My Size 14 Taboo…
….(Or size 10 if you’re from the US)
I decided to go on an impromptu shopping trip after a gym session this afternoon- I’d noticed I’d lost some weight so I was feeling pretty happy about finding new clothes, especially as I’d seen so many nice pieces on the internet. The first shop I went in was Topshop (quelle surprise!), where I managed to load myself up with skirts, tops, jeans and trousers- so many that I probably looked like a walking pile of clothes walking to the changing rooms.
Here’s where it gets bad. Horrible, train wreck kind of bad. Nothing fit me properly. Too small, unflattering cuts, you name it, I tried it on. After 3 years of not being particularly bothered about how much I weighed at university, since Christmas I’ve tried to be better with my diet and lifestyle. I’ve been sweating my way through 3 gym sessions a week, and I’ve been resisting cake…most of the time. I am the thinnest I have been a in a while. Now, this still puts me in the size 12 category which is the average size of women in the UK.
Sat in the changing rooms, clothes off their hangers and in a heap around me like some sort of fashion-apocolypse had just taken place, I had to admit to myself that I wouldn’t be buying anything from Topshop today.
And that got me thinking. (Firstly, where on earth was I going to shop from now on?! ) More importantly, it made me think about how clothes are sized. I’d never really thought about it before- I’ve been a size 12 for 2 and half years, so I know exactly what to pick up off the rails when I find something I like. But venturing out of the changing rooms, I started to do a bit of research. I noticed that for every item I picked up, there were endless size 6s, 8s, 10s….there were a few 12s here and there, but not many. Size 14s were practically non existent. But who judges what is a 6 and what is an 8? And why are sizes so different for different items of clothing?
When I got home, my mum pointed out that I should have just got a size 14 if I liked the clothes so much. The problem was that, even if they had the clothes I wanted in a 14, there was no way I was going to buy them. Just because they were a size 14.
I don’t know how I got this mentality- that it doesn’t matter that you’re wearing a pair of jeans that look amazing, if they’re a size 14, they’re too big to buy.
Maybe I’m afraid of what the sales assistant will say. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed. Maybe I’m worried size 14 will begin a downward slope that will end in me being lifted out of my bedroom by a crane. Whatever the reason, I left Topshop today empty handed, feeling deflated and full of self loathing.
I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do. Since I started shopping in high street stores in my mid teens, I’ve never felt fat or out of place in a shop. To be perfectly honest, Topshop has been my second home!
I have a feeling I will be returning to Topshop in the future- it would be unrealistic to say I will give up on them completely after one bad experience. I just hope I can be brave enough to try on a size 14 if I need to.