Today, I read an article on Discovery news entitled, “Women’s Clothing Sizes: Is a 4 Really a 4?” and it hit a sore spot within my psyche. From the article for those of you not interested in reading it:
- As Americans have grown bigger, clothing sizes have become more generous.
- The way clothes fit has a big impact on how women feel about their bodies and themselves.
- In general, most clothes don’t fit most people very well.
None of this is unfamiliar to us these days, but it was the last paragraph of the article, a quote from researcher Lenda Jo Connell from Auburn University, that made me decide to write a post. She said, “Research shows that women tend not to say, ‘These manufacturers need to get off it and figure out good sizing that fits the American public,” Connell said. “They say, ‘I don’t fit the average size, and there’s something wrong with me.’ I think it’s really devastating to so many people.” (emphasis mine)
It IS devastating. Ellie probably can’t tell you the number of times I’ve have breakdowns in the middle of a store dressing room, or how many shirts I have that are slightly too big because it’s easier than worrying about the possibility of the little rolls on my back showing, or to hide the size and shape of my chest. I’d seriously wear super-strength sports bras all the time except I think they make me look worse than regular bras. The number 1 reason I don’t wear skirts other than when I dress up? Because it’s too much work to find shorts that will look okay under them, I don’t like the look of leggings, and spanx are too uncomfortable to wear unless I have to.I’ve essentially stopped wearing shorts because I’m so mentally and physically uncomfortable in them when I sit or walk. I try to avoid button-down blouses just in case there is gaping. I can’t go shopping alone because I will second, third, and fourth guess everything until I’m in a panic.
I’ll admit that I loathe my body. You name a part, and I hate it, except my eyes. Those are the 2 things on my entire body that can be seen without machines that don’t make me want to cry when looking at them. And I even want to replace those by getting Lasik.
Am I hideous? No, and I realize there are people out there with bigger problems, but it doesn’t make mine any less difficult to live with. I also know that I’m not alone, which makes me feel a little better, but fails to solve the problem, which is continually perpetuated and reinforced by media and designers.
Life has been kind of rough lately. Mom’s cancer isn’t getting any worse that we know of, but the chemotherapy is starting to really affect her–loss of balance, no appetite (lots of nausea), and irritable. Last weekend was devoted to moving her out of her apartment, which meant going through 10 years of accumulated junk and having to throw most of it out because 1) there was just too much to lug to Goodwill and 2) it was too covered in grime/smoke/dust for donation. I’m not sure if my mom would be considered a hoarder according the the DSM-IV-TR (reminder: ask Ellie), but if not, she’s damn close. I was worried that it would be hard with only my father, a friend of my brother and myself, but I think it went well not having mom there because she’s be too depressed/moody and would fight us to keep more than we did (and we kept A LOT).
I have a lot of emotions about the whole situation that are only exasperated by the job search. No, I’m not dealing well with all of the stresses and anxieties that are being induced by so much crap all colliding at once. I’m in an almost constant state of feeling overwhelmed, which I sort of have to take as a win since I know that I could be totally shut down right now.
I’m plugging away at the job search, but I’m frustrated about how little response I’ve had. I’m trying to keep busy, but am BORED!!!
I don’t know, I don’t really have anything useful to talk about lately, mostly because I’m so bored. Hopefully this doesn’t last too much longer.
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I’ve been totally MIA lately, but as you can see from the plethora of categories, it’s been a time. A month ago my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and it doesn’t look great. She’s receiving radiation now, and will be re-evaluated this week to determine where it is and what the chemo process is going to be. I can’t express feeling/emotion to my family because I have been “the rock” since childhood, so I’ve been holding in a lot and it’s honestly starting to fuck with my head. Ellie’s been MY rock through this, and I wish I could express how much that means to me, or let her in more.
Graduation was Friday, so I am officially an MS in College Student Development & Counseling. This also means I need a job ASAP because there are no more loans coming in and no more money in my Assistantship stipend. I also feel compelled to be the proper little housewife for the duration of my unemployment, but the feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed make it hard to become motivated.
A week ago, President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden. Although it’s been over a week, I still wanted to record my thoughts for posterity. I’m happy that justice has been served, but am saddened by the fact that so many people are expressing JOY at a person’s death, like we’ve just won the World Series after 86 years. I feel it was disrespectful to all of the victims of his rein of terror and hate. I also fear it will fuel his followers into carrying on his mission. I honestly don’t think this will change much, if anything when it comes to terrorism around the globe. Pessimistic outlook to have, but true.
I’m off to do some housework and then, hopefully, send out a couple more job applications. We’ll see how that goes.
I’m officially done with graduate school. I still have a week of my Graduate Assistantship left, but it’s not actually part of my education–it’s more like a Work Study job, only without the financial need requirement. Graduation is May 6, and I have a couple of events left, but they are basically just fun events with my cohort.
It’s surreal thinking that I’m done with graduate school. I now have to get my ass in gear and start applying for jobs because I am BROKE. The idea of applying for and getting a job is stressful as hell, and I know that stress leads me to shut down, which is very bad. I just have to set goals for myself and make sure I apply to at least one job every day during the week and I will feel like I I’m making progress.
I’m tired, and am not in the best place mentally for myriad reasons, none of which I have any interest in discussing with anyone, let alone the random public that may or may not read my blog. Not that I don’t consider many of you to be actual friends, but I just don’t have the energy, know what I mean?
A journal I read often discusses how, due to her mental illness, she often doesn’t always have the “spoons” to do a ton of stuff or be invoked in every little thing. After reading it again last night, I decided to look up what exactly she meant by this term. It was surprisingly easy to find the Theory of the Spoons, created by Christine Miserandino at But You Don’t Look Sick.com. I HIGHLY recommend you read her personal story and check out the website more in depth.
In a nutshell, people who live with some type of illness, be it physical or mental, go through life with a limited number of spoons (what she used to illustrate her story) to perform daily tasks. Everything, from getting up, to eating, to going back to bed can use up a spoon, so we have created a system that best utilizes those spoons we have. Unfortunately, things like stubbing your toe, forgetting to pick up cat food, unexpectedly snapping about a mess in the house (to use personal examples), can also take away a spoon or two, leaving you with fewer spoons to do the regular things.
How perfect is this illustration?? I wish the site had more about mental illness, but that’s not (as far as I have read) her condition. And mental illness does seem to have a lot more support (we have ribbons and websites and TONS of medication commercials!! …) than hidden physical illnesses, so I will give her that.
Christine, thank you for this, I only wish I’d found it earlier.