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?


Anonymous said...

That, is a very good question. I stopped worrying about my size once I realised it's anywhere from a XS to a L (seriously) depending on the brand. The worst is when people buy clothing that doesn't fit them because they're convinced they belong in a particular size ("I refuse to buy anything bigger than a medium!" even if the M doesn't fit properly). Regardless of your size, there are so many ways to dress well and accentuate your best features.

Besides, I'm sure you looked fantastic today!

Elaine said...

I fluctuate between sizes too depnding on the store. Isn't that annoying?!?? I think not knowing what your size is in a certain store is more bothersome than my numbers!! I've come to accept that you can't expect to look good if you're not buying clothes that actually fit your body, not what you think your body should wear.

Kitty said...

It's a proven fact that stores have NO EARTHLY IDEA what they are talking about when it comes to sizes. This is why I never order from catalogs. You have to try things on to know what's up. Ignore them. You're fine the way you are. Rock that hourglass figure missy!

Sydnie said...

It's so sad that something like this can make us feel so down on ourselves. I think that everyone should do what you did, and embrace the size they are. We are all beautiful, no matter what we look like, and I don't think we need to look at a size chart to tell us that. Great post; you have an amazing talent for writing!

Enter my giveaway!

Kelly said...

I have so many sizes in my closet that all fit me - even in one brand I will wear 2-3 different sizes. And when I compare my measurements to the size charts, different parts of my body span like 6 sizes. So I've come to the conclusion that size charts means nothing at all. Plus you sound like a gorgeous hourglass, and I personally think proportions are much more important than size!

amanda said...

First of all, I must tell you how insanely jealous I am of your figure. You're so proportionate, it's sexy!

I've totally given up on trying to figure out what "size" I am. My clothes run the gamut from XS to XL -- and that's even in the same brand! If designers can't decide (even in their own line, how schizophrenic of them) what number corresponds to my body shape, then I should stop fretting over something so arbitrary.

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Anonymous said...

That's why the best thing to do is bring a tape measure with you when you go shopping because even exact size numbers can be misleading. Just go by measurements. Because there might be a size 1 but nobody has a 1" waist lol.

Anonymous said...

just dropping by to say hello

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