When I just started getting into Fashion I was around 14 and felt overweight. My mum is 5ft 10 and very slim; her figure was the one I compared my 5ft 6 and curvy figure to. I was only a size 8 but I felt huge, and mum didn’t help by firing chubby jokes at me (she didn’t mean to be malicious but I guess she just didn’t understand what a big impact they had). She suggested opting for loose dresses and forgetting tight fitting anything.
I really did feel like the ugly duckling, as at that time I was always surrounded by her best friend and her daughter- both were (and still are) tall and slim. So I took it upon myself to change. I became Anorexic. I felt great (I was barely keeping awake in class…and my periods had stopped but that didn’t worry me). My mum could no longer call me chubby and the best thing was that I could finally wear everything! I was finally allowed to wear tight dresses, show my arms off, wear a bikini, follow the trends, go into a shop and buy anything I wanted because only skinny people are allowed to do that as skinniness is the only requirement to look good in clothing. I was also feeling smugly happy that I was skinnier than my Mum, which meant that I finally looked better in clothes and not her.
However, the weight loose was cut short when I visited my Auntie abroad. She made me understand that I was causing myself harm and I gained the weight back. The weight came back and so did the limitations on what I could wear. Once again I was a healthy chubby (size 10 by now probably as you know I grew hips, boobs and a booty) loose dress wearing girl.
THEN when I went off to uni my attitude to clothing and body image finally changed. I became really good friends with a girl that was a bit bigger than me but was showing of her figure, wearing tight dresses and being proud of her body. She probably owned one or two figure hiding dresses, whereas I had a closet full of them. She and my new friends made me realise that just because you don’t have a model figure doesn’t mean that you’re not beautiful, sexy, or attractive. Each of them had different shapes and each felt beautiful, sexy, and attractive…yes once in a while they complained they need to go on a diet or that they look fat in a dress, but they were passing comments and weren’t deep rooted as mine.
THEN I had an episode of avoiding loose fitting clothing because I had observed from my friend that, after all if you’re curvy it’s flattering to wear tight clothing (and flattering just means as skinny, lean, no bumps in the wrong places as possible- that is basically what all the ‘dress for your body shape crap’ is trying to achieve).
SO ANYWAY, I also understood, from being around the uni girls and the uni boys that showed those girls attention, that tight is sexy… so I should only wear tight stuff…and loose stuff where not sexy…and the aim of life was to look sexy and attract guys (a gem I picked up from watching MTV)…so therefore wearing loose stuff downgrades sexy…yet still couldn’t wear sleeveless tops or show my bare mid drift…because only skinny people are allowed to. I hope your starting to get the sense how my relationship with clothes was getting so messed up; I was bouncing back and forth, not really ever considering what I want to wear. Just Stupidness upon stupidness upon stupidness.
THEN I got fed up of wearing tight stuff all the time because I started to realise that guys were only seeing me for my figure and I was attracting more ‘road men’ than ever. SO I got all ‘I want him to see me for my personality not my ass’ and started wearing baggy clothes again. I also gained some weight (probably a few pounds if I think about it now) so that made me again not allowed to wear tight clothes (mums rules did creep up now and again- if I had a bingy weekend I was embarrassed to do tight).
THEN I met a guy who told me I don’t wear enough tight. I bought more tight. I continued to wear tight for months after not seeing each other because he made out that the girls who do tight look better alongside a guy, like if you wear a figure hugging outfit with him it shows you want to please him. The stupidity of how I got influenced by his opinion is crazy!
SO after all that I went of guys and had me time, had moved away from my mum and wasn’t keeping in contact with her that much. The people around me did not focus on my fashion at all and therefore I wasn’t adopting any new fashion ‘rules’. I finally realised that no one has right to tell me how to dress, what looks good, what doesn’t and that everyone is allowed to wear everything and anything they want. Yes I mean if I ask for your opinion then please obviousl give me an honest answer. But looking back now when the guy suggested buying me dresses to dress me up because I didn’t look sexy enough by his side I should have split up with him there and then.
The people that influenced the way I dressed all pigeon holed me into certain fashion rules because of my body. I was all over the place not knowing what to wear because depending on one opinion I was ready to change up my whole wardrobe. I was living in an unhappy relationship with clothes and body image. I only realised in 2016 that I am allowed to wear anything I want. And I only realised this because I was feeling exhausted trying to please everyone and seeing clothes as devices to look skinnier. I literally went F it, I only have enough energy in me to please myself. I used to wake up thinking how do I put an outfit together to make me look skinnier and attractive to the guy I’m seeing, fashionable in front of my friends and not look fat in the eyes of my Mum.
Now the only thing I think about in the morning is what I’m craving to wear. If I’m feeling sassy then yes to the ‘bit too tight to work dress’, bit tired and cba with life then yes to the baggy and not eye catching outfit. But now I dress the way I dress to make myself happy and not the outside world.
There are no government guideline on how to incorporate clothing, make up and accessories into our lives yet we create ones for ourselves based on an accumulation of opinions (whether they are magazines, your parents or a stranger’s at 2AM in a club). We should be celebrating and immerse ourselves in the wonderful array of fashion out there and not stress about something that is supposed to be fun and an expression of you.
People are allowed to have opinions; I have a constant running commentary in my head of the outfits people are wearing. But they are just that: opinions not facts, my opinion is based on my perception of what beautiful is and that’s perfectly normal. What is not okay is when people try to turn their opinions into facts and state that as a fact a pear should avoid box dresses, broad shoulders should not be paired with shoulder pads or short people should avoid maxi everything. Nor is it okay to assign traits to clothes; when you take off your amazing dress after a night out you don’t take of ‘sexy’, sexy is something that comes from within.
To conclude, it’s all the outside noise that screwed me over a bit but in a way I’m glad I got screwed over because out of complete confusion emerged a freedom that I now associate with clothing. And we can now live happily ever after.
Lots of kisses,