Being plus size isn’t easy. Just ask anyone in the secluded and often discretely hidden section of any clothing store. Or perhaps, somewhere specifically for plus size women. It can be a real slap in the face at times. Trust me, I know. It’s hard to believe, but I used to be plus size. A size 16 to be exact, but I was just 15 years old and had a petite frame of just 5’4″. I weighed in at 197 pounds….technically obese. So in a way, this is very personal to me and I suspect, many others.
My partner Paul recently wrote an editorial about his own experience with fashion. Today I felt like I wanted to share mine because it’s so different, and I believe I can help and inspire others with its honest and candid story. It begins like any other bullied youngster on the school ground, it all starts there. Once someone calls you fat at age 5, you just somehow believe it; It’ll always be that way. You’ll always be that way. It’s conditioned into so many young girls and boys that it breaks my heart. Being unhealthy is one thing, but body shaming is another- and there is an enormous difference- whom some don’t like to accept. So there I was, going to the same Penningtons plus size stores with my plus size mother, trying to find anything that fit remotely well or was mildly cool.
But the insurmountable pressure got to me. I wanted to at least wear clothes for people my age, with cool prints and styles. Something, at the time, I didn’t have to hide behind. Being addicted to eating is the most horrible addiction I can think of; You have to eat to live. Still determined as ever, in 7 months I lost 61 pounds. And I did it the healthy way. All of a sudden I could buy cool clothes and it opened my world to colors and styles I had only dreamed of wearing since seeing the ads in magazines. Still a size 6-8 at this point I was content. I thought at that time no one like me with large hips and a busty chest is ever gunna be a size zero. Then things changed. I had been laid off, and then gotten sick. With the stress surmounting and poverty striking fast, by the time I was 22 I weighed 106 pounds and a staggering size 0. Despite the fact I’m now healthy and fit, to this day, I’m thin shamed.
Being a size 16 is one thing. Going from every size in between to perhaps the most hourglass zero I’d ever seen on a woman was life changing. However the climate in 2016, being small is unappealing to many, yet I grew up in a time when all people talked about was how fat people were. Now, we’re too thin. So which is better? Which is more socially acceptable? Marilyn Monroe of the 50’s or Twiggy of the 60’s? Obviously you’d think I’d say my now stable size 0 is idealized for a aspiring model and singer. The whole package right? At my height, one weight or the other is just too dramatic. Clothes don’t fit properly, no one thinks someone with a 22″ waist can have 34″ hips. But that’s how our bodies are. And the fashion industry just loves to make us feel bad about it one way or the other. I’m different sizes in different brands and most of my clothes I tailor. I bet most of our readers have to do the same.
We need a major shift. It’s changed so much from what body type is fashionable in a certain era, but I ask myself, why aren’t body types the future? Can we make the fashion houses open up doors, even to some degree? It’s slowly changing. But it’s not enough. People like myself and Paul at Fashionablefax want to change the status quo; the gold standard of what is in or out. It’s no longer clear. But with us as a guide, you can trust we will be the first to tell you. It’s okay to be whatever size you want. It’s your body. Now we just need more likeminded people to agree and perhaps, dear readers, change the fashion world forever. Who knows. I keep dreaming, do you? Just some of our Fashionablefax.
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