For many years I was rocking a size 18, and I say rocking now yes, because looking back I can see that I was beautiful back then as well – I am just more healthy and feel better about myself now.I am down to a size 12 which, to me is a huge accomplishment 🙂 and no I was never skinny girl who fit into the Top-shop Joni Jeans that only go to a size 32! That is something I will never wear because guess what? Even though I want to lose 10 more kg I love my curves and I don’t ever want to lose them! I am saying this not taking anything away from the amazing women whose body types fit these clothes – but we are not all made with the same shape and we should be able to love ourselves no matter our shape!
Last April I needed to get myself a strapless bra to wear underneath the orange and pink dress (the dress in the pic on the right above) for my brothers wedding in may and my friends came shopping with me, we walked into this store and I could only find bras up to a C cup Im a 36D so I asked the sales assistant if they had the D cup she looked at me and said we don’t carry plus size maybe you want to go to the store down the road they have bigger sizes for heavier girls. Needless to say I felt crushed – I felt so good about myself when we set out to go shopping and she managed to crush my spirit with 1 sentence – but I acted like what she said didn’t hurt and I went to the other store and bought what I needed from there. And even though the sales assistant at the other shop made me feel great and showed me some lovely pieces in my size – I kept obsessing about what the first one had told me for months.
A few months later I found this gorgeous website and almost all the clothes I found were so totally me I was ready to do some damage to my visa immediately and I was picturing just how hot I was gonna look in these clothes already … I was unsure whether to take a Medium or a large however so I checked the sizing guide and …. drum roll please …. size 12 on this website is actually XXL and you could only find a handful of items in that size on this site as the majority were Medium (size 6) or Large (size 8). And I found myself feeling upset that I was a size 12 and thinking I need to start working on losing more weight ASAFP.
A couple of weeks have passed and I thought a lot about it and I realise that Size 12 is a size thats worn confidently by so many women! Ashley Graham who is an absolutely gorgeous woman wears a size 14, and she’s not over here wondering how her life will go on. She’s just loving her body and showing her beauty to the world.
It’s about loving who you are. If you don’t love who you are, you are never going to feel 100 percent satisfied in life. It all starts with you. If you don’t love you, nobody else is going to be able to.”
So I did some research and found out that In the modelling world, a size 8 and up is considered plus-size. Yes, I, too, am wondering, how in the world?! I have never found a plus size retailer that sells a size 8, merely because a size 8 in most people’s standards is a straight size and can be found almost anywhere that you could also find a size 2 or 4. This is the same industry that promotes clothes for women a size 14/16 and up by using models who fit more of a size 8/10 and then of course you never look like the models do in those clothes when you try them on and you feel bad about yourself because those clothes are made for smaller bodies. I’ve said it many times before, those women are gorgeous, I will never fault a smaller woman for being stunning of course but can’t we start using models who actually kind of look like the women who wear those sizes – aren’t size 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, and larger women beautiful as well?
Then, I started looking into the fashion industry a little bit more. Did you know that Forever 21 considers a size 12 plus size in their range? along with Missguided and Boohoo – Last month I got some size 12 clothes from boohoo – they did fit in terms of size but the fit on me was terrible – my boobs were squashed in most of them, they were too short and unflattering on me. ASOS’s plus sizes begin at a size 12, however, their straight sizes end at a 14 – ok confusing much? I understand that they might want to keep a grey blurred line between divisions – but when we tell women that a size 12 is plus size, we slowly but surely make it known that she is not small enough to be considered stylish. Yes, it’s seemingly insignificant to others, but all these small things add up to women being ashamed of an arbitrary number such as the size of jeans they wear. I mean seriously how messed up is it that smart successful beautiful women feel the need to be ashamed about a number?!
67% of women are a size 14 and up, so why do we consistently feel the need to minimize them?
So now I understand why women feel bad about being a size 12 or a size 14 or any other size because most of us are never happy with our size! I know women who are a size 8 and they sometimes feel big even though a size 8 is a healthy amazing size for women. Why? Because we’ve found ways of systemically shaming women who wear sizes we deem as “large.” Whether it’s the largest option available in a straight size store or the smallest option in plus sizes, women are told that it’s not small enough to be straight sizes and not large enough to be in plus sizes. All of this just reiterates how stressful it is to shop for clothing because we’re so stressed out about which size we should be wearing and how much it all matters in our heads.
It’s been stated time and time again that we put too much emphasis on the sizes we wear, but what we fail to recognize is just how much the way our clothes are sized and presented to us affect how we view ourselves.
I’d like to say, “I have completely stopped worrying about what size clothes I wear, and I fell in love with my body exactly how it is!” Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened, and that’s okay. Yes I love myself but yes there are bad days for me like there are for everyone. I might feel bloated when I have my period or I might feel my ass is too big in jeans so I tend ti avoid wearing jeans. But I am now learning how to look at how the fashion industry portrays sizing and plus size women and understanding that they might not always be right.
Speaking up on how these things bother us, too, gives us a voice and an avenue to hopefully see a change in the future. Have you ever been shamed in a store for the size that you carry be it too big or too small? Share this post! Let’s all make all women realise this is not on!