the “average” woman is not so average

Everybody wants to be famous

 

Not me though. I mean, I would love the recognition and maybe some extra money to keep myself and my girl happy but I don’t need fame. I want to make a difference. I started sharing photos of myself on my Instagram so that others could see me. Like really see me. I shared photos of myself that a year ago would have been way out of my comfort zone. Some of them are still out of my comfort zone, and I’m the last person to give a shit about comfort. I will wear what I want and I know I look damn good doing it. I started posting because Aerie made me love myself. Aerie made me love my body despite not having a conventionally attractive figure. I became proud of myself for the first time. I wasn’t thinking “Oh God I look so fat compared to her,” anymore. Instead I was thinking “Damn, she looks so good! But so do I!” I began to see myself as just as worthy of attention as the professional models society fawns over. I had a goal in mind. I decided I want to be a model who represents the average girl.

 

I am not “skinny”. I am not “plus-size”. I am average. And average means boring? I guess? Realistically, average gets overlooked. “Average” seems to be big boobs and big butt with a slim waist. Or an athletic size 12 is seen as plus-size, making me feel like I should be wearing the plus size clothes that are too big for me because the “regular” section is fitting too small on me. I’ve got broad shoulders, thick thighs but no ass, I wear a 34D bra and I’ve got a slim waist, wide hips, and a tummy. It isn’t a particularly large tummy, but it’s a tummy just the same. Where is the love for girls who are bigger than a typical size Large but smaller than a plus-size?

 

Recently, I’ve been shopping around for professional clothes for my new job. I work at a mall part time so I tend to shop the stores within my mall. I’ve shopped Aerie and American Eagle, Forever 21, Rue 21, Charming Charlie’s, Aeropostale, H&M and a few other stores for my demographic. I’ve also looked at Target and a few discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. What I’ve found across the board is that for stores like F21 and H&M, my size doesn’t really exist, and if it does, it’s only in a few items. At Forever 21, I struggle to find tops in the non-plus section that fit across my torso evenly. Tops usually fail to accommodate my chest. However, the tops in the plus section absolutely swallow me. They’re unflatteringly too large and never hug the curves I do have. It doesn’t help that F21 doesn’t carry XL in most of their clothing. If you’re bigger than their size large but smaller than their plus size, you’re shit out of luck. Most of the bottoms at F21 either fit in the waist but not the hips and thighs or vice versa. This tends to be the case for me with jeans at most stores as well.

 

My size never stays consistent across the board either. At American Eagle and Aerie I can wear a medium or large top, depending on the stretch, but at Target and Old Navy and Aeropostale, I have to wear an XL. The inconsistent sizing of women’s clothes contributes a lot to body image issues and self-confidence. I also think it’s ridiculous that sizes are inconsistent because that’s probably why the lines for women’s dressing rooms are always so long. Men don’t seem to have to try much on at all, because their size is almost always the same wherever they go. Why haven’t we addressed this problem beyond switching to a “one size fits all” mindset like Zara or Don’t Ask Why? The “one size” solution doesn’t even work beyond socks and hats, anyway, and sometimes that isn’t even true. All bodies are made differently and beyond having to change sizes because of the stretch of different materials like satin or velour/velvet, most clothing that is primarily cotton or polyester should already be made the same way, therefore the same size.

 

Think about it, clothing companies! We all claim to be body positive, but we aren’t doing anything to make sizing more consistent so that girls who are typically a medium don’t have to feel like shit when they only fit in a store’s XL. We need to do better.

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