body image · fitness

A tale of two bodies, or how (clothing) fit is a feminist issue

Content warning: first two paragraphs talk about weight loss. The rest of this post does not; instead it celebrates different size bodies. Yay!

Last Wednesday I blogged about losing a few pounds due to mild pancreatitis– I was off food for several days, only taking in clear liquids, then graduating to noodle soup and rice with broth. Now I’m feeling much much better, but eating a low-fat diet for a while, as my pancreas “needs to rest” (according to several doctors). Okay. But then my sickness-induced temporary weight loss provoked an instant “yay!” from me, followed by “hmmm, maybe now I’ll actually lose (fill in the blank) much weight.”

NO. This is my continued struggle with body image and self-acceptance talking. I wrote more about it here, and a number of you responded with lovely and supportive comments and similar stories of your own. I thank you all. It is so nice to know and feel that we are all in this together. Becoming aware of the self-defeating nature of such weight-loss-aspirational talk and naming it thusly helps a lot.

But just today, I thought of another way to promote my own body acceptance.

Enter my friend Rachel. She’s a lawyer, bike racer and dear friend of mine. Say hi to Rachel.

Rachel, with newly-highlighted light brown hair, wearing a black shirt with white and yellow stars, a black pleather skirt, black tights and black boots.

It turns out that she and I both own this exact outfit. Here’s me in mine.

Catherine, with dark brown hair, wearing a black shirt with white and yellow stars, a black pleather skirt, black tights and black boots.
Catherine, with dark brown hair, wearing a black shirt with white and yellow stars, a black pleather skirt, black tights and black boots.

The back story of the twin-outfits is that we both went to a clothing party (kind of like tupperware, but with clothing instead), and we ended up buying some of the same items. Our friend Michele has the pleather skirt too, but she was unavailable for the photo shoot.

I decided it might be fun to compare our two bodies in the same outfit, different sizes. I wear a size Extra Large, and Rachel wears a size Medium. Here we are together– don’t we look cute?

I think we look even cuter here, mugging for the camera (thanks Steph for taking these photos!)

Of course we need some cheesecake shots:

Last set of shots: we posed against a wall, affecting some emotion (or trying):

Here’s why I am showing all these pictures: Rachel and I have different bodies, and the same clothing fits us in different ways. I happen to think we both look smashing in our pleather skirts and starry shirts (with obligatory black tights and boots).

Different bodies, different fit, different sizes– both cute and fun and maybe-sexy and happy and comfortable. When I’m feeling bad about my body, maybe I should remember these pictures, and maybe even go to my closet and rock that pleather skirt. Because I do rock it. As does Rachel.

12 thoughts on “A tale of two bodies, or how (clothing) fit is a feminist issue

  1. This is so so important to keep on talking about! You are both rocking that outfit!
    I think one of my biggest desires is for clothing to be made to account for different shapes as well as different sizes (you know when something fits one person beautifully but pulls awkwardly on another?) rather than just scaled up and down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I am currently at the smaller end of sizes that my body tends to be, and I *still* can’t find pants. It seems absurd that variations in waist:hip ratios aren’t accounted for in women’s clothing, like waist:inseam for men.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh yes this is a major issue for me! I’m basically a size or two difference between a good fit for the booty and a good fit for the waist….and I get so uncomfortable (sensory processing) when the waist is loose and moving around.
        I’m looking forward to the weather being warm enough to wear yoga pants out again

        Like

      1. I wish I could do fitness pants at work, but that seems maybe too casual for teaching. ☺️ I do wear a lot of dresses, which allows for more options between waist and hip measurements, and when I wanted to splurge, I purchased one pair of Barbell Apparel’s jeans–which actually come with thigh measurements (no affiliation and I have sort of mixed feelings about the company, but I do wear the jeans all the time).

        And yes, once I know something works, I buy as many of them as is in stock. 😁

        Like

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