Dysmorphia: Marilyn Monroe was a Size 12
In honor of Women's Day, I want to talk about the clothing industry.
I keep getting ads for plus size lingerie in my FB feed.
I post a lot of body positivity stuff, because...well...duh. body positivity rocks.
Love the skin you are in.
But, it highlights an issue.
I am a size 8.
"Regular" lingerie doesn't fit me
"Plus size" lingerie doesn't fit me.
I am a size 8.
I exist in the 'mushy middle' when it comes to lingerie. Too big for most regular sized things and too small for (the cups) of most plus sized stuff.
Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. Yes, really.
I am a seamstress. When I say I am a size 8, I mean, based on patterns and measurements, I am a size 8. If you look at the back of most patterns, they tell you to measure at least three places and go with the size that fits the largest of your three measurements.
In some jeans, I'm a 10/12 and others I can squeeze into a six. But off you look on the back of most patterns (except Vogue), I am a size 8.
That's what Marilyn Monroe's "size " was based on -- patterns and measurements.
WTF is wrong with the world when I can't find lingerie that fits and Marilyn Freaking Monroe was a "plus sized" babe?
Don't get me wrong, I love ALL-sized babes.
Sexy is NOT a size or a weight, it's a state of mind.
Sexy is a state of mind that could be supported by appropriately sized lingerie.
Can we stop the mental mindfluck we keep giving women about our bodies?
But seriously. Can we just stop it?
What if, one day, when you went looking for lingerie, or jeans, or shorts, or workout gear, or a dress, is a cute blouse, or a slouchy t-shirt, or a freaking pair of overalls, what if women could just find OUR size and WEAR our size?
What if women's clothing were simply based on our ACTUAL measurements? Men’s clothing is. If men want a shirt, they need their chest width, torso length, and sleeve length. It’s almost as if their clothing is measured so it…you know, fits on their bodies! Men’s pants aren’t sized by one number, a status symbol of their love for cheese or ability to overcome it. Men’s pants (and a few women’s labels) go by measurements of the waist and inseam. How big around they need to be and how long. As if the goal is to fit their bodies.
Did you know many expensive women’s labels drop the size?
They lower the size....
Meaning, if I pay enough money for jeans, I can find a size 4 to fit just fine. ($198) (I’m looking at you, Ann Taylor, Salsa Jeans, Nordstroms, Saks on 5th)
Wait a second…paying more to have a lower size number inside my clothing, where no one else can even see it, because I’ve been conditioned to feel better about myself if my size is lower…that seems like some seriously unhealthy shit.
Seriously. How are we NOT supposed to develop dysmorphia? It is almost as if the whole industry is designed to make us insecure. hmmmm
What if we didn't HAVE categories (misses, junior, plus sized) and we were simply allowed access to cute clothes that made us feel a little more like ourselves? Isn't THAT what dressing is all about?
One of my favorite philosophers, Ru Paul Charles, says “We're born naked, the rest is drag.” He speaks to the way we present and prepare ourselves for the world. It’s not just for drag queens, either. If you wear plaid flannel and Carhartt pants, you are presenting one aesthetic. If you wear tight skinny jeans and soft, low, cut sweaters, you can send a different message with converse sneakers than you will with stiletto heels. Wearing a dress and a cute cardigan makes me feel different than sweats and an oversized sweater. It makes the world treat me differently, as well.
Why can't we just present ourselves to the world (or our partners) in clothes that are cute and accentuate whatever we want to be more of in the moment, without the "size" label? Can’t we just find clothes that fit our bodies?
I think Marilyn would agree.