The nasty things being said about beauty queens in the US made Gert think of this:
Each of us is watched over by a special god, who hides our fault, or promises us that it shall be invisible, just as he masks the eyes and blocks the nostrils of those who never wash, persuading them that they can blithely ignore the tide-mark near their ears and the smell of sweat hanging about their armpits, as these will remain imperceptible to the world in which they move. (324)
Proust In the shadow of young girls in flower (tr James Grieve, Allen Lane, 2002).
Why do men of all shapes and sizes and grades of plainness feel free to pass judgment on women’s looks? In Australia there’s an ugly bumper sticker that reads No fat chicks, and you should see the men driving those cars.
In the “I wish I’d said that” category is this story in Cornelia Otis Skinner’s memoir Our Hearts Were Young and Gay:
Cornelia and her sister were on holiday in Spain and went out for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Somehow they got mixed up in a parade of local beauty queens going down the main street in their carriages. Two young American men standing by the road were calling out comments on the beauty queens as they went past. “I wouldn’t take her to a dog show,” one said of the girl in the carriage in front of Cornelia’s. When Cornelia and her sister went by he said, “Well, I might take them to a very small dog show.” And Cornelia’s sister said, “You’d only get in on a leash yourself, bub.”
Pass it on, girls!