Since I can remember, I’ve been small in frame. It annoyed me as I grew up to hear people comment on it, to hear people express their thoughts and what was described as jealousy over and over about how skinny my body was. It made me self conscious.
It sounds foolish to say such a thing when others with larger bodies than me may want what I have. And others may find it narcissistic of me to be so blunt about the situation. But my thoughts have always been the same towards the matter, the women who said this were beautiful in my opinion. I could never understand why they were so jealous.
For years I’ve heard women prick and poke at some body part or be discouraged by size numbers. I listened as people talked about sacrificing comfort for looking good, to show off an area of their body to attract a man. I saw, growing up, how what I viewed as curvy and beautiful, something that I even wanted myself being so small, was seen in the media as fat, chubby or large. What I found funny was the opinion of the media in their discrimination. The word skinny wasn’t viewed as a distaste but a wish while words describing the opposite were spat out and used to mock.
Fast forward to after I got married and my body started to fill in its own gaps. I flew from a size 2 in pants to a size 6/8 within almost 2 years. But my chest barely grew and my small frame stayed the same. This is actually the reason I began sewing. Clothes in the store aren’t really made for what I learned was a “pear shaped” body, at least not how I wanted it. You have two options in retail, skin tight or tent-like. This meant that clothes were either designed to draw attention to my larger behind, or to hide it under a-line designs. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge anyone who prefers either option, but neither option was for me.
I’d grown to rather like my butt, but not to where I wanted it sticking out for the world to notice and see only. Once I accepted this, sewing wasn’t an easy task either. While my small chest landed at about the smallest size on pattern packages my behind usually fell on the largest size or sometimes even the next sizing section. I became VERY familiar with my measurements (31 1/2, 26 1/2, 40) and learned grading very quickly.
Looking back, I wish I’d embraced my body more. I spent so many years in larger clothes to added volume to myself so people wouldn’t say I was skinny. I hid under hoodies and t shirts most of middle school because I for some reason hated the fact that I was small, and even more so I was annoyed that people criticized me for not wanting to be small. But I think that if I’d have gotten what I wanted, if some secret herb or plant could make me gain weight in all the “right” places, then I probably would’ve never been satisfied and I’d have changed me 50 times over.
I admire and commend the healthy women in the sewing community and everywhere who wear clothes not because of the tag telling them the size they are, but because they feel GOOD in them nomatter what anyone says. I remember when I thought a friend of mine was a size 10 and she laughed and said she was a 14. I never thought a sizing chart was so wrong in my life. But now I see that sizing and measurements, like beauty are all in the eye of the beholder, and for the first time in my life I’m proud to embrace all that comes with my own.