I love fashion, but I hate shopping.
I’ve not always felt like this, but in the last year, it’s become a real problem.
I know what my style is and what I want to wear.
But there are two things that get in my way when I want to look at feel good.
The fashion industry, and my body.
Hello, and welcome to Sortin’ My Life Out, a blog series talking about trying to get my life back on track. Life hasn’t been going the way I want it to over the last 12 months and I’m trying to change that, one blog post at a time. This chapter, I want to talk about clothes, fashion, and being the ‘plus size’ category for the first time in my life.
Clothes shopping can really fuck with your mind, can’t it? Not everyone is body concious, but for the ones that are, shopping for things that you’re gonna wear on your body for people to see can be an uncomfortable, soul destroying experience. I don’t think I’ve ever come out of a shopping spree with bags hanging from my arms like Cher in Clueless; I’m not sure anyone has. The only thing that I usually come out of a store with is shame (oh god this is getting deep).
Plus size is nothing to be ashamed of. Being fat, curvy, busty, is nothing to be ashamed of. I know (and know of) so many women who embrace and love themselves, and yet no matter my size throughout my life, I’ve always struggled to love my body. Since becoming the weight I am, I’ve realised how much self-loathing and fatphobia is reinforced in the fashion industry, and I’m not talking about fashion magazines and runway shows, just basic high street shopping.
- Shops don’t sell my size
This has got to be the worst one. It speaks volumes about what the industry and society in general think of you; you’re not even worthy to wear our clothes, to even be dressed. It’s like, you could make so much money from selling plus size clothing, but you would rather alienate an entire group of people because what…it’s too expensive to make? (Which we know isn’t true since most UK companies outsource cheap labour from other countries because they’re arseholes). It may be partly due to that, but honestly. A wealthy brand like Topshop just doesn’t want fat people in their clothes so slaps an XL symbol on a size 16 to make you feel shit and leave their store. So thanks for making me feel inhuman.
2. Shops don’t think you want to dress nice
This may be down to preference, but most of the clothes I want to buy aren’t even available in the plus size range. Plus size range, most of the time, is grey jumpers, track suit bottoms, and weird, billowy dresses that will only make me look bigger. The diversity in the ‘normal’ clothing range (including petite and tall because petite and tall are allowed to look great!) is incredible. If you’re a size 8-10 UK then you can literally buy any piece of clothing you want, because they’ll have it in your size. Me? I either have to wear something that resembles a bin bag, OR, luckily can get the plus size version of the ‘normal’ sized item of clothing but oh wait! ….it costs more. THANKS.
3. Shops want you to feel ashamed
While shopping with a couple of friends the other day, we ventured around looking for the plus size range. It was upstairs, in the corner, without working lights. So, not only was I shopping in the dark, I was alone and effectively ‘stored away’ by the shop. Even my friends noticed how little the store cared for this section; the clothes weren’t in any order and not tidied/organised properly, the clothes on sale were quite wintry and made for colder weather (even though it was the hottest day of the year so far in the UK and all the other sections offered summer clothes), and a lot of the clothes didn’t even have price tags on.
I didn’t bother looking, and came out of the store empty-handed, as per usual.
Despite working to have a healthier body and losing weight, I still want to look good in the clothes I wear. The idea that I’m not a valued person in society because I’m larger, however, is such a toxic yet ingrained view in society. There are people my size (and larger) who are not out to lose weight, and are happy and healthy at the size they’re at, which is great! But me being the size I am for only half a year has done so much damage to my perception of my body, I can’t imagine what other people who have maybe been a certain size their whole life must feel. I think hearing people’s opinions about my body as a teen or even a child would have crushed me.
I have no advice this week, I’m just mad. Fuck clothing stores!
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