Saturday, July 5, 2014

An informal experiment in approachability, communication, and cute vs shlubby

I've been running an informal experiment for the last couple of weeks. Those of you who know me, know what I'm shaped like. Those who don't, take a look at my pic below. I am, what a friend recently described, curvy. Am I thin? Nope. Am I in shape? Mostly (will get back into better healthy shape once the knee issues are resolved). So, here's the experiment.

In the last couple of weeks, I've been going out at almost the exact same time to walk the dog along the exact same route. Sometimes, I dress cute (shortish shorts and a tight tank top). Sometimes, I dress what I'm going to term shlubby (loose pants and a loose t-shirt). On the "cute" days, I brush my hair and put on a bit of makeup (read eyeliner). On the "shlubby" days, I go out with rat's nest hair and my natural face.

On half the days (both cute and shlubby), I bop along to music. I dance. I smile at nothing and generally have a great time. On the other half of the days, I trudge along. I still look around but I scowl rather than smile.

So, the informal grid I've created is as follows:
1/4 days cute and boppy
1/4 days cute and trudgy
1/4 days shlubby and boppy
1/4 days shlubby and trudgy

What I was trying to gauge: How many people (men and/or women) said hello or smiled or waved. The reason I brought my body shape into the entire process is because I've often wondered at how we view people who are bigger. Do we dismiss them as a matter of course? Are they truly invisible as I have felt myself to be when I've been heavier than I am now? I am at that magical weight right now where people pay attention to me. I get hellos and smiles and waves pretty much all the time. Five or ten pounds heavier and those smiles and waves all but disappear unless they are from people I know.

I'm not sure body shape and/or size plays a significant role in this experiment, but I wanted to mention it case it makes a difference.

The results:
The days when the vast majority of people said hello or waved or smiled: cute and boppy
The days with the second greatest number shlubby and boppy
The days with the third greatest number: cute and trudgy
The days with the distant lowest number: shlubby and trudgy

I know what my conclusions are and will post them later. But I'm curious as to what yours might be. Thoughts?

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