PHOTOS & WORDS: ZOE LONDON
CORPORATIONS PROFITING FROM OUR BODIES TRY TO LABEL US WITH A NUMBER. DON’T EVER FEEL LIKE YOU ARE A NUMBER, YOU ARE A REAL HUMAN.
Eight, Fourteen, Twenty Two. Apparently these are just a handful of ways that we can label our body. Men supposedly prefer a size twelve, and size zero is what ‘makes’ you a model. I live, breathe and function in a world of fashion, but despise with all my heart the de-personification of people by numbers. I get that it’s an ‘easy’ way to find our size in clothes, but why wasn’t it just left at that? Why does mainstream mass media have to make us feel like one or the other isn’t right?
I’ve always been slim. As a kid people thought my mum didn’t feed me, would remark on my bones at the swimming pool and thought of me as gangly and lanky – i’ve also always been tall. The same as a larger size girl would feel, I spent my puberty-ridden teenage years full of angst, and anxious for my body to develop just like the gorgeous pop stars in my Shout magazine.
The truth is that for me it never did. I’m approaching twenty-six (shh say it quietly) and guess what? I still ain’t got no sign of any boobs or a bum. Cool. Thanks genetics, now I feel like I’ll spend my entire life worrying about why i’m not attractive. Well, I could do that, anyway. Truth is that I spent about two years as a teenager really, really worrying about the lack of boobs that I had (or didn’t have) and worrying that men would recall in horror as I got older. They never did, and as I grew I became more and more aware of the lies we were being spun. I was told a DD was the average breast size, yet I took and still take an A. Size zero might be the model size, but those men prefer a larger size remember. It’s all about what the men want according to those glossy magazines of course! God, if i’d listened to all the tv advertising, looked at all the airbrushed magazine photos and absorbed the highly sexualised pop videos, I would have spun into depression.
What worries me, is that most teenagers aren’t me and don’t feel the same. I wish I could pick them all up and say ‘hey, you’re beautiful just the way you are’ – but even then the message would have been lost, thanks Bruno Mars for that. What really upsets me is the constant fear and worry, not only of teenagers but adults and older women too who constantly try to let their size number define them. It should never define you. I totally get that clothes have to be labelled for us to be able to fit in them properly, but it’s the worry outside of that that takes it to the next level.
Hey, so in some stores i’m a size four, and in others i’ll take a twelve. Confusing I know – and does make shopping a little difficult! – but also kinda rendering my point so valid and their numbers redundant. Companies themselves don’t even know what an average size of the number they’re trying to define fit into any more. Because of that I just pick up an item in store now, hold it up, and see if I think it’ll fit just by looking at it. Because hey, no one else knows my body as well as me, right? And do I care if it’s a sixteen or a six? Nope. Why? Because if I look good in it, then it’s for me.
Please, let us let this number shaming and size related issues die as we strive forward for a more modern, more equal world. At the end of the day, irregardless of whatever number you have to pick up in your clothing, if you look hot, you’re the winner. Please, don’t put that dress back because you’re worried about it being the wrong size, and don’t dismiss that skirt you have because you had to go ‘up’ a number to fit in it. And please, don’t ever be ashamed of your size.
I hate that Beyonce is somewhat of a modern-day lazy-girls’ poster girl for feminism, but if her appeal is that she makes us all feel ridiculously fierce and amazing, than I say do what Cosmo says, and take a leaf out of Beyonce’s book. Just rip out all those stupid adverts you see in-between that Bey advice.
Don’t live like a number, be a size ‘me’. And wear that label with damn pride.