succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Ok, not really (for those who followed the link). Maybe this instead

Body Image (Part II)

As I've said before, I work pretty hard at liking this body of mine. And most of the time, I think of myself as generally succeeding. But today was something of a wake up call regarding how I see myself. This wake up call was, perhaps, percolating for a while.

Example A - I have a regular disagreement with my mother every time she tries to get me to shop in the petite section of any store. Mom, I say, I'm not petite. I am short, but I am not petite. I have an athlete's shoulders and thighs and I am not diminutive or small or any other word related to petite.

Example B - the boy bought me a t-shirt for xmas (this one, to be precise, because he's awesome), size medium. Aw, I thought, that's sweet, but there's no way this is going to fit. And yet, it does.

I think that I like my body shape and size pretty ok, and yet I loathe the sensation of pulling on clothes in the dressing room and getting caught somewhere because something (a bicep, my ass, the breadth of my shoulders or ribcage) is too large. So, apparently, I consistently err on the side of a larger size.

This realization slowly dawned on me today as I spent three hours going through my closet with the help of the StyleKouncil (who are awesome and kind). Apparently, virtually everything I own is between one and four sizes too big. Kelly kept grabbing fistfulls of material to demonstrate just how much larger all my clothing is than my actual body. There were some therapy-like moments when I confronted my discomfort with showing off a silouette.

Is this a backlash against all those years spent in lycra? Is this classic body image stuff? I'm not sure. What I am, now, sure of is that the size I picture in my head, and that I apparently see in the mirror, is rather shockingly inaccurate.


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