4 Things We Can Stop Pretending Are Legitimate

Times change. The world is a different place than it used to be. We just have to get used to it. For example, text messaging happens all the time. Sorry, indignant old people. (By old people, I mean me.) It’s a different world than it was twenty years ago. Or ten years ago. Or one year ago. Deal with that, everyone. (By everyone, I once again mean me.)

Still, there are some things that we, as a global culture, are forced to accept and discuss as actual, practical parts of society. Let’s all agree from this day forward to stop treating these ridiculous entities as legitimate.

Donald Trump

If Snooki demanded to see the president’s birth certificate, would we indulge her? Certainly we would not! Why? Because she is a reality television star and not a viable political entity. Just as Snooki’s role in society is to party on the Jersey Shore and terrifyingly yet inevitably announce her pregnancy, Donald Trump’s job is to wear a hilarious toupee and fire people from a job that may not really even be a job.

Fame is not the only prerequisite for political clout. If it were, some baby riding a farting dog on YouTube should be our new president. In fact, if that dog were five people years (thirty-five dog years) old, I’d vote for it ahead of Donald Trump. I assume there is no rule that says a dog can’t be president. Then that dog’s son could be president, and we can call it Heir Bud. Politics solved.

Crystal and Organic Deodorants

I get that people are against chemicals and are in favor of natural health remedies. In principle, I’m totally on board. The footnote to that opinion, however, is that the all-natural remedies have to work. Otherwise, please, by all means, bring on the chemicals.

If you’re taking the stance that we live in a sanitized society where people can’t even smell like people, and that’s a problem, fine. If you’re one hundred percent anti-deodorant, there’s nothing I can do to change your mind. Probably I’ll shake your hand instead of hugging you, but otherwise, we’re cool.

Seriously, though, lease stop spending your money on a fake hygiene product. All you’re paying for is the delusion that you don’t smell like a barnyard. Save that cash and spend it on vegan dish soap or shoelaces and feel good about that instead.

The Phrase “Skinny-Fat”

Language evolves. I know that. Even though certain bits of slang make me feel like I’m getting wet willy from a Q-tip covered in napalm, I’ve given up griping about them. I’m done complaining about “totes magotes,” and I’ve even called a public truce with the dreaded “swag.” Hell, throw “OMG” or “LOL” into actual, out loud conversation if you want, because I have a new linguistic nemesis, and that nemesis is “skinny fat.”

For those of you who don’t know (aka men), skinny fat is a description of the body type of someone who looks good in general but is secretly a little flabby. You know, the totally reasonable body that almost everyone in the world has. There is a significant acceptable gray area between obesity and bodybuilder. Why are we trying to shame everyone into looking like professional athletes or worse, regular people who are in professional athlete shape for no reason at all? Here’s one handy way to tell that you’re not overweight: The first word someone uses to describe your body type is “skinny.”

Whoever coined this term deserves to be the victim of all the tortures of the entire Saw franchise while watching all of the films of the entire Saw franchise. Way to make totally normal people feel awful for no reason, jerk.

Abstinence-Only Education

It. Doesn’t. Work.

Some things, we should never, ever do. Heroin, for example, is a thing you can live your whole life without sampling. Same with hate crimes. Just never do hate crimes. It’s easy. Abstain from racially motivated violence.

Sex, however, is a thing that most people would agree is okay to do sometimes. And, if you do it right, you can reduce the risks. However, if no one ever teaches you how to do it correctly, you’re going to do it anyway, but you’ll do it wrong, and everything will be a horrible disaster, and you’ll have a baby.

Let’s put it this way. You probably shouldn’t eat pizza all day long with anyone who will eat pizza with you. It’s not productive, and it’s not good for your body. But, if you pick your spots and take the proper precautions, pizza is something you can really enjoy, alone or with others.

You need guidance, someone to say: “Don’t eat that hot, bubbling pizza or it will give you blisters on your mouth.” On the other hand, it’s not helpful to say: “Pizza is a sin! Wait until marriage to have pizza!” Because then you’ll end up not knowing what kind of pizza you like, and you’re married to someone who doesn’t even know how to make pizza, and you start craving the neighbor’s pizza, and we all know where that leads.

I don’t remember what my point was, but I really want some pizza right now. TC mark


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=849905262 Christine Schioppo

    Skinnyfat actually doesn’t mean that.  It means someone who is thin but is otherwise unhealthy – aka “fat on the inside”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reeves.tash Natasha Reeves

      Yea, people who are naturally thin but never work out and eat junk…pretty sure their bodies aren’t loving them.

      • Jo.B.

        Sooooo… then what’s wrong with good old “unhealthy”?? Who sits around discussing how fat or thin or unhealthy people are anyway? How can you even tell skinny from skinnyfat? X-ray vision?

      • Shelbivopnford

        A day at the beach

      • http://www.facebook.com/reeves.tash Natasha Reeves

        Thin and toned versus thin and flabby. Fit versus unfit.

      • Nerd

         attractiveness means something

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerry-Renshaw/588293649 Jerry Renshaw

        Once you get nice and sick, you lose weight like crazy. Not how most people want to lose weight, though.

    • Guest

      I always thought it was someone who is otherwise skinny but is in the process of developing a potbelly.

    • Shanleigh

      THIS. Skinny-fat means you’re thin but still have a high body fat percentage.

    • rararower

      Yah, I always thought of skinnyfat as when they’re super skinny, but have no muscle tone and can’t lift as much as my grandma.

  • http://robvincent.net Rob T Firefly

    I love your take on abstinence-only education so much.

