Interview with a Zinester: Ponyboy Violet!

Ponyboy – radical eating disorder activist, author of ANAlog, tabler at this coming Feminist Zinefest – gives us the scoop on their work:


1. Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

i write a zine called ANAlog: dispatches on d.i.y anorexia recovery.  it’s a zine about grappling with eating disorders that i write for radical-identified folks specifically, because, while a lot of mainstream literature has been created to try and address why eating disorders happen and how to recover from them, i have not found these narratives to adequately address my own struggles, or the struggles of the other radical and queer folks i know who’ve lived with eating disorders.

2. How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone? 
it was all about doris for me!  i had read zines before doris, but i didn’t fully understand their magic until doris was introduced to me, and i can’t actually sum up the humungous impact this zine has had on my life.  doris is profound without being pretentious, self-reflective without being self-important.  it is poetic and playful and political in equal measure.  it’s silly and severe, shy and bold.  it’s been a giant influence.

3. What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

i am genderqueer — though i was female-assigned at birth, i don’t fit into the female/male binary and don’t identify as female.  given this, i’ve had a complicated relationship to feminism — or, maybe more accurately, i’ve had a complicated relationship to some feminists and their expressions and definitions of feminism.  i don’t identify with an essentialist feminism, one that focuses on sussing out who the “real” women in the movement are, and in my zine i talk about the liberation i experienced when i discovered that i could call my body parts whatever i wanted, and when i realized that i didn’t have to let culture dictate what my body should look like/behave like.  all of that being said, i think feminism should be widened, not done away with, and i think a lot of good people are doing good work to widen feminism today — to make sure that it includes all kinds of bodies and identities, to make sure that it stays within a radical framework.  i would like to think of my zine as a contribution to this widening feminism, and think it’s crucial that any radical examination of eating disorders take place  through a feminist lens: eating disorders are rebellions against capitalism and patriarchy’s incursions on our bodies, and the state has always attempted to control the population by controlling female-assigned bodies first and foremost.

4. What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

see question number two! : )

5. If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

hmm… as an eating disorder activist, this is an interesting question to consider!  i think i’d be a knife with a pink handle.


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