Monday, September 24, 2007
<, =, or >
"hey, can i try these sneakers in a 9 and a 9 1/2?"
"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.