Hips Don’t Lie

In a small Siam Square boutique selling office wear, I noticed that the friendly sales assistant serving me had a prominent Adam’s apple, low husky voice, and gargantuan feet spilling out of her strappy heels.

I picked out a top I wanted to try on. “This one, got my size?”

She approached me with a tape measure, encircled my shoulder blades with it dramatically, and measured my bust. “Okay,” she nodded.

I picked out a skirt I wanted to try on. “This one, also got my size?”

She approached me with a tape measure, encircled my butt with it dramatically, and measured my hips. “OOOOO!” she giggled, covering her mouth as her mascara’d eyelashes fluttered in alternate shock and glee.

“Sorry ma’am, this one don’t have large size.”

Sir Mix-A-Lot Would Weep

Someone stopped me along the street the other day and asked if I wanted to join a talent agency as a model. Halfway through her spiel (respected agency, no sleazy assignments etc.), I said I wasn’t interested and walked on, because much like Groucho Marx, I think any agency that would want me as a model must either be pretty crap or specialists in the “everywoman” look.

But the encounter started me thinking, and today I realized the awful truth – I have now completely lost my England curves, and am a stick insect like all the other girls in Singapore, though judging by the ubiquitious newpaper and television ads here for “Super Slimming! Guarantee Results!” you would think us a nation plagued by obesity.

England curves, for those wondering, are the few pounds of extra weight every Singaporean girl seems to put on when she’s at university in the UK, usually due to a combination of cold climate, first year hall food, and subsequent self-indulgence once cooking for herself. (Or for me, being spoiled rotten by butter-lovin’ boyfriend’s great cooking). Since returning to Singapore, despite my strenuous avoidance of exercise and complete lack of dietary restrictions, those pounds have fallen off. I used to come back for the summer, look at girls with pretty faces on the street and muse that they’d be so much more attractive if they weren’t so skinny. These days I look at myself and think the same thing.

I realize this question (and indeed, this whole post) may be incomprehensible to people who aren’t into curves, or people who like skinny Singapore girls just fine, but: how do I gain weight, in a (fairly) healthy way? I want my butt back.