Why do guys only like Oompa Loompa girls?

[Old The-N.com post, July 2007, preserving it for posterity.]

“There are these guys I have crushes on: 3 and a half to be exact. The half is my best guy friend, that I really can’t have a crush on but I do anyway….. While I’m setting him up with one of my close friends. Uhm yea. But it’s like a naggle in my head that I like him, so it’s not my heart. Well other than my friend he’s always gone for the oompa loompas. The girls who are orange and have pee yellow hair. Now I’m not saying they’re not pretty and have a personality, but they’re all alike. I have brown hair, don’t dress in So Lows every day of my life, and am pale.

But I just want to know why the Oompas get all the guys and girls like me don’t?

I’m not complaining, I get my fair share of guys, but they’re never the ones I like!”


OK. First things first: I warn you, this is a tangent, but I have to get this off my chest about the “half-a-guy” conundrum.

I had this best guy friend in high school (who was so, so beautiful) and I used to set him up with my friends all the time. Even though I was in love with him. It was, like, pathological. To this day I’m not sure why exactly I did it except yr basic self-esteem issues: I didn’t think I was pretty enough for him so I set him up with the friends I thought were pretty enough. Maybe ’cause it sort of injected me into their relationship, as the setter upper? So I was “involved” with him without being involved with him?

Anyway, then one time, I went to a movie with him and a friend I was “trying to set him up with.” He sat between us. And eventually he held my hand and then kissed me, which I was of course absolutely peeing inside my heart about… until the part where my girl friend was not amused. More like very hurt. “Why were you trying to set me up with him if you like him?” she asked, and to this day I do not have a good answer. So from very personal experience, I encourage you to really examine your feelings for half-a-guy and clear up your own story with him first, before you proceed with any set-ups. A) because what if he likes you back?! And b) so that you’re positive you’re doing your girl friend an actual favor and not just involving her in a drama she didn’t ask to be involved in. And, you know, if you’re not ready or willing to “clear up your story” with him quite yet, then just don’t set him up with your friends. It’s a voluntary act! You can stop it with your frontal lobe.

Now! On to the whole Oompa Loompa thing, which made me laugh so hard. I so, so went through that, and you know what was worse: a lot of the guys I was into were hardcore boys or punk boys, and even THEY — it seemed — would fall for (the ’90s equivalent of) oompas, and I was so baffled by it.

Here’s what I now realize about that whole thing:

1) I know sometimes when I’m feeling down on myself, I start going into black-and-white thinking, a la “the guys I like only like oompas.” But my sister the psychologist is always very helpful in reminding me to take a step back from any universal pronouncements, because they’re not likely to be true. In fact… now that I think about it, it wasn’t true that all those hardcore boys only liked oompas. A handful of the ones I crushed on probably liked about one oompa each, and it sent me into a self-image panic, because I do not have an oompa bone in my body. So I assumed this signified some greater trend, because I always assumed the worst. (I’ve mentioned the ulcer I gave myself sophomore year in college, right?) Anyway, it wasn’t really true then that every one of the guys I liked only liked oompas, and I bet you a dollar it’s not really true for you either.

2) As fabulous, self-assured ladies, we want to avoid getting into any “us vs. them” mentalities with our fellow sisterfriends. As you were mature enough to realize and articulate, because you are awesome, these girls aren’t evil or dumb; they just dress different than you. But here’s another reason not to divide yourself onto “the opposing team”: You pretty much just defined Oompas as girls that guys are into, and then said “I’m not that.” That’s kind of a roundabout way of beating yourself up, and I must insist that you do not do that, because you are my friend and if you beat my friend up, I will have to beat you up, and then I will have to beat myself up for beating up my friend, and it’s a vicious cycle.

3) I can totally hear this chorus of straight male voices going “But it’s GIRLS who only like one certain kind of GUY!” Isn’t there kind of a boy version of the oompa loompa too? They might not be so obvious as to all have the same color hair, but guys can have certain girl-trap type looks, and we fall for them. It couldn’t hurt to take a step back and ask yourself if your own horizons are as broad as you wish guys’ were; it may even direct you to the guy version of you. Which… would be kind of awesome, don’t you think?

4) Honey, I do hear ya. Like I said, I’ve been there. And it may be true that a lot of guys have a generalized tendency to go for oompas because, let’s face it, oompa-ism is kinda like pop music: it’s designed to attract the widest possible (straight male, in this case) audience, and it’s very effective in that capacity. We all like pop music sometimes.

Some musicians love making pop music, that’s what’s in their hearts. Good for them! Some make pop music just because it makes more money than the music they really want to make, and that’s sad. And some musicians realize that to follow their own musical instincts they’re going to have to settle for a smaller, more discerning, but probably very loyal audience.

What I’m trying to say is: you’re not trying to fill a stadium here; you don’t need every guy to like you in order to find love. You just need a couple of the right ones to. And I know you just said it feels like that never happens… but I mean, I can count on zero hands the number of girls and guys I know who feel like that happens often enough for their liking. It happens sometimes — usually completely out of our control — and that’s all any of us can ever hope for. Keep your eyes peeled, think positive, remember how awesome you are, and your audience will emerge.

Luv,
The-Mary

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One Comment

  1. Elyse
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Wow this post really helped me out. I have such a black-and-white way of thinking lately and even though I know I shouldn’t.. this actually made me realize how wrong I was.

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