Be young and shut up

A blog about student activism.

I am an Empress with no clothes

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I know I should probably be writing about more serious issues, such as employment standards in both production and retail, letting staff unionise, the fact that my friend is being told by a boss at a major high-street shop to wear heels, child labour… there are any number of issues that are a lot more important than this one.

Yet something about the High Street is really getting on my nerves. Every time I visit High Street shops I’m reminded that my type are Not Welcome in the fashion industry, and we are not represented anywhere – and we even struggle to dress ourselves in many of your shops – yet you’re happy to take our money.

I’m talking about fat birds. Those of you who are currently screaming at your computer screen, ‘But you’re not fat! YOU’RE NOT FAT, KATE!’ – please try telling that to the High Street. The naughty High Street seems to find it a major struggle to provide comfortable, flattering clothes for average-sized and larger ladies. I’m literally the average UK size for a woman, a 14-16. I have bigger boobs than the average – 32G – but not ridiculously so, and I’m only 3 inches taller than the national average (5’8”). So why is it so hard to find any fucking clothes?! Why is everything made to be skintight, sleeveless, shorter-than-short, and often not even in my size?! Why is everything else made to be just as unflattering – baggy, sack-like and grim – when it is in my size?

I am not a sack of potatoes, even if the High Street thinks I am. I’m a normal-sized-to-slightly-bigger woman. I just want to wear something that doesn’t make me look like shit, or invisible and lacking in self-confidence, or a living testament to the ‘jolly’ larger lady stereotype. I just want to be able to fucking dress myself in the morning and look vaguely like a human being and not a sausage that’s been squeezed into a skin that’s too tight or a cowpat in a bag.

I look alright naked – and, with the help of a decent bra-fitter, alright in underwear, too. It’s when I start putting on actual clothes that it all starts to go wrong. It’s self-confidence shattering and faintly soul-destroying when I start thinking about what to wear. There are the shorts that are slightly too big and I have to pull up, the tops that ride up over my ‘food baby’ (small belly), the dresses that make me look six months pregnant and the baggy clothes I wear when I really can’t be arsed.

Thankfully, I do have a few items that are actually good to wear as well as on the hanger, but it’s bloody hard to find them, and I don’t understand why it should be. DON’T YOU WANT MY MONEY, CAPITALIST FASHION PIGS?! ARE MY CURVES OFFENSIVE TO YOU?!

American Apparel has got to be one of the worst. They use models as young as thirteen – yes, THIRTEEN – to advertise WOMEN’S clothes. Not children’s clothes. Women’s clothes. The poses are inappropriately sexual, and I think it’s supposed to make me think, ‘This is what I should look like. That’s sexy. I should look like a thirteen-year-old with no pubes who can pull her legs round her head.’ But I don’t look like that, because I’m a slightly overweight, busty 22-year-old woman. And I’m proud of my lady-garden, as it happens.

I’m going to lead a pitchfork mob down to Princes Street, and flash my food baby and wobbly tits and them, and see if the managers puke on me. Then I’m going to go to American Apparel in Glasgow and flash my bush at them. Anyone want to join me?!
I’ll buy whoever has the best sign a nice, fattening lunch. Smashing the patriarchy is hungry work.


Written by CakeCakeCakeCakeCake

August 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

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