LET'S TALK CURVES
Okay, I want to get a little serious here for a minute. I want to talk about curves. And what it feels like to have them. What prompted me to write this, you ask? Well, it was a story I heard. And it got to me. I thought to myself- I need to get this out of my head. So here I am, talking about it to you. This is the deal.
Last night, I went to a little get-together with a group of friends. I was surrounded by a group of amazing, smart, beautiful women- we drank, we talked, and we laughed. It was great. Throughout the night, the topic of women's clothing came up. This is a topic that really grinds my gears. I DESPISE the way that women's clothing is sized. I could range between 3 different pant sizes, depending on where I'm shopping. We spoke specifically of a post a number of us had seen on Facebook that showed two pairs of shorts, both purchased at the same store, a few years apart. The shorts were the same numerical size, but one pair (the newer pair) was SIGNIFICANTLY smaller in size than the pair from a few short years ago. When I read things like that, for lack of a better term, it PISSES me off. 'WHY THE F*** IS THIS A THING?' I always think to myself.
There are so many companies right now that are trying to preach inclusive sizing, pushing different styles specifically made for women with curves, or women who are tall, or women who are short. Yet we as women all know that this sort of thing still happens. That five years ago we may very well have been considered a 10, and today (having not changed in physical stature), be a 14. It's SO DISCOURAGING. And frustrating. And infuriating. Not to mention that you could comfortably and even loosely fit into a men's size medium shirt, but be an XL in a woman's top. I don't get it. Don't get me wrong- I'm extremely happy that inclusive sizing and curvy styles are becoming more readily available. But you still have to go to a different store, a different part of the store, a different rack to find those sizes. It's isolating (and a little demeaning to be completely honest). Now that I have a daughter, I find myself caring more than ever about topics like these. This is one I've struggled with my whole life. I don't want this to continue to be the trend. I fully, wholeheartedly believe that if you are healthy, it shouldn't matter if you're a 6 or a 16. I'm so tired of retail stores dictating ideal body sizes- because healthy looks different on everyone. Let me say that again - HEALTHY LOOKS DIFFERENT ON EVERYONE. Don't forget this also goes the other way- because there are "skinny" girls everywhere begging for their bodies to be a different way too. It goes for all of us. Anyway- rant over- I'll get on with it.
The part that really ended up getting to me was when one of my dear friends sat there and told us about a point in her life that she went to her doctor, who proceeded to tell her she was obese, based on her height and weight. In all fairness, the doctor probably wasn't trying to be insulting (although mental health, as we know, is a huge part of overall health so a little sensitivity goes a long way- just saying). I also know that medically speaking, there are standards as to where they draw those lines (DAMN YOU BMI). They're somewhat impossible standards, if you ask me; if I listened to that chart, I'd be 145lbs and don't even believe I would look healthy - but I know those guidelines exist and that's probably what her doctor's opinion was based off of.
She left the doctor's office in tears.
Ugh. Whyyyyyy do women still have to feel like this?! The pressure is insane. Don't even get me started on pre- and post-partum bodies. We're doing our damn best. Everybody is. Is there room for improvement? Sure. For everyone. But in my opinion, if you're exercising, eating a balanced diet, indulging from time to time- overall, living a healthy lifestyle, your size should say nothing about you. Anyway, back to the story.
Time passed and she went to another doctor, and the topic of obesity was on the table again. But that time was different- she was then asked if she was happy with herself and her body. If she felt good. If she felt healthy. She was, and she did. She then left the doctor's office again in tears. HAPPY tears. Because even though she didn't fit into the sweet spot on their chart (seriously, does anyone??) her happiness and health suddenly mattered, instead of just what she looked like or what she weighed. Can I get an Hallelujah??? I said it twice already and I'll say it again now- healthy looks different on everyone.
It has taken me so. damn. long. to figure this out for myself. If you don't already know, I've had some major issues with my hips over the years. Seriously, it never mattered how many sports I played, how much I exercised, how much or little I ate- I had big hips. That's just my body- these hips do not lie. Say what you want about the Kardashians, but I for one will never be mad about hips and curves being idolized. There are still times I put something on and for a moment, I curse those hips. But if I'm being 100% completely and totally honest - I wouldn't trade them for anything anymore. I'm happy to have them. My husband LOVES them. I feel sexy and strong and curvy and FAB. There will be no "thigh gap" for me, literally ever, and I could not be more okay with it. I look gooooood in a dress. And DAMN, so do you.
I don't want to feel naive thinking that curves are having a moment. I want to BELIEVE it. Recently a woman by the name of Roxy Earle released her own line of clothing at Le Chateau, featuring sizes from 0-22. Same clothes, at the same store, on the same rack. She is FIERCE and unapologetic when it comes to promoting health, and body positivity. I want to believe that this new mindset is taking over. I want women to genuinely believe that their big chest or big hips or muscular arms are a source of pride, beauty, femininity and strength. Embrace it ladies. Appreciate what your body is doing for you. Whether it's creating your babies, or carrying you through life as you create lasting memories. There isn't one mould. There's no checklist. Actually, you know what - there is.
Healthy - CHECK.