  • http://raymondthimmes.com/ Raymond Thimmes

    I love the pizza sex imagery you used.  Now I’m hungry-horny.

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    the pizza/sex correlation needs to be made more often. I have been onboard with it for a while now and am SO glad to see that I’m not alone.

  • G. Sharp

    Love this post.  Nice work.  I didn’t know crystal deodorants is even a thing, but now I’ve got to try it – mostly because I am on a life long mission to pretend I am living in a J.R.R. Tolkien novel 

  • bloodninja

    OP is a skinny-fat.

  • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

    Actually, DTrump inspired me to begin my Exploratory Committee for an Exploratory Committee for Marshe 2012 World Empress, so I think you can just sit down, Mr Gondelman, and give The Donald his legitimacy back, thank you very much.

  • Sakshisail

    So how many of you actually going to ditch perfume and buy ah shoelaces!! Dumb argument there 

    • Olivia

      We ain’t talkin about perfume

  • le

    for anyone who liked the pizza/sex analogy for sex-edu, please google Al Vernacchio, a sexuality teacher in PA. There was an NY times article about his education and  he currently has a ted-talk that uses pizza/sex analogy

    • Shannon Jay

      i couldn’t find a vid on google but i would really, really like to watch it! how?!

  • Julia H.

    Ok. I agree with you on this list – except for  your negative stance on crystal deodorant. Brace yourself, cuz I’mma start sounding like an infomercial, but I’m seriously passionate about my deodorant.

    I made the switch to Thai Crystal two years ago while I was in City Year. City Year requires you to wear this dorky looking uniform every single day as a means of walking, talking, free advertisement. Part of this uniform is the white shirts, of which you receive but four. Those four shirts last you ten months of service. 5 months in, the armpits of all my shirts were a disgusting shade of brownish/yellow, due to my traditional antiperspirant/deodorant. I switched to strictly deodorant, since I’m not a naturally sweaty person anyway. AND I STUNK BY THE END OF EVERY DAY. Then…I met Thai Crystal and all my smell and pit stain problems were solved. That shit is MAGIC.

    Now, I work with middle school kids. Do you think I would risk the ridicule of smelling like a barnyard if my crystal deodorant didn’t cut the mustard/underarm cheese? Nope.

    No one wants to be the grown woman being ridiculed by 7th graders!

  • Gmo Saza

    Dude, pizza is totes magotes legitimate, step off!

  • fifer

    Pizza is good cold, too. Finish the list!

  • Annoyed

    This should have been titled, “Let Me Tell You About The Existence of Four Random Facets of The World I Hate And Am ‘So Over’ In An Overtly-Embellished, O’Connell-Core Vernacular.”

    And, for reals, “Four Things?” Why just four? Sometimes I understand the appeal of having a ‘listicle’ in a non-round number when it comes to something very specific and perhaps hard to think of examples of (example: ” The Top Four Brands of Organic, Fair-Trade South Vietnamese Green Tea That You Can Buy At Your Local Health Food Store.”) But when the article in question is just a list of “things that I don’t like,” it’s a little disheartening that the author couldn’t come up with a fifth example.

    It’s a real shame that on this website, the line between “good content” and “bad content” used to be a difference in the quality of the writing, or the relevance of the subject, but now what distinguishes the good from the bad is the author’s ability to resist hitting the “publish” button for another ~3 minutes while he/ she writes a few hundred words more of content.

    Next time, let’s just tweet about the shit we’re not down with.

    • Joshgondelman

      Thanks for reading!

    • joe

      Your comment should have been titled, “I completely disagree with you and don’t really like Thought Catalog that much and should probably go do something else like TWEET”

  • babiigurrl

    The part about abstinence-only education was stupid. I agree with you that comprehensive sex education is much more effective and that abstinence-only education should definitely be phased out. I don’t agree with the pizza analogy. Abstinence is a great choice that works really well for a lot of people, and just because you wait until marriage doesn’t mean you’ll be miserable and “always wondering” for the rest of your life. Plenty of couples wait until marriage and have happy, successful, and sexually fulfilling relationships. Comprehensive sex education educates people about all of their options, allowing them to explore and make the best choice for them according to their own values.

    • Joshgondelman

      I totally agree that abstinence is a good choice if you choose it!
      And I also agree that you can be with one person for always if you want that.
      But it’s not ideal if someone chooses it for you or bullies you into it, just like any choice.

    • BrittanyW

      No one said it’s wrong to not eat pizza, or to be pickier with your pizza choices. 

  • Tati

    I have yet to understand how pizza and abstinence are remotely comparable. Nice try, though. 

    • BHG

      Man I bet To Kill a Mockingbird must’ve gone WAY over your head.

  • AK

     “Here’s one handy way to tell that you’re not overweight: The first word someone uses to describe your body type is “skinny.””

    Haha, love it.

  • Nikki Renee

    Why does everyone hate on Donald Trump so much? The man is brilliant in terms of his ability to run successful businesses. Maybe his bid for Presidency was a bit overstretched, but given the state of this country’s economic woes, I sure would trust Trump’s business instincts over politicians every day.

    Not to mention the man continually works 10-12 hour days, despite his fortune, flies his kids in coach with employees so they’re not raised to be total snobs, and continues to work even though he could very well retire and probably use dollar bills as toilet paper.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but of all things to consider not “legitimate”, I highly disagree that Mr. Trump is one of them. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/jmaat Ji Tu

      Plus he has a good relationship with “The Blacks”.

  • Andrea

    So, I should marry someone who knows how to make pizza. Got it. 

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