Uhhh… These All Look the Same (?)

When going to the movies, a medium popcorn could feed a small island nation. For a week. 

When going to a “medium” college, you might be just one among 5,000 students.

Both will set you back a small fortune, coincidentally. 

But what about clothing? Medium could mean it fits, hangs past your fingertips or cuts off your circulation. Wearing a medium shirt doesn’t mean you can wear medium pants– even if they are the same brand and part of a matching set. Not that I do that. Maybe once. I blame the vodka.

I have been many sizes during my life. When I was working and getting my master’s, I lived on Coke (the liquid, people) and Wendys and found myself sucking in my gut to button size 16s. My weight was in the 160 range. A few years ago when I was dealing with daily migraines, the prescribed Topamax regimen killed my appetite and I lost my period and had to buy size 2. My weight dropped to 122.

Last year “pre”-menopause hit leaving me feeling like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. It’s like during the night some maniacal baker sprinkled me with yeast and kneaded my belly and hips until they stretched over the top of my jeans and threatened to secede to form their own country of Flabula.

For full disclosure (I may have perhaps just had a drink to feel brave enough to reveal this. Or two. Oh, who’s counting?) I am 5’7″ and currently weigh 146. Today, that is. It could change any second… Like I just smelled vanilla hand sanitizer and now I have to shift the waistband on my leggings. According to an online BMI calculator, my BMI is 22.9. Optimal or “normal weight”. 

And while I have all of my positive thoughts telling me that I can work on my newly acquired muffin (ok, doughnut) top, that being healthy does not equal a specific body size, it’s hard. And fucking frustrating. 

So imagine my disgust on my latest trip to the mall. 

On the agenda? A Detroit Tigers shirt.

Now allow me to digress for a moment regarding the “women’s” vs. “men’s” department in these specialty stores. While the men’s apparel looks like, well, apparel, the women’s seems to be lacking opaque fabric and is not designed for a woman who has gone through puberty. 

These days I usually wear a medium, but have ventured into large during self-loathing times to hide myself more. I picked out a t-shirt, a mid-sleeve and a fleece pullover. 

None. Fit. 

The medium t-shirt felt like a corset while the neckline plunged just north of my navel. I looked like some sort of Renaissance costume gone terribly wrong. The fabric was so thin that my beige bra was completely visible. 

The mid-sleeve large fit ok except for the forearms. Apparently I have some Popeye genes. Or my forearms have been eating way too many peanut butter cups. (Like that’s a thing)

The large fleece barely fit over my naked skin and the forearms again were tight. It was like some BDSM contraption. I slipped a $20 into the tiny pocket and whispered that I had an early meeting before I hung it back on the hanger and walked out of the dressing room.

So who is wearing this crap? Who is either humiliating themselves to squeeze into these sizes or adjusting their bodies to fit? Can you even lose forearm weight? Is there some secret exercise class I’m missing? 

Do sizes even mean anything anymore? Women are already given impossible standards so is it really helping anyone to body shame them for needing an XXL or XXS? 

I refuse to give these “designers” my money. I understand that my body isn’t perfect (believe me) but I refuse to have my image of myself influenced by a letter on a tag.

My internal monologue does that just fine.

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