I want to talk about my Middle School years for a bit so you can truly understand what it’s like to be so uncomfortable in your own skin that you wish you could look like anyone but yourself. I wasn’t the tallest girl, nor was I the biggest. I did, however, have curves that the other girls didn’t.
I grew up with a grandfather that doted on me and his girlfriend bought me (from my infancy) some of the most hideous outfits you’ve ever seen. Being the good daughter-in-law that my mother was, she forced me into these outfits at any occasion we had where I needed to dress up. If we need to know where my loathing of dressing up comes from, it stems back to being a kid crammed into dresses covered in lace or taffeta or tulle.
I was a girl who grew up with all boys. These were not my kind of clothes. I often didn’t match and wanted to be comfortable always and wore things that hid my body. Sometimes this backfired. One day in seventh grade my Spanish teacher made me get up on my desk in class to have everyone stare at me and what I was wearing. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that humiliation. (Clearly, this was not a favorite teacher of mine). I was wearing a red scoop neck tee, green corduroy pants, yellow socks and my red shiny vans that I loved with the shoelaces that didn’t need to be tied in Christmas colors.
These are some of the horrors that helped shape how I felt about myself and my body. I wanted to be unnoticed, but the other “problem” was that I’m smart. My teachers pointed it out and so I became the target because I was the “smart one”. No one should ever have to hide their body or their intelligence so that they don’t get made fun of; but, I did. This decision affects me even now as I try and change careers and find it hard to do.
Some of these tangents may seem like they have nothing to do with Curvy Girl Complications, but the effects of being made fun of from being a Curvy Girl didn’t stop after the teasing stopped. The damage was done and I’m sure in some ways I’m still trying to piece myself together.
The point of telling you about the hideous dresses and standing on the desk is to explain how uncomfortable in my skin I became. Some of this happened long before my curves and the rest built after gaining them. I wore sports bras in middle school almost non-stop because it flattened my chest and I could hide my boobs or so I thought. I wore my cousin's hand me downs because they were boys clothes and to me they made me slightly more androgynous.
I rarely wore tight shirts or clothes of any kind. The only time I was comfortable in something form fitting was when I was in a bathing suit. The dilemma with shirts was if I wore ones that hid my boobs then I ended up looking fat, but the ones that were actually my size showed that I had boobs.
Perhaps if it was just boobs that I had things would’ve been different, but I doubt it. I also have a small waist, big hips and a butt. Some women may think that makes me attractive to all men, but it doesn’t. Just like women's’ bodies are unique so are men’s tastes. What it does, is get you noticed and trust me sometimes you don’t want that attention.
Getting slightly off track there, and I’m sure I’ll talk more about that later. I think all women know what it’s like to be uncomfortable in their skin for a large variety of reasons. Mine were because I had this body developing that I didn’t want. I wanted to be petite and play sports and be athletic, not have curves.
In middle school finding things to fit started to be a real problem. I’m pretty sure that’s how t-shirts and jeans became my staple. I could handle most t-shirts and jeans because they still managed to hide a good part of my anatomy. You almost never saw me in a skirt or a dress.
My grandfather was (when he was living) a member of this country club that my parents are now members of. I was always required to wear one of the hideous outfits to these events no matter how hard I fought it. Yes, I’m smiling in these photos, but I promise you it’s not because of the clothes. To this day I still do not think that designers design for all women’s body types. I think it’s a shame because if a designer worked with someone with my body type they could make a killing. More on that another time…
Stay tuned for more Curvy Girl Complications