I lead you in here under false pretenses.
On the plus side, overweight introverts DO get laid all the time!!
I swear it’s true.
Ask my girlfriend.
I’m 40 lbs overweight.
I’m a complete and total nerd.
Yet somehow, the girl is crazy about me.
But there are no studies to back up my headline.
If I were really committed, I would commission one.
But I’m way too lazy (just a side-effect of being a mega-genius).
If I were less lazy, I would throw together a small think-tank, give it a scientific sounding name like SciCorp (ooh..that sounds like something from a movie!!) and manipulate the variables until I achieved the results I wanted.
I know that’s not REAL science.
Therein lies the actual point of this article.
The Internet has become engorged with click-bait articles that exploit people’s insecurities by spinning them into positives.
This way people will feel good about themselves and share the article with others, which leads to visibility and revenue for the garbage website.
You know the articles I’m speaking of…
Articles with titles like..
New Study Shows That People Who Are Overweight Are Actually Smarter Than Thin People
People With No Friends Actually Live Longer and Are Funnier Than Popular People
Or all the ones about introverts (because everyone’s an introvert right?)…
Introverts Proven To Be Better In Every Way According to New Study
Articles like these play on human frailties and the desire we all have to feel good about ourselves.
Why get out of our comfort zones when there is an article that tells us that we are superior BECAUSE of our weaknesses?
Why try at all when it’s so much easier to just find an article that tells us EXACTLY what we want to hear?
And it’s all backed by science, right?
Studies show that we will not only click the article.
Studies show that we will even share it.
Studies show that we have been duped.
Perhaps these articles provide a valuable service.
Most of us have bodies we view as flawed and social skills we wish were better.
Most of us have messy houses and disorganized lives.
Articles that tell us that we are superior due to the very things we previously felt guilty about are like receiving a virtual Hallmark card from a benevolent stranger.
Suddenly that extra fat is the mark of a superior intellect.
Our messiness isn’t caused by laziness, but rather by our genius.
And the fact that we haven’t been to a social gathering, since, since…hmmmm…oh yeah, there was that time in 2015, means that we are highly evolved and do not require the same stimulus as the weaker extroverted airheads who fill up the bar and party scene.
Now we get to experience the good feeling of a paradigm shift that tells us that our antisocial behavior is not actually our fault, but is due rather to a genetic evolution that requires us to binge-watch Netflix at least three times a week and thus necessitates us making up lies to the few friends we have left, who haven’t completely given up on us.
Because leaving the house is hard.
Who wants to find the time to find the clothes that cover up our weight-gain and participate in the unpleasant rituals required to feel attractive enough to be seen in the real world?
And who are these people who always look like they stepped off the front of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog?
How do they always look so together?
Of course we are going to hate those people.
Their mere existence makes us look awful by comparison.
I change clothes six times before I leave the house, each wardrobe malfunction reminding me beyond any shadow of a doubt that my current workout routine isn’t working out, only to arrive at the party and be told that I have a mustard stain on my shirt and my zipper is busted.
So why bother at all, when I have studies that PROVE that sitting on my couch, eating Ho Hos makes me superior in about 19 different ways to these vapid, stunning individuals who actually go to parties and mingle and network and make new friends?
If our weaknesses make us superior, then the superiority of others makes them weak.
The clear but veiled meaning behind these articles is that people who are outgoing and physically fit are just awful people and it’s okay to hate them.
Finally, we are avenged for high-school!!
We always suspected that we were superior and now we have the science to prove it!!
Those with the audacity to excel in life should be hated or at the very least they should recognize that we anti-socialites are a superior breed and now we have the studies to back it up.
“The meek shall inherit the Earth” can be replaced with more modern expressions like..
“Stay home on Saturday night and eat junk food and all your dreams will come true.”
“Blow off your friend’s request to have coffee for the third time in three months and re-read that David Eggers book and you will be superior to everyone.”
Because we all want to feel good about ourselves, but very few of us are willing to put forth the effort to actually DO the things required to feel good.
Constantly lying to ourselves becomes exhausting, but not quite as exhausting as taking the steps required to actually change the things we know we need to change.
It’s much easier to find a study that tells us that we are actually just as we should be.
These articles are popular because life is hard and no one wants to be told that their failings are their own fault.
Publish an article with a title like..
Work Harder and Stop Making Excuses for Your Failures
And no one is going to read it.
But write something with a title like..
You’re Just Totally F&%king Great and The Reason Why You Don’t Have Any Friends Is Because Everyone Is Jealous of You
Well now you have something marketable.
And marketability is more important than truth in a world where everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, but no one has an attention span exceeding six seconds.
These fictitious articles provide a public service.
They allow us to slide down into the warm embrace of mediocrity, while being celebrated for our surrender, as we mainline click-bait heroin until all the guilt of our failed ambitions wash away into a sea of precariously propped up self-esteem and the white noise of social media waves crash hard and drown out the incessant nagging of our conscience.
Studies show that there are worse ways to go.