Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Skinny pretty girls being quirky in socially acceptable ways

I love this comic.  I mean, I love xkcd in general, but I love this comic in particular.  But I've shared it with various people over the years, sometimes guys who are acting like the guy in the comic in the hope that they'll recognise themselves and snap out of it, and I usually just get a baffled 'huh?' sort of response.

But this "please stick to the following endorsed forms of quirkery" idea is very much a thing.  It also has another aspect, one that would be hard to illustrate in xkcd's faceless stick figure style: kooky and quirky is for pretty, skinny, able girls.

The further you are from ideal, the more you have to toe the line: if you're attractive and slim, you can act and dress and present yourself in ways you can't if you're fat or have an asymmetrical face.  And if you have a disability, especially something like Aspergers that gives people ammunition to think you're weird, you're expected to make a special effort to fit in and be normal.  A cute quirk becomes a character flaw becomes a clinical symptom depending on who has it.