Clothing Sizes Mess-up our Psyche
I never thought at age 31 my body would change so much: gaining weight in places I didn’t know could, my face shape changing, wrinkles starting to appear, and it led me to a semi-crisis when my clothing size changed from a medium to a large. Why did I care? I was finally comfortable with myself after years of battling my own psyche & crash diets.
Half my closet didn’t fit me anymore, but I was convinced that one day it could even though in my soul I knew that it never would again. I didn’t want to refresh my closet because I couldn’t bear the thought buying size 10/12 or Large sized clothing.
This new body of mine made me feel uncomfortable but my mentality seemed stronger because I wasn’t motivated to change anything about my habits to reduce my size. Was moving up a size so bad? I work out and eat healthy-ish and that’s what should matter right?
It was at this moment that I started to wonder if sizes never existed would I be having such an existential crisis? Would it be as hard to deal with these changes my body was going through?
When I first started to analyze where my uneasiness around weight and body size came from I found that (of course) the answer was trauma from my childhood. It was within my own community that I would get rude comments about my body and it was considered okay. It was at an early age that I was taught the number/letter on my clothes mattered. It dictated things like whether I was healthy or unhealthy, marriage material or not etc. And it’s what led me to years of crash dieting, fad exercises (that never lasted) and eventual loss of my gallbladder.
I was a classical Indian dancer for sixteen years, and I’ll never forget once I forgot my moves and this aunty had the audacity to ask me if my bra fit me okay, that she thought it didn’t and I should get resized to buy something better fitting. As a 16-year-old Indian girl, I was taught to take criticism, not talk back to my elders and therefore, I didn’t have the guts to say anything back to her. It took me years to figure out that when we are children there isn’t a built-in defense mechanism, yet, or tools that we’ve learned to help us fight back or speak up when something isn’t right. So, I took it and internalized it.
This memory sticks out like a sore thumb, because although she had the nerve to say something so impolite she was probably right. Ever since I can remember, I have been buying/hoarding clothes that are too small for me — convinced that one day I will be able to fit into them. Constantly thinking that if I bought a size above I would be looked at as the fat kid — which was my worst fear. I dreaded going shopping with my friends, buying uniforms for the tennis team & changing into my gym clothes during P.E.
So what would happen if we erased sizes all together and we had no standard to compare ourselves to?
Sure in the 1800/1900s this wasn’t possible but now we have technology. Technology that can give us exact measurements and printers that can take those measurements and give us made-to-measure clothing. There are smart mirrors that do the same and these types of technologies could fundamentally change the way we look at fashion and clothing.
Imagine your size was your name?
Tailor made clothing could be accessible to all and affordable if we could constantly up-cycle our old fabrics or clothes — reducing fabric waste.
Although this seems like a Utopian idea, this reality is closer than we think it is. There are measurement apps like Netello and 3DSizeMe that take precise measurements of our bodies.
Creating our garments is possible as long as there are basic patterns for clothes enabling us to easily create a system of sustainable tailor made clothing delivered straight to our homes.
In fact, connect-fashion.com explores clothing are sustainability by using an IoT solution that will tell us where our garments came from and how they were produced.
I go into this space in my head often, because the reality is that we should be using technology to disrupt for the betterment of society. And if there is a real way to contribute to the mental well-being/psyche of the next generation shouldn’t we at least try to explore it?