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Does My Ass Look Fat In These Pants?
A helpful new customer service site by Hillary Johnson, And yes, this is my butt.


Hillary is a bit short on asses, believe it or not (oh, the trials and tribulations of a start-up), so send yours in!

Here's the idea, in Hillary's words:

Take a picture of your ass in the questionable pants and send it to:

Please don't tell me who you are, this is anonymous. Comments will be moderated to weed out cretins and letches. Now for the fine print: no porn, no g-strings. Full-coverage pants only, please (or trousers if you're a Brit). Photos under 400 x 300 mp might not make it.


Because a) you can't see your own ass, and b) no one you know is going to tell you the truth.

Posted by aalkon at January 25, 2006 10:09 PM

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Not sure. Need more evidence.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at January 25, 2006 7:23 AM

Nice try, Treach!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 25, 2006 7:34 AM

No, your ass does not look fat in those pants.

Posted by: Patrick at January 25, 2006 7:55 AM

Need better lighting. As it stands, they do not appear to accentuate what looks to be a quite presentable backside.

Posted by: Silver_Fox at January 25, 2006 8:11 AM


Posted by: Todd Fletcher at January 25, 2006 8:19 AM

Yeah, the lighting. Gotta be scientific about this. Empirical data and that.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at January 25, 2006 8:39 AM

Um....Is this a trick question?

Posted by: RedPretzel at January 25, 2006 12:49 PM

No, just perhaps a bad idea on my part!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 25, 2006 12:55 PM

Of course it's a trick question RedPretzel! One of the oldest trick questions in the book.It is designed to make the male mind freeze in fear of giving the wrong response.The trick is there is no right response.Although Todd comes close.

Posted by: mbruce at January 25, 2006 1:31 PM

In a relationship, it is the trap door to hell. On my blog, there are no trap doors, but there is sometimes Jim Treacher, administering the occasional beating.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 25, 2006 1:43 PM

Much more than presentable. Oddly cheerful and envy-making.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at January 25, 2006 2:13 PM the correct response would be:

" don't...if you don't think they do."

Posted by: RedPretzel at January 25, 2006 2:25 PM

treach is right. you can't be scientific about it unless there's a control group as well.

as it stands, your ass looks great in that canadian tuxedo.

much ass grassy ass

Posted by: g*mart at January 25, 2006 2:53 PM

I ain't beatin' anything! Okay, that's not true.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at January 25, 2006 3:42 PM

Speaking of body images, did you see in today's NYT that your beloved French are becoming fatties just like Americans. Apparently they're on schedule to catch up to us weight-wise in 2020, if I remember correctly.

Posted by: Newcomer at January 25, 2006 6:25 PM

Omg, I commented on that ass before I knew it belonged to you! (under "ThePinkSuperhero"). How exciting!

Posted by: MissPinkKate at January 25, 2006 7:24 PM

It is an ass worthy of eating pancakes and syrup off, on a Sunday morning.

Posted by: Eric at January 25, 2006 7:41 PM

Having been told all my young life by my mother that all of that horseback riding gave me a "big butt", I'm pretty sure my ass looks fat in whatever pants I wear. Oh well.

Posted by: deja pseu at January 25, 2006 8:27 PM

Eric, I think that's the single nicest thing anyone has ever said about my ass. I thank you. And regarding the French, Newcomer (can't we call you something more fun than that?) if they ate like the French instead of like the Americans, they wouldn't be headed in that direction!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 25, 2006 8:27 PM

I too would eat Eric's breakfast off your ass.

Posted by: Crid at January 26, 2006 9:10 AM

7 days a week.

Posted by: Doug at January 26, 2006 11:37 AM

Hmm. What's Gregg's opinion?

All that running is really working!

But this is really, really cheap, Amy. You've already told us, in no uncertain terms, how we are programmed to admire your calipygean profile!

