Tuesday, January 29, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: "MUFFIN TOP" PHENOMENON RAGES ON (originally posted on July 21, 2006)

I was once a fat girl. I came to this realization the summer before my junior year of college. I was walking down Mass. Street with my friend Mike Baumhover. I was wearing my 1997 Beck Odelay tour teeshirt, GAP jeans, and a scarf in my hair, because at that time, I had really short hair. I looked like the poster child for bull dyke lesbian.

It was the middle of the afternoon so one could see their reflection in the store windows, and that's when I saw it. My fat ass was staring back at myself and I realized just how ginormous I had become. It was an upsetting moment. I decided to take up jogging at that very second.

After incorporating exercise into my daily routine, I realized I still wasn't losing any weight. I decided to join Weight Watchers, and in 9 months I lost almost 40 pounds. It was a great feeling.

Now that you have the background history, I feel like I have a certain right to be incredibly judgemental of fat girls. I can't help it. If my "eat two extra large servings of soft serve ice cream twice a day" fat ass can get into shape, so can anybody. So when it comes to the "muffin top" phenomenon sweeping my city, I have an opinion.

The one question I ask is this: Is it really comfortable to have your body fat squeeze out over the top of your ill fitting pants? Is it really comfortable to have a zipper imprint permanently implanted in your gut? I wouldt hink the answer would be a resounding "no," but if you walk around the Union Square area of New York City on any given day, then you might wonder otherwise.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, the following is the definition of a "muffin top":

1. A word coined by australian comidiennes Kath and Kim, meaning when a woman wears a pair of tight jeans that makes her flab spill out over the waistband, just like the top of a muffin sits over the edge of the paper case.

2. A member of the female sex who adorns herself prodominantly in clothing too small for herself, creating an effect of her figure spilling out over the top of her pants, resembling the top of a muffin. Muffin tops are generally unaware of their condition, and typically even believe that they are MORE attractive than non-muffin tops. These females are very easily spotted in nearly all social events, and the muffin tops even parade themselves about in a way to advertise their willingness to participate in sexual activity with willing members of BOTH sexes. Most of the time, muffin tops can be found in the pressence of and under the influence of alcohol and other substances.

Now that you, the reader, are familar with the term, I'll continue.

Understandably, as the UrbanDictionary definition mentions, muffin tops are quite common among the drunken bar scene. Composure is lost after 3 or 4 Smirnoff Ices, so understandably, the task of sucking it in while pulling down ones shirt is considered tragically difficult. But what possesses these girls to go out in the first place dressed in too small clothes.

Katrina Gugenberger, West New York, New Jersey resident, is quite familar with the concept of the muffin top. On a daily basis, Gugenberger sees about five and half muffin tops, on average.

"Muffin tops are a travesty. Stores like Lane Bryant exist solely to prevent such a phenomenon and apparent social virus," said Gugenberger. "We need to spread the word and donate to the Latina Muffin Top Education Fund (LMTEF)."

Gugenberger brings up an interesting point: The muffin top phenomenon is demographically skewed. Its prevelance is most noticeably in the Latin women population. Whether it stems from better body image issues, not putting emphasis on ones weight, etc., is yet to be determined.

Men are just as confounded by this trend. Mike Dory, Jersey City resident, said, "It's one of the most disturbing things I'll see on any given day."

In recent reports (recent report meaning the author keeping a tally while she walks to get food during her lunch break), an average of 10 to 15 muffin tops can be spotted, and that's only a small sample, considering that the research was conducted in only a two block by two block radius.

Damien Ragsdale, Spanish Harlem resident, is living smack dab in the center of the epidemic. As muffin tops ravage the northeast part of Manhattan, the slender Ragsdale has strong opinions.

"Well, i can begin by stating that i'm against muffin tops more than i'm against, say, bird flu," said Ragsdale. "It's the ..1 cause of spontaneous eye hemorrhaging among dudes."

Obviously, the muffin top is a burgeoning crisis that the residents of New York City need to address. Is this the possible end of New York City's reign as "Fashion Capital of the World"? That remains to be seen.

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