This geometric dress makes me happy. Mostly because I think it’s a super fun print and a cool shape, but also because I walked into a “normal size” store, picked a size up off the rack, tried it on, and it fit. Though this simple, everyday act may not seem like anything to a lot of people, it’s still a big deal sometimes for a girl who spent years relegated to the ‘big girl’ stores, who wore men’s clothes because sometimes they were the only ones that would fit, or whose size 18 jeans in high school were a major source of pride because they were purchased in the ‘regular’ women’s section at Old Navy.
In the fashion world, there are two distinct classifications of clothing that virtually everyone recognizes: model clothes, and plus-sizes. The model clothes are those destined for those who seem to have won the genetic lottery: 5’10” and a size 2, where everything seems to look good and like it was meant for that body type. Plus-sizes are pretty obvious: usually sizes 14 and up. Then there’s those of us who fall in the middle: somewhere in between a size 4 and size 14, wandering around in the fashion world as someone who constantly feels between these two marketing classifications, hence, an “in-betweener”.
As someone who was the fat kid and who has been a size 4, a size 24 and every size in between in their adult life (perhaps more on this to come), I can say with some authority that in terms of finding clothing that works, it is still a lot easier to be not a plus-size, even with today’s options and variety.
My eating disorder and I have a checkered past, that’s for sure. Feeling fat, ugly and frustrated with my body and simultaneously not wanting to really talk to anyone… It will lull you into a false sense of security where you feel okay, maybe even happy with your body, and the next, you’re fighting off tears in the fitting room at Anthropologie because nothing fits and everything seems to be falling apart around you (this has legit happened more than once). It’s a crappy feeling, and, sadly, it’s one that many of us are familiar with.
So I’m embracing my status as a solid in-betweener. I’ll never be a size 2 (or, rather, getting to a size 2 would require extreme measures on my part for which I’m not willing to sacrifice my mental, emotional and physical health). I’m in a better place with my body. I even like my body some of the time, which is a vast improvement from years of nothing but abject hatred for the human vessel I’m in. Here’s to the in-betweeners: may we find peace with our bodies and the clothes we put on them in the new year.