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Zaftig April 30, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.

I wrote about ‘zaftig’ on my other blog. It’s from the Yiddish ‘zaftik’ whch means ‘succulent’ or ‘juicy’. Now it also means:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

zaf·tig  [zahf-tik, -tig]

–adjective Slang.

1. (of a woman) having a pleasantly plump figure.
2. full-bodied; well-proportioned.


American Heritage Dictionary

zaf·tig or zof·tig     (zäf’tĭk, -tĭg)  Pronunciation Key 

  1. Full-bosomed.
  2. Having a full, shapely figure.

[Yiddish zaftik, juicy, from Middle High German saftec, from saft, juice, from Old High German saf.]

Now, TullahMarie left a comment on my other blog which I am posting here in toto.

Another one of my favorite yiddish terms for women, “Gezunta Moyd”

A Gezunta Moyd:
pronounced, ah Geh-SOON-the moyd

It literally means “a healthy girl,” but there is a connotation beyond that. It’s a girl who looks so healthy she is capable of unbelievable things. It’s said when you don’t want to talk too dirty but you’re still thinking about sex. A gezunta moyd means, what she could do to you requires a lot of health to do.
It can also mean you’ll lose your health of you get involved with her. She could kill twelve Jews like you in a second. Well-stacked is what you really mean when you say A gezunta moyd. (definition stolen from the web)

My grandparents spoke yiddish regularly around the house. I still love learning new yiddish words/phrases.

Also interesting, I’ve observed that the more traditionally matriarchal societies (Jewish, African-American, etc.) seem to be much more appreciative of us “thicker” ladies. Hmmm.

You know what, the whole concept fills me with optimism. I am decidedly Zaftig, I’m not so sure about Gezunta Moyd. Somehow, tho, knowing there is a term out there, that is positive and empowering, and refers to those of us who’s size is um…frequently….hm…disparaged, it’s an encouraging thing, and serves to reenforce what mine own husband has been trying to tell me daily these past 20 years: That an armload of woman is a very good thing indeed.


Here’s what I’d like for you to do: When you’re watching TV, or surfing through the interwebs, make note of businesses who’s advertising policies feature Zaftig women.  I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve found a couple of ads- the most obvious one recently is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign.  They have all sorts and all ages of women in their ads. Another is PineSol, with it’s plump next-door-neighbor of a spokeswoman and it’s ordinary house type sets. Hamburger Helper uses real families with real lives. Keep looking,find stuff and post it up here.

You can also write to these companies-find their web site, they all have a comments section, and they really like getting feedback from the regular population. 

So what’s the deal with non-caucasian types appreciating zaftig women, but us white women think we all have to be skinny? Why are we buying into the line fed to us by the entertainment and fashion industries?  Where did it come from?  50 years ago, the Bombshell women were Marilyn Monroe,


Jean Harlow, Bettie Page, and more. Big, luscious and curvy women, with a fashion industry that played that up. But since the late ’60’s, when Twiggy came flying to the forefront, the ‘Look’ has become thinner and thinner until now, when you see pictures of the models, they are so thin as to look wasted, no breasts, no hips, just thin.


Granted, there are some people who are naturally thin. My friend Rose is a solid size 2, tipping the scales at a robust 100 pounds soaking wet, and yet she eats like a horse. She’s just really small.  So I’m not saying all thin women are a slave to the fashion industry, but I’d be willing to bet that most of them are.

Then there are the rest of us. The average women, the athletic ones with muscles, the zaftig ones with our generous upholstery, those of us who are told constantly by The Industry that we are Inferior or Flawed or Lazy or whatever, because we aren’t squeezing into their size 4 mold…I don’t know. I’m tired of hearing it.

So that’s why I’m on the prowl for concepts and cultural tidbits that feed the idea that zaftig is a good thing. Whether it’s advertisements or linguistic bites, keep your eyes open for things that encourage the concept of Real Beauty.  Is there a saying in your family? Do you remember hearing something from your grandparents, or you picked up on your 1976 trek through Morocco…post it here, and I’ll put up a page compiling it all.




1. TullahMarie - May 2, 2007

The May 2007 issue of Glamour Magazine has a GREAT pictorial showing beautiful women in a range of sizes (how refreshing). Some of them even claim to weigh 230… and look fabulous! Now, I don’t know about you, but my driver’s license says I weigh 180, whereas my bathroom scale says 240 (I’m 5’8″ flat footed, 6′ with attitude. I genreally wear a size 18). If these women are admitting to 230 in a national magazine… what do you think they might really weigh?

I was talking about this in my doctor’s office, where I was flipping through the magazine. The nurse assistant was saying that since she had started the job she had been shocked and pleasantly surprised by what real women weigh. She thought she was THE heaviest woman out there because she weighed over 200. She says that she sees healthy, normal looking women everyday that weigh well over 150. Before the job, she thought that was rare that a woman could weigh that much and still be healthy/attractive. It’s a shame that so many of us lie about our weight. Getting “real” about it might just help others decide that life doesn’t stop at 150.

In the meantime, I had to listen to a mini lecture from the doc about how I should try to weigh closer to what my drivers license says I do =). (Even though all of my bloodwork numbers were normal) He’s, no doubt, right. But at 33, childless, and single, I just have to worry about outliving my cat. Do I really want to live longer at the cost of forgoing cheesecake? How many people drop dead/get killed jogging? If I have a choice, I’m going to keel over while enjoing some decadent meal that I’ve prepared for friends– not while jogging. I know that’s not the “healthiest” attitude (for my physical health anyway), but please, save the lecture, I’m currently, “bonding with my fat”

**end of rant** 😉

2. TullahMarie - May 2, 2007

genreally = generally, I forgot to proofread and don’t know how to go back and edit. An “alpha woman” would have NEVER let that happen. Can I be one of y’all? Maybe an Omega-in-Waiting, since I’m husband/child free? lol

3. Rootietoot - May 2, 2007

I like you TullahMarie. My drivers license says 170 and I weigh 200 at the Dr’s. I’m 5’5″ and people are generally startled that I weigh so much.”You don’t look that big” they say. “How big is that?” I think. I’m an 18 as well.

And Omega is for ALL women, not just moms. Because all women have to deal with the societal pressures to be perfect and fabulous at all times, kids or no.

I’d be happy to put you on the role, if you have a website you can leave a link here, or email me at rootietoot AT gmail.com.

4. northern girl - May 2, 2007

You know, unless I archive dive into “old movie” picture, I’m not finding much. Even my most favorite actress of late – Toni Collette (she looked FAB in Muriel’s Wedding, Emma etc.) has dropped weight. She’s not scary – yet.

It is frustrating. But I’m still looking. I adore the Pine Sol lady – and the Dove Real Beauty folks struck gold.

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