Today I tried on a pair of shorts that were too tight. I was thinking that I had mistakenly picked a size S, but then I checked the label and realized they were size L. This meant I was bigger than the last chance to wear that piece of clothing. But how come, if I’m no bigger than the average Impressionist nude?
I’m not thin. I have a round belly and skin folds. I’m soft to the touch. I’m mostly comfortable with my body, but every time I’m unable to find clothes that fit me I feel like I’m being reminded that my appearance is tragedy. Gigantic gruesome girl from outer space. It doesn’t even matter if another human being finds me attractive as I am—what they’re telling me with their ever-shrinking sizes is that everything about me is wrong, especially eating and getting pleasure from food. Hunger pangs and self-deprecation, that’s what life should be about, right? The fact that I’m not actively seeking to alter my shape into compactness is unacceptable to a society that keeps trying to convince women that they should only strive to become a passive agent of titillation. Thus, in order to trick me into continuous self-punishment for my being comfortable with my own human nature, they make it look as if I had to dress in tents.
I am not horrible nor too big for any standards. It’s hard to say it with true conviction after I’ve been led to believe that I’m meant to fit clothes and not the other way around, and that not fitting is a huge character flaw that must be fixed at once. But I shall repeat it until it rolls smoothly off my tongue. I will not give in to self-hatred.