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Advice & More March 2015

Grandfatherly Advice on Women's Figures

By Denton Harris

Not many generations ago it was fashionable to be plump, not "fat” mind you, but enough to let you know you're holding a woman and not a big toothpick!

My second cousin, once removed, is visiting for three or four days (I hope no longer!) because he says my wife makes the "best biscuits he's ever ate." We got to talking about our favorite subject, which as most men know, is women, and how we can't understand them most of the time. Especially the crazy things they do to get skinny.

We've heard about them wrapping their bodies in some kind of material then getting in a hot place and almost cooking themselves. Some gulp all kinds of pills, go on special diets that wouldn't keep my cat alive, hypnosis.... the list goes on and on.

As cousin Clyde says, "Who wants a skinny gal snuggling up to ya when you need an armful to really be happy?"

I added, "Some of them women are so skinny you're scared you might get splinters hugging.”

Not many generations ago it was fashionable to be plump, not "fat” mind you, but enough to let you know you're holding a woman and not a big toothpick! Have you seen some of the famous paintings from them long-ago French artists? Women in their oil paintings are pretty heavy and I understand that was the way men liked them back in the l700s and 1800s.

TV, radio, magazines and newspapers are full of advertisements showing women who say they've lost 40, 50, even 145 pounds. Me, I have my doubts. If you lost 145 pounds, wouldn't your skin be flapping around all over your body? And I suspect whatever they took can't be healthy.

My family of farmers, going back several generations, never had a fat person so far as I know. Why? Because they didn't overeat, as I suspect most fat people do, and they worked hard, very hard, most of the time. That was before farmers owned tractors and had to use muscles nearly every day.

In fact, I'd like to get some of them fat women (and men) out on my farm in the middle of July, work them from sun up to sun down and watch their fat melt away!

Since not many will ever be farm hands, let me – as one who's observed humanity for many years – give a few suggestions:

  • Don't eat like pigs, especially fat things like pies, cakes, cookies, candy, etc.
  • Walk, walk, walk. Where you live, at your local park or school or any place where you can stretch your legs. If it's too hard at first, do just a hundred yards, then 200, then a half mile until you work up to a least two miles every day.
  • Lift things, but take it easy and don't strain muscles.
  • Experts say drink lots of water. (Our town drunk says he prefers moonshine!)
  • Use common sense. Eat a bit less, exercise more but don't overdo it. And, most important, be cautious in taking any kind of "magic pills" that claim to melt away your fat.

Listen, ladies, be proud of your figure if it's not too fat or skinny. Stand tall, look proud and be happy. I guarantee me and cousin Clyde will be watching with admiration! So will others. Remember, most experts agree that people, especially women, look better than they think they do.


Denton Harris served in the 86th Infantry in World War II.

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