Might just be me, but when I'm scrolling down an online shop looking for a piece to spice up my wardrobe, I have absolutely no clue what it will look like on me. I'm not plus size, so the plus-size model isn't helping me. I'm definitely not skinny, so the size 6 model is of no use. I'm just that awkward person in between, and every time a new piece of clothing arrives it's a fun game of hit or miss. Will I look like a stuffed sausage or a walking bin bag?
Sizes are a fun thing, aren’t they? I’m not going to lie, our society is trying its best to convince us that being skinny is what we should strive for. The majority of the people we are exposed to, such as models, actresses and influencers, are indeed within the smaller sizes. With all this exposure, we are indirectly told we should strive to look like them.
If you go into any shop on your local high street, the sizes will probably range between an XS and XL, but if they are smaller or bigger it is often advertised massively for the shop to appear inclusive. And while you’re on your stroll down the High Street, you pop into one of the clothing stores, you flick through the garments, you probably find yourself thinking the average size must be an M. The reality, however, is something else.
A study conducted in 2016 found out that the average American woman wears clothing in the UK sizes 20-22. In the UK, numbers suggest the average woman wears a size 16. So, if 16-22 is the average, what about those of us who sit awkwardly in between the ideal body size?
Fashion is for everyone, and it’s great that the average woman is represented in online shops by using plus-size models. No doubt about that. But for us in-betweeners there is barely anyone who looks like us on the online shops. You know, someone who can get away with being skinny if they suck in as if it was a top-level sport, but also someone who’d be labelled chubby if they sit down in a slim top one size too small.
I often wonder if I’m just weird or have an abnormal body. Then I realise it’s loads of us. The problem is that we just aren’t represented in the same way because we don’t have any specific features. Some of us might have small boobs, others big. Some might struggle with thigh chafing, while others have never experienced this. There are tall in-betweeners, short ones. Elderly, young. We’re just a mix of different bodies who don’t fit into the garments Instagram models squeeze their bodies into, nor the dresses advertised for plus-size women.
And I’d be the first to admit this isn’t the most important problem in today’s society. The world will not end because we struggle with trying to figure out if it’s acceptable for us to wear a crop top or with jeans being too big around our waist.
But as in-betweeners, we have an underrated privilege that we can take advantage of. We have the ability to decide. We can dress up in baggy clothes and get away with it. If we wear a bikini at the beach, we would never be stared at because we have a body that is standing out. In some stores we can buy jeans in the size S, in others size L is fitting us. We can have wardrobes filled with XS to XL, meaning we have the ability to pick from every clothing rack.
It’s like fashion is our buffet. But like any other buffet there will be things that just don’t do it for you. Personally, I avoid caviar like I avoid leather trousers.
Written by Amalie Andersen