gettin' fuckin soaked out ‘ere and I paid two hundred quid for these fuckin' shoes and now they’re getting fuckin ruined! . . . fuckin let us in will ya!!!’
As it transpired, the young lady was indeed nearly twenty years old and that's when it occurred to me how foolish I must have been, to have even doubted for one moment that she could possibly had been any younger?
Surely, it would require at least eighteen years existing on pizzas, burgers and cake shop lock-ins to actually balloon to such an immense size in the first place. There was just no way she could have been so fat and still been under eighteen years old.
I wondered however why she wore so little clothes. With no coat for protection, she’d come out wearing just a white tee-shirt and a pair of dark leggings not quite concealing a thong strap, while her stomach resembled a tsunami of doughy flesh rolling out and then sort of flopping down and folding back in under it's own dense mass of solidified industrial chip fat. Her entire midriff was a repugnant exhibition of human grossness of the worst kind and I decided to name her, 'Miss XXXL'.
I nodded her in and as she did, she nudged me, engaging me to turn and glance just one more time at her entire sodden wretchedness as she floundered through the inner door and into the bar area where she paused momentarily, presumably to look for her friends. Then, just as I was turning away, something prompted me to stop and look back and when I did, I found myself transfixed, open mouthed and in unmitigated awe, at the steam that was rising upwards from off her back. Just like it does on horses.
By now, this brief encounter had stirred up an extraordinary and curious fascination within me and I became mesmerised by her presence, like a marine biologist might feel seeing a Humpback Whale for the first time.
She was undoubtedly I felt, a worthy topic for debate. Perfect subject matter either for an after dinner discussion or just some lively banter with mates down the boozer over a couple of light ales. Nonetheless, at that moment in time, the deeper I probed, the more of an enigma Miss XXXL became. And I needed closure.
I’ve always been amazed how the laws of physics make it achievable for the applied body mass and weight of an abnormally fat woman wearing high shoes with pencil thin heels, to be supported and balanced during the actual mechanics of walking. Surely in the case of Miss XXXL, the heels should have snapped off when she first tried them on in the shop?
So when I researched deeper into this phenomenon I was surprised to find that physicists had already beaten me to it. By using computations and theoretical physics, they determined that a normal 110lb woman wearing stiletto high heels exerts more pressure on the ground than a 6000lb elephant. This being so, what would they determine the psi of concentrated pressure to be that emitted from the tiny surface areas of Miss XXXL’s shoe heels? And furthermore, imagine the outcome had she for some reason turned hostile knocking me to the ground and then jumping on me.
Based on the extraordinary physics involved, the next time I see a fat woman wearing high heels I'm going to feel almost obliged to walk up to her and shake her hand, slap her on the back and say 'Bloody well done, Miss!'
But without getting too carried away into the realms of scientific investigation, I suppose the first thing that immediately struck me about her, was how a woman like this could possibly feel justified wearing what she did in a public domain? And why would she choose to spend two hundred pounds on a pair of shoes? Isn’t this just completely and utterly pointless . . . like furnishing an outside yard toilet with flock wallpaper and deep pile carpet?
Another interesting thing I found out was that the average increase in the protrusion of a woman’s buttocks is 25% when she wears high heels. So why would any woman with a fat arse wish to embellish and draw attention to an already existing blight?
I don't mean to sound spiteful and malicious in sharing this
anecdote with you and I apologize if I come across in this tone. I am merely expressing my honest opinions by using words in the same cavalier manner as indeed Miss XXXL chose to dress that very evening.
And anyway, It is often considered that a hard hitting approach can often help raise awareness more speedily, in this case, of the cultural dissimilarities that almost paradoxically co-exist on the same social platform.
By observing and taking note of how other people choose to dress and behave, we can perhaps benefit ourselves by developing a far deeper awareness and understanding of how - the image a person has of themselves - more often than not is nothing remotely like the image other people see. Much the same as how we think we sound when we talk and then we hear ourselves on a recording and think, 'Oh my God . . . Do I really sound like that?'
Possibly the only real enjoyment I get in my capacity as a doorman is in observing the individual and tribal social behaviour of night revellers, particularly on the basis that - like it or not, we are all primarily judged by others according to how we present ourselves.
Presumably then it was this ideology that inspired the quotation; ‘If you dress poorly people will notice the clothes, but if you dress sharp, people will notice the person inside’.
Maybe if Miss XXXL had been familiar with this saying, she could have saved herself two hundred quid and used the money to buy a decent sized overcoat to cover herself up and still had enough money left for a large kebab or two . . . or three . . .