Friday, April 23, 2010


What is zero? When someone has hit rock-bottom they are often referred to as a “zero.” Zero is insignificant, nada, nought. Zero is the lowest point- it is a nonentity. So why are women in our society determined to see the symbol (or two of them) on the back of their pants? The “number” zero was meant to indicate a size for those ladies who were TOO small, so small in fact, that the general sizes did not fit them.

As I browsed around the mall today, I stopped at Ann Taylor Loft, because the sign outside the store announced a significant sale- and I had gift cards to boot! Hooray! As I perused the sale items, which had been picked over quite a few times before I got there, a pair of cute pants caught my eye. Alas, my size was nowhere to be seen. I chose two pairs- one a size higher than I would normally get and one a size zero- for kicks, I thought.

First I tried on the pants that I knew were probably going to be too big. Saggy butt- no good.

Next, the size zeros. Ladies and gentlemen: I am not a size zero. If I were to take a size zero into the dressing room at H&M, the attendant would probably laugh at me, then rip the item of clothing out of my hand and say, “No. You are not a zero. Go home.” However, the pants at the Loft fit.

Why am I going into this? I'm just concerned that the clothing manufacturers are so convinced of the fragility of women's self-esteem that vanity sizing is going to continue to make us think we are getting smaller and smaller as our waistlines get bigger and bigger. When will it end?

That's not to say that for a moment in the dressing room, as I buttoned the front of the pants my immediate reaction was, “Woohoo! A size zero!” The more intelligent part of my brain, however, was whispering, “So not the case, Kirsten. So not the case.” That part of my brain is a jerk. But do I really want to see a number staring me in the face each time I put on my clothes that is associated nothingness?

Eh... probably.


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