“Your body isn’t wrong. The clothing industry is.”
NOTE: I sent this email out to my Baby Mama Smackdown group and it brought up some amazing discussions so I thought it was really important to share here as well.
In 2 days I am leaving on my first trip without my dudes since I had a baby and (surprise, surprise), I don’t have a bathing suit that fits me.
I was on my way to Winners when I spotted that La Vie En Rose had an entire swimwear section. Score!
I browsed a bit and when the sales girl asked me if she could help I asked “Are your sizes fairly on point? Or do they fit smaller?’. “I would say they fit true to size for sure”, she said. “Great!” and I went about my merry way picking all the styles I liked in a couple different sizes just to see.
I headed into the change room and started to try things on. As I tried things on and tried to squeeze my body into larger and larger sizes, I finally tapped out at the XL and was still overflowing.
I was aghast. I started playing that old record in my head “HOW DID IT GET THIS BAD!?! WHEN DID I LOSE CONTROL OF MY BODY!?! WHY DON’T I LOOK LIKE I USED TO?!? WILL I EVER BE THE SAME!?!” and, admittedly, I started to cry right then and there in the change room of a lingerie store.
I pulled myself together and hustled out of there, trying not to make eye contact with the sales girl because I was too embarrassed to admit that my body wasn’t “True to size”.
I came home, texted a friend and my husband, and then turned to the Baby Mama Smackdown board because I had promised myself all the vulnerability I could muster when creating this program.
Within 5 minutes, they had me feeling much better about my predicament. (The support in that group is everything I could have hoped for and more).
But I think Julia’s comment rang the most true for me “Your body isn’t wrong. The clothing industry is”.
How are we, as women, supposed to battle our own internal demons when there are so many others out there to whisper into our ears? How are we ever supposed to feel good about ourselves when an entire industry (that is, arguably, created for us) is LITERALLY telling us that we don’t fit in? That our bodies are not ‘true to size’ and don’t belong.
I wish I had an answer.
I am still searching for that answer.
All I can do for myself is everything that makes me feel good and not shitty. And most of the time that involves exercise and eating well. That is the only thing that I can control about this whole mess of society that devalues women’s bodies.
And every day I will try to remind myself that I am not ‘too much’, I am enough.