The numbers really brainwashed me, and I know I’m not the only one who is massively influenced by them: the numbers brainwash society, too. Not only can we not discuss our weight or size; we’re also expected to strive for a smaller size at all times, to diminish the number. That’s what happened to me, and this is what opened my eyes.
Once I stopped weighing myself, my arch-enemy Anorexia found another way to let something very trivial determine the course of my day and my life: my clothing size. It was just too bad for Anorexia that they didn’t have clothes smaller than XS… until the day they did. At one point, I easily fit XXS and my jeans went from 27/32 to 25/34, which was sometimes still too wide at the waist. Normal people want their clothes to fit properly; I wanted to feel them hanging loosely around my body so I knew I wasn’t too fat. I didn’t want them to fit me and that’s exactly what I achieved: not even the smallest sizes fit me. Did it make me feel thin or pretty? No, never.
The accepted size
I’m not even surprised any more that the smallest size is the accepted size. After all, we see it everywhere: on television, in films, in magazines, on the web. I learned to make a clear distinction between, for example, the fashion models I see in magazines, and myself. It is their job to look as good as possible, which in the fashion industry often equals to being thin, so I keep that in mind. They are also modeling haute couture creations that are rarely meant for everyday-wear. Mannequins in display windows, however, portray clothes that normal, everyday people are supposed to wear. Similar to fashion models, the mannequins are tall, slim – no, thin – and often wear XS-sized pieces. Chances are slim that the clothes on the mannequins will look similar on us, because we’re humans with real bodies — not to mention the fact that we don’t use clothes-pegs to tie the clothes together in back and shape them. The reality is that no one looks exactly the same as anyone else. The reality is that a lot of people have some issues with their bodies, be it wide hips, love handles, a big butt, or tiny boobs. I don’t think that the fact we’re never really happy with our appearances as we feel that we have to look picture perfect is our fault, but I do think we can do something about it.
There is someone else who must have thought the same and the so-called Lovely Body Dress was created by the brand George. It promises an hourglass-shaped figure and reduced waist by three inches. Built-in panels should hide bumps and lumps, and should lift bits and tits. The brand director even said that “women should be celebrating their curves and the on-trend illusion ‘LBD’ helps them do just that, giving women hourglass curves in an instant with its very own built in technology” (Daily Mail).
This illusion-dress is exactly what it says it is: an illusion. Brainwashing. It does not help any woman in the slightest way, because when she undresses herself, she will see the bits she doesn’t like. The fact that they were hidden all day even emphasises their presence and will make her forget to look at the beautiful things she already has. It creates the illusion that we need this garment, but we don’t.
We don’t need these illusions because, if we accept our size (XS to XL), if we’re healthy, if we’re happy with our bodies, then we don’t need clothes to cover them up. We need clothes that accentuate our best features, the ones that we’re proud of. We should be proud of who and what we are, instead of focusing on what we are not. Beauty is not about hiding; it’s about being beautiful.