Posted by: Radwaste at January 26, 2006 3:33 PM

Your ass is just fine. My honey says her ass is big all of the time. I make sure I point out to her what a really big ass looks like when I see one. If it is wrapped in lycra, all the better to make my point. Since I fell in love with her pratically sight unseen(internet) why she thinks the size of her ass has anything to do with my love for her has to be from her past.

Posted by: Bret at January 26, 2006 5:33 PM

Yes, it does.

Posted by: Mao See Tung at January 26, 2006 8:05 PM

Raddy's right! Nice pants. Let's move on, OK? Let's talk about this Oprah thing. It was big news on Thursday, and Hamas is too complicated and unpleasant.

Jerry Stahl wrote a good column about "Millions of Pieces" for this week's LA Weekly.

It's fun to read because it was published hours before Oprah withdrew her support of author James Frey. Maybe Stahl woulda taken another tack if he knew. Stahl's shtick usually leaves me cold, but he gets in several good lines... Evermore, I will describe myself as "macho-adjacent" instead of lethargic.

FWIW I haven't read the book, and hadn't heard of it until the Smoking Gun said it was full of shit, and didn't watch Oprah today.

Here's the thing about Oprah: She's repellent but educable. People forget that when she started, she was just as confrontational and rude as Jerry Springer. Every few years, she has to swallow some evidence that her runaway feminine fascinations aren't virtuous. And she does! And then she burps, with a girlish blush of shame. That's what happened today, and it was an admirable chapter in this billionaire's story.

Stahl says the problem is that people are too carried away with honesty... He suggests (or half-suggests, with a recovering junkie's grudging fidelity to truth) that there's a new strain of memoir literature that deserves a longer leash.

I almost agree, but it's better to say that the popular American mind has a twisted fascination with authentic depictions of sorrow.

A few years ago the Onion published a fictional and hilarious set of TV listings. Viewer favorites from Fox included "Real Humans in Real Pain" and "Feral Dingoes Eating Children on Tape."

Here in real life, there's a TV show where people eat live bugs. I think it's Fear Factor. This is not a single episode event... I think the show's been on for a year or two.

The point is, Oprah-fied viewers have very closely bounded ideas about the way suffering and redemption work. In fact, they're so tightly cirumscribed that reality can't hold them. So the marketplace offers solutions....

But it turns out that it wasn't REAL! It wasn't AUNTHENTIC! There were LIES involved, and all of the sudden guys like Frey are wondering what the problem is, and guys like Stahl are wondering why they weren't allowed to get as close to the edge as Frey did, if only for the hour.

The problem isn't TV, the problem isn't Oprah's smarminess and presumption, the problem is the human heart.

Thank you for you attention to this matter. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blogger-britches.

Posted by: Crid at January 26, 2006 10:22 PM

Sorry to have disappeared on you for a fat or not-fat ass and I were in Palm Springs all day, at an evolutionary psychology conference. Fascinating stuff. Will blog about that soon.

Regarding the Frey thing, my friend Sue Shapiro, who teaches writing in EnWhySeee, pointed out that all the guy had to do was put a disclaimer in the book - to the tune that it was a fictionalized memoir, or based on real life and some things are invented or changed.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 26, 2006 10:29 PM

On Frey, Anna Quindlen's piece in Newsweek (23 Jan 2006 issue) focuses on the readers who ate up the "memoir" so greedily. Most real lives are rather dull, she says, and the truly good memoir involves both 'as accurate as I can be' [my phrase] recollections and real writing skills. Writers lacking the latter, Quindlen hints, inject the former, and readers without engaged critical faculties lap up the results.

I like Quindlen's point because it is thinking like this upon which I can act. Oprah and Frey, I am not, and they will pay me no mind. But my reading choices and reactions fall within my sphere of influence, for better or worse.

Thank you, Amy, for the depiction of your delightfully bedenimed derriere.

Posted by: Michael at January 27, 2006 6:49 PM

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