Saturday, 12 June 2010

4 stone 7lb

Ok, so I'm not quite that thin, but clothes shopping today I realised again that my body is truly repulsive. I came home without a single item, having tried on innumerate size 8s (optimistic) and whatever size 6s I could scavenge (not any smaller than the 8s, if you ask me). The only thing that came close to fitting were a pair of size 4 - from the petite section, no less, so they'd never have been long enough - faux leather trousers and I couldn't get them past my foot. They probably would have fit; I have worn both rubber (which the insides of these trousers confusingly seemed to be made of) and fake leather for shoots before, and it usually takes a lot of talcum powder and two people to get it on and off. However, I had neither of these things to hand in the changing rooms and I was aware of the possibility that struggling to get them on alone I would inadvertently stagger into the wall and knock myself out, only to be discovered prone on the floor with my trousers round my ankles by the 16-year-old shop boy and I was loathe to still have to pay for them after being cut out of them, so I decided not to pursue the idea.

It's not that being thin alone makes you disgusting, obviously, but even I accept that having a 24 inch waist and a 37 inch inner leg is not a winning combination. At best I look gangly and awkward, at worst I look like a famine victim.

This was highlighted most succinctly when trying on shorts. I have never had a pair of shorts that fit. I have the same problem with them that I do with skirts (which I also very rarely ever wear): they're too big on the waist so they drop down to my bony hips, which hold them up, but also stick out a good couple of inches from my body - giving my abdomen the appearance of being not flat but inverse - so there is an inch of air between the waistband and my actual flesh. This makes me look EXACTLY like an anorexic. Also, I usually like my legs in short dresses, but poking out of the legs of a pair of shorts which are supposed to be fitted on the thigh and clearly aren't, they look scrawny and insufficient to support my meagre body weight.

I didn't fare any better with tops. A cute, short-sleeved cardigan with flamboyant shoulder detail from H&M was MASSIVE and barely reached my navel, exposing the inverse stomach again. I should have known it was a bad sign when I pulled it on over my head without undoing any of the buttons. Two short sleeved jumpers in Primark swamped me and made me look vaguely mannish, despite one being decorated with candy-coloured hearts and the other being crochet with flirty sheer panels.

It was when I saw myself in a dress that I really despaired though. A clingy, thin white vest with slender straps for the body, paired with a full skirt made me look like a particularly stylish concentration camp resident. My collarbone fully on display doesn't usually bother me, but the vest was low enough to show off a significant number of ribs too, and the xylophone look is SO last season. My shoulders are far too wide for me to ever look good in slim straps, much more like a malnourished man in drag, and the thin cotton clung to my barely-existent curves, emphasising just how small they actually are. I didn't actually understand the point of that top. I don't often wear a bra because I don't need to, but you *couldn't* wear a bra with that, the straps were too narrow and the back too low; but without one, everything was visible. It's supposed to be a sign of age to be unimpressed by current fashions, but are exposed nipples ever really a good look? Even strippers wear tassels!

On top of that, I hate my arms. They're way too long and way too thin, and thinnest just below the shoulder, which is another tell-tale sign of anorexia, I'm told. Maybe I AM anorexic and just don't realise? How do anorexics commonly feel about chicken nuggets? I'm very partial to chicken nuggets lately.

Anyway, the full skirt was an unwelcome contrast to the extent to which my withered frame was highlighted by the torso, and too long; people think I'm slutty because I wear such short dresses all the time, but in truth it's a combination of the fact that anything above the knee is incredibly short when you're 5'11 in a world where the average is 5'4, and anything even remotely longish again makes me look like a man in drag. Lots of things make you look like a man in drag when you're very tall, it's quite difficult to navigate.

I tried on a pair of "skinny" jeans but my heart wasn't in it by then. They were a size 8 and I pulled them on without undoing them. That gave me a flashback to my childhood; I genuinely did not know until I was about 16 that it was normal to have to undo trousers before putting them on. I always thought the buttons and zips were decorative. These pulled across my hips, which at 30.5 inches are actually disproportionately wide for my frame (in another life, I could have been a pear shape) but gaped at the back; the too-short length meant they were so tight midway down I couldn't bend my knees to walk, whilst they simultaneously flapped sadly above my ankles like broken sails on ship against the rocks.

And so I went home with nothing but a new handbag, which was a very necessary purchase after yesterday an errant carton of yoghurt coated it and all my possessions within in a thick layer of delicious sticky goo, and then the zip broke within about an hour (I say handbag, in truth it's huge, I like to think it would make the Daily Mail suspicious of me as it is quite possibly big enough to stow a small illegal immigrant in).

I haven't cried yet, but I might do next time someone, particularly one of my friends who had really ought to know better but never seem to, tells me how "jealous" they are of my ability to eat what I want whilst maintaining a skeletal visage, or how they'd "kill" to have my figure. Really? You'd kill for this? For the privilege of not owning a single item of clothing that isn't either too big or too short and usually both? For the honour of trying on armfuls of clothing and not finding anything that doesn't make you look revolting while shop assistants titter on, casting aspersions about your physical and mental health? For having at least one person per month openly ask you if you eat? Shut up, seriously, you don't know what you're talking about.

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