Friday, September 28, 2007


Included in the Pillsbury Dough family are: Poppie Fresh (Pillsbury Dough Boy's wife), Popper (son), Bun Bun (baby daughter), GrandPopper and GranMommer (grandparents), Biscuit (cat), Flapjack (dog), Rollie (uncle)

"hey, margaux, when are you doing your show again? i want to bring my sister to see it. i want her to know she doesn't always have to be skinny or tryin' to be skinny. she just had a baby, and she's all 'i'm so fat'... well, she is a little fat now. she looks like a busted can of biscuits."

Monday, September 24, 2007

<, =, or >

"hey, can i try these sneakers in a 9 and a 9 1/2?"

he snickers.

"what? is something funny?"

"no, no, i'll be right back."

he returns with the shoes, and before i even get the first one on my foot:

"it's a really great shoe. girls really like it because it makes their feet look small."


i say nothing. i'm looking at the shoe. it's cute. sleek. a little flashy in the way i like it to be (think South-Florida-Grandma). the toe, however, is a little pointy for my taste. who wants a pointy tennis shoe? he interrupts my decision-making process to repeat:

"yeah, girls really like this shoe, because it makes their feet look small."

now, i say nothing to this guy. i'm still angry with myself because i didn't respond with the irritation that i felt:

as in, "maybe i don't want my feet to look small. my feet are in happy proportion to my not-small body. i may not be fat, i may not be lumbering (this year), but i am not a small woman. if my feet looked smaller, i'd look like a Chinese woman with bound feet. if my feet were smaller, i would probably have a hard time keeping my balance, and this would make it exceedingly difficult for me to kick your ass."

no, i just nod and smile, and point out the features of the shoe that make it "slimming."

"oh yes, i see. it's a very delicate shoe. not a big sole, and it's very structured."

i'm such a pussy.

i wanted to scream.

it's not that i think this guy is a horrible person or anything. he's selling shoes. he says what he needs to say to get the sale (he did not get this one). i also get that many women (including myself) don't want shoes that make their feet look like oceanliners. what annoyed me was the insistence and assumption in his voice. the insistence and assumption that of course i want my feet to look smaller because i am a "girl." feet, that quite honestly and objectively, aren't particularly boat-ish in proportion to my 5'8" frame. by extension, it pissed me off because its the same insistence and assumption i heard in his voice that permeates our culture, whispering into every woman, man, child's ear that if you're a female, you must want to be smaller, daintier, slimmer, wispier. AND, it's not just your major body parts that must desire to be smaller - not just your thighs, belly and ass - but your ears, your feet, the circumference of your head, the girth of your ring finger.

oh my god, i can't believe i wear a size eight ring.

if you're a female, you must want to be less in every conceivable way.

i don't get it. i mean, i do. of course, i do. i've been trained very well. i still struggle with the desire to be dainty, but when i think about it logically, it really doesn't make any sense does it?

i mean, does the woman who takes up the least space win?

and i mean something other than the envy of other eating disordered women and the lust of insecure men.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

fringe benefits

i went to valdosta, georgia this past weekend for a wedding and to visit my brother and his brood (grant and tate are his tykes. wowza, are they cute. having a cherubic baby fall asleep in your arms might very well be the greatest incentive for procreation ever. pics to come!).

the wedding was one of the most beautiful and unusual i've ever attended. my friend s married an Indian guy, so they had two ceremonies - a traditional Indian ceremony with s all decked out in a sari, bindi and henna-tattooed hands, followed by a 45-minute cocktail break, then a traditional Western ceremony, with s all decked out in the requisite Big White Dress.

at the uber-fancy dinner and reception following the ceremony, i gathered with a couple of my high school friends to watch the traditional dancing. as we stood there, my friend m turns to me with a look of blissful relief on her face:

"hey! i just realized somethin.' i'm standin' here trying to hold my stomach in. i don't have to do that anymore! i'm pregnant!"

Monday, September 10, 2007

oh, my aching bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate.

Fig. 1 (Friederich et al., 2007). Subjective anxiety ratings in response to images of interior design and body shape images (n = 16 healthy women). 0 = not anxious at all, 10 = very anxious. [NOTE: different results may be obtained in avid fans of Martha Stewart Living or HGTV or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.]
Friederich HC, Uher R, Brooks S, Giampietro V, Brammer M, Williams SC, Herzog W, Treasure J, Campbell IC. (2007). I'm not as slim as that girl: Neural bases of body shape self-comparison to media images. Neuroimage Jun 2; [Epub ahead of print].
The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of images of slim female fashion models on healthy young women. Brain responses to images of slim-idealized bodies (active condition) and interior designs (control condition) were measured using functional neuroimaging in 18 healthy young women. Instructions encouraged the participants to compare their own body shape/own home with the one in the images. Participants rated the level of anxiety that they experienced while exposed to the images. In the active relative to the control condition, participants activated body shape processing networks, including the lateral fusiform gyrus on both sides, the right inferior parietal lobule, the right lateral prefrontal cortex and the left anterior cingulate. The level of reported anxiety during the exposure to slim bodies correlated with established measures of shape and weight concern and with brain activations in bilateral basal ganglia, left amygdala, bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate, and left inferior lateral prefrontal cortex. Brain networks associated with anxiety induced by self-comparison to slim images may be involved in the genesis of body dissatisfaction and hence with vulnerability to eating disorders.
so that's what's happening in my brain when i'm flipping through Vogue magazine at the nail salon, and why i feel like i should head straight for the gym immediately following.

from The Neurocritic

Thursday, September 06, 2007

gratuitous baby pic of the week #3

it doesn't seem fair that i should have to share on my birthday.

my nephew grant mitchell laskey turned two recently, and in typical aunt margaux fashion, i forgot. i've gotten into the habit of sending birthday and christmas gifts about six months late. i am going to spend all eternity in Bad Auntie heaven...surrounded by hundreds of children screaming for juice, and all i'll have is a bottle of vodka.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

one of the many reasons.

The Cute knows about my disordered eating history and my warped body image. he sticks around anyway. a few weeks ago, we were eating at the diner after The Police concert. he got the club sandwich, and i ordered a veggie burger and fries. we were noshing away when he stopped to point out that while i'd been very certain to specify whole grain bread for my burger (i did everything but write it down for the waiter), i'd removed it from my plate, and hadn't eaten a bit of it. i laughed:

"yeah, i know. makes zero sense."

i then ordered a piece of the double fudge chocolate layer cake.

this week, we dined at the same delightfully tacky diner before i left for my pal's wedding in connecticut. i ordered another veggie burger with fries. The Cute, a reuben. my burger arrived sandwiched between two giant white bread buns reminiscent of Princess Leia's hairdo. as i nibbled the mozzarella off the bread and put the bun's remains to the side, i pointed out:

"i didn't specify a bread this time cuz i knew i wasn't gonna eat it."

"well, couldn't you eat some of the bread they do bring you?"

The Cute. soooo logical.

"yes, i could, but i'd rather save room for the spicy waffle fries."


"i have issues," i say with a shrug, smiling through a mouthful of spicy waffle fry dipped in blue cheese dressing.

he stops. looks at me with affectionate amusement.

"you have cute issues. TOO. MUCH. CUTE."

no double fudge chocolate layer cake necessary today. this boy is sweet enough.