I have found the ideal! Or my ideal, or something!
In general, she said, people have subconscious reactions to different body types. For a man, skinny says less-than-manly, clashing with our vision of a leader: tall, strong and emotionally unmoved. For women, an ultra-thin figure simply says success and makes for an attractive corporate image, she said.
After a day or several of reflecting on how and why people deal with criticism and advice and internet arguments and flaming and anonymity and hearing today for the first time a decent manly explanation of "pity, sympathy and empathy" from a 54-year-old bad*** mother****er who also happens to train people to work as volunteers in a hospice - I think I've found the solution.
No - it's not skinny women or me being a tall, strong man. Personally I think the female beauty ideal is moving toward CrossFit - fit, strong, healthy and able to carry a bag of groceries (or ANYTHING, gosh - that was just an example - my grocery bag weighs about 50-100 lbs and is ONE single bag) without breaking her stick-thin arms.
The solution lies in the "emotionally unmoved" part. People (read: women, esp. my female relatives) continually decry male standoffish-ness and emotional unavailability. Yet that is still the key to my life and troubles. Just don't care and things become a lot easier. Be unmoved, and the world moves around you. They - women - might not like it. But there's plenty of respect. And simplicity.
I'm still human. Humans have feelings. But there's no real need to bother much this way. Yay. Finally a break-through. This solves a number of minor issues and drama. Now for some action. No, not that kind of action - though I wouldn't mind. And getting emotionally involved is still an awesome experience - this really only applies to non-romantic issues with people that I would normally expect to have a semi-friendly professional relationship with - as opposed to the current "frenemy" problem drama thing.