Well first up, that’s a pretty ridiculous title isn’t it? I mean of course there isn’t such a thing as a perfect body, but I’m hoping it’s got your attention!
A couple of weeks back a friend asked me what dress size I was, as she’d ordered a couple of pairs of shorts for her holiday and rather than faff about sending back the ones she wasn’t keeping, she wanted to know if I wanted to try them. And rather than give her a straightforward numerical answer my response was, “Oh I’m a bit of an odd shape, but I’ll give them a go.”
I mean what kind of an answer is that!?!
But I bet I’m not the only one…
How many times have you described yourself as being a funny shape? Top heavy, bottom heavy, chunky thighs, muffin top, love handles, small boobs, big boobs, no bum, bum too big… the list of insults we throw at ourselves on an almost daily basis is endless.
And social media doesn’t flippin’ help either does it, what with all this Transformation Tuesday malarkey and #beachready this, #summerbody that, honestly there’s no escape.
So anyway back to the shorts.
They were a size 12, so in theory should have fit me fine, but they were snug on the thighs and really baggy around the waist and only served to justify my comment that I am indeed an odd shape. I mean a size 12 is a size 12, so if I don’t fit in them perfectly then that surely means I must be the problem, right?
One Size Does NOT Fit All!
And in a way, yes I am the problem, but it’s not my body that’s the problem, it’s my mindset. Because what on earth gives me the right to label myself as odd? I’m not an odd size, I’m a unique size and that should be celebrated.
Every single part of me is unique:
- My Boobs – that have quite frankly never been the same since breastfeeding and have always been on the pre-pubescent side of small, shall be celebrated for never giving me back ache, never getting in the way when running, and for the simple fact they are perfectly happy going bra free at pyjama o’clock.
- My Tummy – which since kids has taken on the double life of either looking like a washed up empty bag for life or invites the question “when are you due?” at that certain time of the month, shall be celebrated for housing my kids, storing cake and connecting my top to my bottom.
- My Thighs – the bane of my life, the chunky won’t fit in these god damn skinny jeans for love nor money, shall be celebrated for their squatting strength – oh yes all hail the queen of the squats, I’ll have you know I can drop it like it’s squat like an agile acrobatic teenager!
- My Bum – the classic pear shape, it enters the room about 30 seconds after I do it’s so big, but damn it still looks good in lycra and shall therefore be celebrated for it’s perkiness (yes to those squats again!) and for giving me something comfortable to sit on.
- My Hips – oh yes the hips… as Shakira so eloquently put it the hips really don’t lie. And yeah sure they need a little help getting into trousers sometimes, and yeah they’re the bits that make me look wide, but hey full credit to these hippy chicks ‘cos big hips = excellent birthing tools and anyone that knows me knows my babies shot out of me like oily fish sliding across a Teflon coated frying pan… sorry way too much info there!
The crux of the matter is it really doesn’t matter what dress size you are, because come on we all know that the size you are in one shop is a completely different size when you go into another. I have clothes in my drawers ranging in size from a 6 right through to a 14 and I fit in every single one of them, so if we’re talking odd… that’s odd!
It’s not our bodies that are the problem, it’s the pressure that’s put upon them from external forces, such as clothes and labelling, and the quite frankly ridiculous and entirely unrealistic expectations forced upon us in adverts, social media and even ourselves. I mean take those transformation pics I was on about earlier, you know those ones you see people posting on Instagram where there’s the unhappy ‘before’ shot of bulging belly and ill-fitting swimsuit contrasted with the transformational ‘after’ shot complete with beaming smile, washboard stomach and itsy bitsy bikini. Now don’t get me wrong, they have their place sure – it certainly helps keep the weightloss and fitness journey on track – but I do have issue with digging out that before shot. After all, what’s so wrong about it?
- Who says we need a flat stomach?
- Who decided a size 8 was the right size?
- Who made the god damn rules for what constitutes a so-called ‘perfect’ body?
As you can probably tell it pisses me right off!
So in actual fact, contrary to my statement at the beginning of this post, there is such a thing as a perfect body. I’ve got one, you’ve got one, we’ve all got perfect bodies. We simply need to learn how to view them as such. So I’m going to take those shorts and I’m going to cut out the label, because I for one have had enough of being defined by a number on a a bit of material.