Today an article was brought to my attention that may be over a year old but it expresses exactly what I think about a lot.
What the author says is so very true and I agree 100%. I especially like how nice she’s about it. I’ve read similar pieces before in which thinner people’s worries were just dismissed and I don’t believe in that. I have too many mental issues to just go and not acknowledge that a problem that only exists in your head is still a problem.
But that’s the thing. It is only in your head. And I know that your own head is usually your worst enemy, your strongest opponent. But imagine constantly having that internal battle and then add a battle with society as a whole and a general problem with something as simple as buying new underwear.
I think thin or ‘average’ people often just don’t realise how emotionally draining it can be to even just plan a shopping trip. I love, love, love shopping. But I can’t just say ‘Okay, I’ll go that this mall today and see what I’ll find’. Depending on what I intend to look for, I need to choose a specific mall, often even visit more than one because every single one of them has three, maybe four places that even cover plus sizes. Just an example: I’ve recently been to three different H&M’s, two of which had no plus size range. So yes, sometimes even the branches of big chains that usually cater to people like me just decide to leave us out, for whatever reason. Imagine how that feels. Imagine walking into your local H&M and look around and everyone already guessing what you’re looking for. That you’re not on the hunt for that perfect sweater, you’re not looking for where they have the winter coats, you’re not trying to find your way to the changing rooms. No, you’re fat and you’re looking for that already rather shameful dark corner that you know will carry something that fill fit over your butt. And of course, you won’t ask. Hell, who would go and ask the perfectly thin, totally fashionable young sales assistant where they’re hiding the plus sizes? But even without that, it’s bloody embarrassing to just quietly slink out of the store with empty hands. (Yes, H&M, I’m a totally satisfied customer, can you tell?)
Of course, it still sucks not being able to find something you like because you don’t like yourself in it. Of course, that’s painful. Of course, it’s hard to deal with your own reflection in the mirror when you’re unhappy with your body, whether it’s too large, too thin, too short or too anything for your personal taste. And this is not me playing the good old ‘Who Has It Worse?’ game.
I just really need people to understand that not liking your own body and being told that you have the wrong body are too different things and quite often, for us fat people, these two come together. That’s why I sometimes roll my eyes at my friends or why I sometimes need to count to ten before I give their body issues a second thought. It isn’t because I’m not taking them serious. That’s just me allowing myself a second or two to wish I only had my own insecurities to fight and not a whole fashion industry and society in general.