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    BWS Stories - "You're So Vain"...Celebrating Physical Changes

    "You're So Vain"...Celebrating Physical Changes - Big Miss Behaved Women

    Catherine Bramkamp was born in 1960 in California, Catharine Bramkamp is the author of the self-published book, Being Miss Behaved: Humorous Essays for the Politically Incorrect. To find out more about Catharine and her book, visit

    Big Miss Behaved Women

    The average Miss Behaved woman is so confident, beautiful, and vibrant that the first impression upon meeting her is that she is thin.

    Why thin? Because in this country if a woman is beautiful, she is thin. If she is beautiful and thin, then it follows that at some point in her socially acceptable career she was a model, she wanted to be a model, or that she could, at any time, step in front of a camera and be a model. In a visually oriented society, to be beautiful is to be photographed. But to be known and remembered one has to do and be something, not just end up little more than a flattened image on a glossy page.

    Miss Behaved women are lovely in a real-time, passionate way. Miss Behaved women do not pose for pictures on a regular basis; they are not perpetually ready for their close-up. The current phenomena of living through the camera and videotaping life experiences for later viewing strikes many Miss Behaved people as a rather odd and detached way of living.

    Consequently, the Miss Behaved family camera often holds a roll of film that begins with the child’s first day of kindergarten and ends with junior high graduation. Many Miss Behaved parents are so busy watching the children that they forget to pick up the camera. One of the Miss Behaved life skills is to dispense with the camera completely. This frees the Miss Behaved woman to concentrate on real life, which, in most cases, is where we all live.

    What kind of real life is the Miss Behaved woman living? She is living large. Fabulous, powerful, interesting, Miss Behaved women take up space. In this society it isn’t appropriate for a woman to take up more than the allotted four horizontal inches of area. That’s why Miss Behaved women take up more—much more.

    How can a woman make sure she is taking up enough space? Answer yes or now to the following questions:

    1. When you change into your carefully color-coordinated outfit for a torturous hour of aerobics at the gym, do you try to use up no more than exactly one-half of the bench placed in front of the lockers for your convenience even though no one else is in the locker room?
    2. When walking on the sidewalk, do you automatically step into the gutter to give the oncoming couple all the room so they can continue to walk together?
    3. Do you hurry through checkout lines and bank lines because people waiting behind you are in a hurry, and their time must be more important than yours?

    If you answered yes to any one of these three questions, you are not taking up enough space.

    There is a theory that the stronger and more independent women become, the less physical space it is fashionable for them to take up. Miss Behaved theorists believe that the creation of media-ready women, those skinny legged things on television, is a direct and proportional response to the real-world power of women, as if women should compensate for their increase in power and knowledge by decreasing their physical shapes. The message is you cannot take up space and have power. The Miss Behaved woman’s answer to that: take both.

    We encourage all women to not only take up space, but also while they’re at it, take over the boardroom. A Miss Behaved woman should strive to take up as many cubic feet in the room as possible, if not by virtue of size, then by virtue of a huge personality. Breathe deeply and use up all the oxygen. Learn to project your voice so that when you speak you suck up all the molecules in the thin air. When this is done well, a Miss Behaved woman will have so much command and presence that she will make those thin women look like, well, two-dimensional pictures.

    Imagine a room filled with lovely young things. Their dresses hang from their bony shoulder blades so they look like nothing more than walking hangers. These women do not eat. They do not drink. They do not smile. Now a fabulously Miss Behaved woman enters. She is dressed in a size 36 silver lame gown with a tiara on her bright red hair. She plows through the room, pushing those lovely young things to the sides like flotsam. She heads to the buffet table, eats all the caviar, and smiles.

    And how is it that Big Miss Behaved women have all this confidence? Shouldn1t any woman who is not an immediate candidate for the cover of Diets and Desserts Magazine hide in shame until she purchases enough products to give her the appearance of being ready for her photo shoot?

    Miss Behaved philosophy says no. Miss Behaved women have all this confidence, power, money, and authority because they do not waste their time trying to look like something they are not. Big Miss Behaved women love fashion. They dress well, often in bright colors, eschewing black because how silly is it to think that black will make 230 pounds look thinner, and why should anyone care? They do not spend hours and hours each day working at being thin. They do not agonize over every bite of food before, during, and after every meal. They eat lunch and get back to berating the board of directors.

    Big Miss Behaved women will not be found hovering around the frozen food section in the grocery store wearing the same furtive expression found on men hovering anxiously around the entrance of a strip club. Miss Behaved women have needs, and those needs often involve pints of premium ice cream. While the average skinny woman spends all her energy on the full-time activity of looking magazine beautiful and television thin, the Miss Behaved woman, clutching a bag of circus animal cookies, is taking over the world.

    Don’t be small. Be big.

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