Zero, Not My Hero

Y’all know I don’t regularly read a lot of feminist blogs besides Aunt B .  It’s not because I’m such a misogynist pig (that remains to be seen) , but because I am an ENFJ personality type, and in order to be who I am, I need a real human being to interact with.  It’s hard to do that navigating through manifestos and shock material.  If I can’t read your blog and see a little of you in your opinions and theories, we really have nothing to talk about.

One I do enjoy very much is So Sioux Me.  Tracee and I “met” because we have the same blog-ployer, and she linked to something I wrote at Ugly Betty News.  I’ve been reading her personal blog ever since. 

Anyway, she’s posted the most fascinating theory about why women starve themselves :

Do you remember the old feminist theory that women crossed their legs in the feminine way to take up less space because they felt unworthy of it?

What if girls today feel they don’t even have a right to exist, let alone take up more space?

Who takes up less space on the planet, or in a room, or on a couch, than a size Zero girl?

Perhaps the first step to preventing poor body image and extreme thinness and misperception of our bodies is to teach daughters they have a right to exist.

Now, it’s very tempting to dismiss this theory as just another womyns studies pointy-head mental exercise, but Tracee hits on something that has always perplexed me: why do women WANT to be a size zero?  I know it’s not to be attractive to men, because no man I’ve EVER known likes women that skinny.  In fact, the “perfect” size for my wife, the size at which she has to constantly fend me off with a broomstick, is size 12.

I’ve had this conversation with many men before: where do women get the idea that having the body of a 14 year old boy is something they should strive for?

I don’t think this one can be blamed on men.  When most of us see a size zero, our first impulse is to buy her a cheeseburger.

So what do you think?  Do these women do this because they feel unworthy to take up space?

4 Responses to “Zero, Not My Hero”

  1. Ginger Says:

    gasp! No wonder we get along so great…I am an ENFJ, too!

    This is an excellent post, Slarti…I think you have hit on something here that’s major. Misogyny is still rampant, and you know that I do not consider myself a full-out feminist…so for me to say that is not just rhetoric. I do believe that there is something to women wanting to just disappear so they try to get as small as they can.

    I know for me personally, I feel my best at a size 10…I like my curves, but I like to “feel” good, too…and I don’t when I’m any larger than a 12. Of course, I don’t want to disappear, I want to be be validated.

  2. nancy bruno Says:

    Yeah You for recognizing that you are beautiful just the way you are…better yet, Yeah You for loving yourself and standing up and saying so to the world.

    If you have a moment, please check out the Beautiful Women Project ( and our blog ( Our message is simple and clear: it is the sum of a woman’s experiences that makes her beautiful. You embrace this message and spread it to all of the people that read your blog.

  3. bridgett Says:

    I have a friend who has some from-birth disabilities who has gotten more disabled as she’s gone through life. She thinks that initially, some of her indifference to her rising weight (she’s heavy) was that she was trying to get big enough to be seen. (Able people often look right through disabled women…it’s even more acute as they age.)

  4. Slartibartfast Says:

    bridgett, my brother did the same thing.

    Although, they had him on some ungodly dose of steriods when he was first diagnosed with MD, in a vain attempt to slow down the atrophy. THis caused him to gain an incredible amount of weight.

    But, like me, he’s yo-yo’d a lot since then. We both love mama’s cooking too much.

    That being said, you are so right about people looking through people with disabilities. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Why don’t you ask HIM? You know, the gy in the chair right in front of our faces!”

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