Confessions of a size zero

I hate the word zero nowadays, even more than I did during my school days. Then I froze seeing a scored out answer in my maths paper, embellished with a zero, the biggest my teacher could draw, flanked by two hyphens. Yeah, they were to prevent students from adding a 1 or 2 to inflate marks. I wonder how anyone would get away with doing that, especially when the teacher has marked the answer wrong. Forget it, it is too late to ponder over that, and I am sure that now teachers have moved on to more innovative methods to stop students from sabotaging marks.

It has been years since I confronted maths, but the number riddle is back in a new form to haunt me. Nowadays, everyone seems to be obsessed with putting a figure to everything. If it is opinion polls for media houses, fashion brands seem to have taken the number obsession to a new level. Apart from categorising clothes as small, medium, large and extra large, it is now time for size 0 to infinity (honestly, I don’t know what the last size is).

Interestingly, when everyone claims that size zero models have triggered the fixation for pencil thin bodies among younger girls, not many brands have size zero clothes to offer. It is a harrowing task, every time I go shopping. After sifting through the entire collection, desperately, I finally settle down for size 2, hoping that I will get my tailor to give a tuck on the sleeve or the waist.

I belong to a family where girls are buxom and look well-nourished, in contrast to my skinny physique which I try to defend and call a ‘naturally thin frame’. How is that possible, prods my inquisitive distant aunt who springs up this question, each time she meets me in a family function. “No one in our family is so thin; even your mother was healthy-looking when she was in her twenties.” My mother jumps to my defence, “oh then here is the reason: I make her starve and eat all her food.” The aunt is taken aback and moves on to other relatives for juicier gossip, abandoning me and my size zero mystery in the corner.

It has always puzzled me how people take the liberty of calling a thin person all sorts of  names – weak, stick like, pencil-thin – on the person’s face, but play it safe when it comes to people in the other end of the spectrum. The politically correct ones prefer to say, I think you have gained a little weight, safely avoiding the word ‘fat’. Do I infer that it is not all that bad being thin? Well, I think the ‘being fat or thin is better’ debate is never ending. We might consider ourselves lucky if we manage in the middle rather than the ends.

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3 Responses to “Confessions of a size zero”

  1. Sowri Mama Says:

    Have been pondering over the secret of your ‘thinness’. Now I am getting some answers. Keep up the good work.

    • Hey Mottie! I am sure the letters addressed to u would be a little diffeent. For instance, Hope this letter finds you in a healthy health! Sick, people are these days! Talking about size zero (or infinity) seems to be their latest obsession… 😉

  2. HaHaHa…good….

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