The very first thing I did, in the very first week of my year of consciously consuming, was to go shopping for a pair of pants.
My favorite pants in the world died a gruesome death a few months ago, followed rapidly by two skirts, my favorite shirt, and a pair of capris. It’s like my entire closet got together and decided to fall apart all at once in a brilliantly executed stroke of irony.
So I went shopping (consciously shopping, with a list and a budget).
I tried on 25 pairs of jeans in one afternoon.
I’m not even kidding. I tried on 8 pairs of “Right Fit” jeans at Lane Bryant. (Note the irony: none of them were the right fit. Not even close.)
Then we went to Maurice’s, where I tried on another 5 pairs.
Finally, we went to Torrid, where I tried on 16 more pairs.
I’ve since tried on an additional 15 pairs of jeans from various companies. I even resorted to maternity jeans, to no avail – bringing the grand total of pairs of jeans tried-and-failed to 40. Sheesh.
Either they fit my hips but are huge everywhere else, or they are far too tight on my hips but fit everywhere else. Across the board, every single pair I tried on had one of those two problems.
After I slogged home, after I cried about being a horribly misshapen monster, and after I spent a week dressed in my favorite stripy socks and hideously unflattering balloon pants, I started feeling better. Then I started feeling good. Then I started feeling righteously indignant.
What does it say about the state of fashion that, when unable to find jeans that fit me, I blamed myself instead of the fashion industry? Why was it my fault that there isn’t a company out there that’s making pants to comfortably and flatteringly fit fat girls? What does it have to do with my shape – why am I blaming myself for the failings of fashion?
My body doesn’t conform to standard sizing.
But that does not mean I’m misshapen.
It doesn’t mean I’m ugly.
It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me.
It does not mean there is something wrong with my body.
It means that I am a unique shape. It means that I am the size I am, and the size I am is just right for me. It means there’s something wrong with the clothing industry. It means that my hips are big and my thighs are curvy and my butt is a little flat.
It means I am Kyeli-shaped. There’s no other shape I can be.
And being Kyeli-shaped is absolutely perfect for me.