As featured in Mogul. You can view the full article here.
If you peer your head into my closet, you’ll find yourself saying to me, “Girl, you’ve got way too many clothes in here.” And after a few minutes of me defending myself, tossing my Givenchy sweater across my shoulders, and sashaying around my bedroom, eventually, you’ll stop laughing (my runway walk is horrif) and you’ll exclaim, “You don’t need all of this.”
Ah, how true, how true, FALSE that is.
It’s true, I’m a girl who loves to shop. What woman doesn’t get a tingle when they swipe their credit card over a cart full of brand new skirts, and Bath and Body work scented candles, and new face masks and ugh – I’m getting excited just thinking about it!
But, aside from what I’ll deny is an impulsive shopping disorder (I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY, MOM!) there’s a reason my closet is bulging past where the door can close, I have two bins of clothes I keep in the closet and switch out for the summer, and a chest of drawers that’s overflowing with wrestling t-shirts two sizes too small.
It’s because my weight fluctuates so much, and so often, that I don’t ever know when it’s time to toss something.
…because the chances are, what I throw out in August, is either going to be too large or too small come September.
My weight has always been an issue for me. I’ve been as tiny as a Hollister model flaunting a size 3 jeans (it’s true, and yes, you do begin to ignore the smell when you work there) and as “large” as buying a size 14 pants nearly two summers ago. With a spinal condition, an overload of stress, and an office job where I spent 10 hours each day sitting down and having easy access to the never-ending supply of donut-holes all my co-workers used to bring in, losing control over my physique has become harder the older I become.
I’m not twenty anymore and can drop five pounds by cutting out half my dinner size, and thriving off three hours of sleep and a diet soda. I’m nearing thirty, and while I recently learned that I can’t digest caffeine at a late hour anymore (thanks, biology) I also see my keeping off the weight takes twice the amount of work and effort it did just a few years ago. And, I’m sorry, but sometimes, after working a long day, making dinner, doing homework, and running errands, I don’t actually feel like driving to the gym, working out for an hour, and driving home. Sometimes, (gasp) I feel like spending that hour of free time watching television, or cleaning my house, or grabbing coffee, or writing – or an actual productive use of my time having fun – without the guilt associated with it that that’s the reason for my double-esque chin.
So what’s the reason for this whole, rambling rant???
Well, it all has something to do with this commercial I seen the other day from Gwynnie Bee. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s an online subscription for plus sized women’s clothing sizes 10-32.
I mean, who doesn’t love an online subscription to get items you can’t always find in stores? I do, I do!
But…here’s the thing that bothers me, and no, this doesn’t have to do with Gwynnie Bee specifically as much as it does society as a whole.
So, this website, caters to plus sized women sizes 10-32, which makes me ask the question: Since when is a size 10 suddenly considered plus size?
Now, I’m all about inner beauty and I think that you’re just as gorgeous if you’re a size 2, or a size 32; as the testimonials on Gwynnie Bee summarize, each body is beautiful, and every woman should be reminded of that as opposed to being shamed for not fitting into one standard of beauty.
(You, go, girl)
But, do we actually live in a world where a size 10 – a size that I wear – is considered plus size!? You have GOT to be kidding me!
Two years ago, I had an article published on Elite Daily entitled “I’m A Size 8 And Not Pretty: Why Your Standard Of Beauty Depends On You.” I wrote it after visiting my closest Forever 21 store, and walking out of the dressing room, completely disheartened because nothing – and I mean nothing – not even the XL skirt and fourteen shirts I tried on – looked even remotely appealing on me. My belly bulged so much that I felt like a can of biscuits after you just popped the tin on the counter (after I let out a cute scream because I’m still not expecting that POP sound it makes).
And, a size 8 was not “fat” at all – at least not in my standards. And sure, a size 8 would have fit me totally differently at different store with clothing that was made out of better fabric, but it was the idea of how disheartened and ugly I felt leaving one of my favorite stores of my early-twenties. When you try something on and it looks terrible, it breaks this regular illusion you have of yourself. I thought I was pretty;I thought I was pretty skinny but the mirror right in front of me convinced me otherwise and so I left the mall, not wanting to try and find a perfectly fitting size 8, because I didn’t want that feeling to last.
That article received an overwhelming response. I had countless girls email me, contact me via Facebook, and Instagram, re-tweet me in the Twitter-verse thanking me for my powerful words. I even had actress Sophia Bush tweet my article out on her own accord, quoting my article for the world to see, and I thought to myself – this issue is larger than the insecurities I felt in my hometown – they’re nationwide and none of us (celebrities included) are immune from feeling insecure about our bodies.
As I’ve said, my weight fluctuates, and now, here I am, not fat, yet not really skinny, able to rock a size 8 if I lay on the bed and shimmy my thighs and guts into my favorite pair of jeans, and insecure about the fact that I wear a size 10 comfortably – and it’s hard to remind myself that that’s actually okay.
I’m already riddled with insecurities about how I look. This is why I watch shows like America’s Next Top Model and get the motivation to start working out so I can look like them because shows like that aren’t just entertainment anymore, but guidelines on how to be most physically attractive. I redo Instagram selfies, and wear over sized sweaters, even though there’s nothing actually wrong with me – nothing wrong with any of us, as it’s only a vain, insecure feeling we hold ourselves in because society makes it easy to compare us to someone else whose prettier and thinner.
And, then, when I feel like I’m starting to accept my body for the way it is, I stumble across something that says that a size 10 is plus sized. It’s a label that should be forgotten, because what woman wants to be labeled as plus sized anything? If I am, in my size 10 jeans and unflattering crop top, considered plus sized, then let’s say that I’m plus sized in humility. Say that I’m plus sized in spirit, in compassion, in style, and in sense of humor. Say that I have a plus sized heart.
But, the notion of calling someone plus sized, whether a size 10, a size 18, or a size 32 is another unflattering label we cast onto someone that further objectifies their body, and clearly shows that that’s what our focus is on. It’s not about the person, it’s about the body; their fit.
Well guess what? A size 10 is not a “plus size.” Because there’s no such thing as a plus sized body. But if you’re a society who thinks that anyone with hips, breasts, and curves deserves the word plus be added to their description, then I guess it just goes to show how little we’ve actually progressed as a whole. For a society that tries to claim that we’re all beautiful and that we should all be proud of the bodies we have, it’s hard to believe that when the standard of “normal size” and “plus sized” seems to be getting smaller and smaller by the second.
If we continue down this route, then before we know it, a size 4 will also be considered plus sized.
If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is.
Just as how ridiculous it is that a size 10 is now considered plus sized by some standards.
Or the fact that plus sized is still considered at all.