Negative Body Image - By Mizeta Moon

Olive Oyl was tired of being skinny. She could turn sideways and people thought she left the room. She wanted to get a boob job but being a cartoon character didn’t pay much. Water balloons in her bra leaked and deflated, so what she was left with was a wet blouse and the same flat chest. Lately, Popeye had been dating Bluto’s voluptuous cousin from Wisconsin and she was jealous. Milk-fed beauty superseded her devotion to her muscular hero. Bluto continued to pound on Popeye like usual, but she could tell his heart wasn’t in it. If Popeye married his cousin, he’d have to cut him some slack and Olive’s supply of spinach in the pantry wouldn’t be needed to overcome adversity. 

Desperate for a solution to her dilemma, she called Daisy Duck’s dating service, hoping the sexiest duck on the planet could help regain her man’s attention. Daisy taught her to waddle her butt as she walked but it was so narrow no one noticed. Meanwhile, the dairy maid was leading Popeye further down the path to eternal bliss. She called Cruella for advice but with so many dogs barking in the background she couldn’t understand a word. Sleepless and fatigued, she called Tom Hanks to ask if someone in Seattle could come to her rescue. Tom said no but wished her luck. 

A few nights later, Popeye banged on her door with his big fist. Powdering her nose, and freshening her lipstick, Olive answered with hope in her heart. “I brought you a present,” Popeye said when she answered. He’d obviously been drinking and reeked of cheap perfume. Instead of refusing him entry and rejecting the package he proffered, she grasped it like a life preserver tossed to someone drowning in a sea of self-pity. 

After she ripped the paper and stripped away the Scotch Tape, Olive laid eyes on a bottle of muscle building protein powder. Evidently, Popeye thought she needed to fatten up to be desirable. Having hoped for more, her previously suppressed anger exploded. “So, the way I was drawn isn’t good enough for you?” She yelled. “No one asked me what I wanted to look like. What makes you think that someone with large breasts and wide hips can love you more than me? I’ve been your ally and nursed you back to health after countless beat downs from Bluto, not to mention Wimpy’s constant demand on your generosity. His appetite for hamburgers has to be taxing. You owe me more than money. Isn’t loyalty worth something in your world?” 

Popeye leaned away from her fury. “I am what I am,” he said. “Do you think I had a choice about my character traits? How would you feel if you were destined to pummel and be pummeled as your ongoing reality? What if I wanted to be a painter capturing images from flowered fields? Did my creator explore different options and give me choices? You’re skinny. I’m a muscle-bound freak who might not like canned spinach. What say we blow this pop stand and write our own script from now on? Bluto said he could use a break and has always been attracted to you. The two of you could be our neighbors in Hawaii and I could marry his cousin Lulu. We could raise three little pigs and share food we grow with the old lady who lives in a shoe with her foster children. I’ve heard her welfare check no longer covers the bills.” 

Olive Oyl smiled. “You’re right,” she said. “I always wanted to sleep with Bluto but you always thwarted him. Now that we’re being honest, I got tired of paying for your spinach years ago. If Lulu wants to be your meal ticket from now on, I wish her luck. Men like you never change.”          



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