The phrase ‘body-shaming’ seems to be fashion’s current buzzword, we’ve had photoshopped and thinspiration backlashes and now the industry is turning its attention to those awful comments people shame bloggers, models, celebrities and basically everyone for their body type, whether that’s too slim, too tall, too fat, or even too fit. It has kind of become the comment of choice for all those trolls out there.
But it got me thinking about it, as on a recent shopping trip I felt like I was being body-shamed for being a size 10/12, and not the prerequisite size zero. You see I actually had money to burn and everywhere I looked in a certain luxury retail department store all the clothes out on display were tiny sizes, the sort of sizes I could barely get one leg into. That wasn’t the worse of it, you should have seen the look of disgust I got from the sales assistant when I asked for a size 12, she literally looked me up-and-down and gave me a look that suggested that someone my size shouldn’t even be shopping in here. It was like my £250 wasn’t good enough to buy the dress.
To be honest I got very self-conscious, part of me didn’t even want to wait around for her to come back from the store room, as I had already convinced myself before trying it on that it wouldn’t fit me, wouldn’t look good and that I should keep on looking. If that wasn’t enough the other shop assistants were starring, hating on the fact that I had made their chatting pal do some work. I won’t name and shame, but I had expected more from this retailer, as I love coming here to buy accessories, make-up, stationery, and gifts, but it seems that the clothing floors were never on my radar before.
I get that you can’t showcase everything, but if you have a curated selection at least make room for an array of sizes, the shame of hanging around waiting for a bigger size is crazy and trust me it does not leave you in a buying mood. For every minute that passes a piece of your self-confidence breaks away. On one occasion, a shop assistant actually forgot about me, opting instead to help a model-perfect, size 6 shopper, and then declared in a very loud voice “oh yeah you’re the one who wanted a larger size”, which was an instant head turner of a statement. Instead of waiting I actually walked away, head down, as though I was doing the walk of shame.
I don’t overly shop in the designer section unless of course it’s for handbags and shoes, there it seems no-one judges you for having size 6 feet. Shopping for designer clothes was an ordeal that’s left me wondering whether I’m too fat, do I need to lose weight to wear nice clothes, and what does this mean for future style posts. My friends have reassured me that I’m not too fat, but the thoughts are lingering that I felt the urge to jot my thoughts down onto paper, it’s my version of therapy, and I just thought that there might be other women who have experienced the same issues and I wanted to shout out that you are not alone.
The media is filled with how social media needs to eradicate these body-shaming comments, but the ideas come from someone/somewhere and I’m just wondering whether it stems from the shop floor, seeing only small sizes sure does make it seem as though it is wrong to be anything but a small or extra small. Maybe it is down to the rise of minimalist shopping spaces, curated to the max generally suggest no stock to see, but is that the way to entice people to part with their money. In my case, constantly asking assistants if they had anything other than a small was embarrassing, as well as time-consuming, trust me you couldn’t go shopping in this luxury department store quickly, on one trip to the store room she took 15 minutes, and in that I’d already talked myself out of spending that much money on a dress, even though when I did get the correct size for my body I did like it, but you know that shoppers regret we all get after splurging well waiting around meant I got that early.
It’s weird I used to love browsing, trying on clothes, even taking silly selfies in the changing rooms, but it seems lately that the whole experience is less fun, being body-shamed from such a well known really retailer has just made me realise that maybe I should stick to online shopping.