Wednesday, October 7, 2009
41 34 42
I took out a measuring tape. And I measured myself.
41 bust, 34 waist, 42 hips.
At first I was excited-- an hourglass! And then what did I do?
Off to the internet! I checked all the size charts I could find at every clothing company I could think of. Old Navy says I'm an Extra Large (though everything I own from them is Medium). I'm technically off the charts at Banana Republic. New York and Company? Extra Large. Forever 21 thinks I'm a 1X. Though, really, I'm somewhere in between because my numbers don't correspond quite right with anyone's size chart.
Right now I am wearing a Medium camisole from Old Navy, a Large Forever 21 dress (and they run super small), and an Old Navy cardigan that's a Medim. The dress I wore yesterday, which was also from Old Navy, was a Medium.
I measured myself, and I felt horrified by what the size charts said, even though, strangely, the clothes I'm wearing right this very moment tell a different story.
"No way I'm a 1X!" I cried. I picked up the tape measure again, just to make sure.
But why do I care? Why did I feel like I looked pretty hot today, but as soon as I found out what my measurements arbitrarily mean, I felt like a lump of lard in a pink dress that should go hide itself under the covers and stop eating until it's not so flabby, dammit!
And what does this leave me? Flustered and incredibly sad, remembering when my size was smaller and "oh I used to look so good!" It leaves me with questions that make me furious.
Why do any of us care what the numbers on our clothing say? They don't mean anything. They're symbols that someone we don't even know decided will stand for a certain amount of fabric-- but who was that person to say what's big or little? Why is it that girls cry in the dressing room when they discover they have to wear the size 8 dress because the size 6 is too snug? What awful, awful person or entity decided they had the right to attach a person's value as a human being, their beauty, to the number on their clothing?
And why do we listen?