I actually wrote this post a few months ago and it has gone back and forth between my bin and draft folder ever since.
So today I’m going to talk about something that has been bothering me a lot lately. As usual, any comments and opinions are fully encouraged, but this post is also incredibly personal and I urge you to be kind to me. My feelings about myself are perfectly valid and I am perfectly valid for feeling them.
If I could sum up my thoughts in one line, it would be:
I am not small enough to wear highstreet brands comfortably, but am not big enough to qualify as plus-sized, and I feel guilty because I don’t know if I’m allowed to feel bad about that.
(Please assume any ‘big enough’ and ‘small enough’ to be said with the sincerest of intentions and the most inverted of commas.)
So, before you call me out for any kind of shaming of anyone, let me explain.
I am a size *holds breath* 10-14. ‘Omg that’s small, why are you complaining?’ I hear you gasp. Well, let me tell you the truth, I am not a conventional 10, or 12, or 14. My 10 is a large 10 and is only above the waist. My 12 is rare but sometimes necessary for jackets or tops, and I am 14 around my thighs and legs. I can’t buy dresses or skirts because of my differing sizes from top to bottom. I can’t wear dainty tops because I look off balance. High waisted clothes are a no unless I want to belt them tightly. I’m too short to opt for the maxi-dress. I HAVE to buy my bikinis and underwear separately because sets just don’t work out. I can only wear certain types of shoes so as to stop my legs looking like downward pointing triangles. I am possibly the most awkward pear shaped body in the world – don’t take me to court on that…
I am in, what I like to call, ‘jeans and jumper limbo.’ This means, for me, that I only feel comfortable wearing clothes that mask my figure completely because I am just so damn in the middle. Clothes are not designed for people like me.
Recent shopping trips (and of course, summer) have made me hugely aware of this insecurity. I walk around highstreet shops in complete silence and almost refuse to look at anything but accessories because I KNOW none of it is designed to fit me. I am not the 8 that is covering every mannequin and model, nor am I the size range promoted by the plus size shops. I am a defined as a sad afternoon in Primark.
Now this is all well and good. I still hear you tut about being happy with what I have and thankful for my size or whatever. That is the bit that gets me the most.
Am I allowed to be upset at my size?
This is the bit that haunts me. I am so constantly aware of being moral and socially upstanding and it pains me to admit that I am unhappy with my size when so much out there is about body acceptance and loving your curves/lack of.
Am I allowed to be upset that I am stuck in jeans and jumper limbo, when there is so much shaming of smaller/larger bodies?
I don’t actually know the answer to this. I wish I did because it would make my life so much easier.
The one thing that upsets me more than my body/clothing situation is feeling like I can’t say anything about it because I am in the middle. Recent twitter events have only seemed to make this worse for me – this raging inner guilt that forces me to keep my problems deeply buried for fear of upsetting anyone. Even writing this I’m having to physically force it out of my head and onto my screen. Maybe I’m just tired…
Does the guy/gal in the middle need a champion in the self love movement too, or are we just meant to pick a side? What if those sides don’t want me?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know where I’m going with this… I think this post is more about asking for answers than it is a groundbreaking piece of social journalism. I genuinely do not know how I am meant to feel about myself and need your help to become enlightened.
I guess until this question is answered, I’ll continue to avoid Topshop and spend the rest of my free time looking at stationery online. (Seriously, I can’t wear ANYTHING in Topshop. ANYTHING.)
I really hope my intentions with this post were clear. I am not about shaming or detracting from the struggles of others in the face of my own and if I have done so please let me know.
I just want to fit in, just like everyone else.