Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Size 0? No, thanks and pass the pie.

When I was growing up (or out, as middle-age spread dictates) there was no size 0.  Plain didn't exsist.  No such animal.  Somewhere around the time I was a sophomore in high school the jeans I bought (Jordache, fancy stitching on the pockets) were a size 3/4.  I kept those pants until I was 24 years old and when I replaced them, the next pair (Bongo – no pockets, no stitching. In fact, no rumpus ruckus back there) were a 5.  I couldn't find the size 3/4 anymore.  When I shopped at vintage stores the numbers were sometimes double, 8 and 10!  Two kids later, at the age of 34 I went back to the mall, looking for 5 and IT wasn't there.  The racks were full of 2, 4, 6 and 8 … who did I appreciate?  Certainly not the piper facing me telling me I was an 8 now.  It wasn't so much the changes in my body or booty to be specific, it was the idea that I was the victim of a sartorial shell game: now you see it, now you don't.  Once you fit and now you won't.

Now I go shopping and the choices are 00, 0 and up in increments of one.  Granted, my measurements have changed since I was young, but I've kept journals over the years and I know exactly HOW much I've lost or gained over the years … and the numbers on the tape don't agree with the numbers on the tags.  And why, oh, why does zero add up so much in the bonus column of women's figures and body image these days?

Is it just me, or was I born about 400 years too late?  To walk through a museum and see the glorious Rubenesque visions of women in flowing fabric (or not) makes me want to open my trench coat and say, "Hello!?  Those incredible images are also available for viewing today, people!"  Okay, I don't really wear a trench coat and I'm not quite ready for my close-up, Mr. Vermeer- but you feel my pain, right?

I have relatives in the health & fitness industry who have walked among Hollywood's Gliterrati for most of their fat-free, no-sugar, Atkins diet lives.  As a result, their idea of what the ideal body looks like is a little skewed, in my humble (low-fat, naturally sweetened and occasional carb-y) opinion.  I have worked very hard to eat right and stay active and while I am a HUGE fan of moderation and less of a fan of perspiration, my efforts have helped me stay in a healthy weight range, but still nowhere near a size 0!  My weight has always waffled within an 18 pound range since I was 18 years old, but I'm happy.  And sassy.  Isn't that what counts after all, not numbers on the scale and itchy clothing tags, right?

Apparently wrong.  My relatives in the weight-lifting/wheat germ world saw a dear old friend's wife the other night (and I do not mince around with the word old, the woman is a long-time resident of AARPland) and have not stopped raving about how she must weigh 80 pounds.  They said this like it was a good thing!  On and on the voices rang through my telephone, "She looks younger than she ever has!  Almost like an underdeveloped teenager!"  I swear, I did not make that last statement up.  It was uttered word for word, reverently like vespers on a Sunday evening.  Surely, she must be a 00.  Yeah, I said it … less than zero.

Frankly, I do not give a hoot.  This body has served me well and is strong enough to wield power tools when needed around the house (do NOT reveal this secret to my husband — the Honey Do List will shrivel up and blow away if he finds out) and provides a comfortable lap for two growing children who still love cuddling with Mommy now and again, giving them a cozy place to land in times of need. The bit of additional padding in my jeans (courtesy of me, not my NYDJ denim) allows me additional sitting time to patiently listen to my friends when they need me most.    I'd like to think that the people that love me the way I am, think I'm more than a big fat zero, whether I wear it or not.

Leave a Reply