After watching a plus size model on ANTM struggling to get into her clothes, I felt a weird stab of recognition. How many times had I not struggled to get on a pair of pants while still trying to smile and act okay? I know realise I would think it was my fault: I hadn’t lost enough weight to fit those clothes and I should apologize to the stylist.
This is one of the pictures where I was wearing a pair of jeans that wasn’t zipped up. Actually all the pictures here show me in clothes that were too small. Of course you can’t see this, but I could feel the shame. There have been many, many of these occassions – in the rare event I could walk a show they would often just throw some huge shapeless dress or coat on me and I would never get to wear more than one outfit because there weren’t more that fit me – of me wearing not-entirely-zipped-up-pants. Sometimes outside, with me clutching the pants desperately in hopes of hiding the fact that they didn’t fit. That I didn’t fit. That ‘normal people’ walking by would think I would not be a ‘real’ model.
Once I was send to a fitting with jeans that were for ‘more curvy girls’. They had seen my measurements on the website and were absolutely sure that I would be perfect for them. When I got there, after 2,5 hours of being on the train, I immediately noticed that all pants were a size 28. I was a size 29. I felt like someone had slapped me in the face: at this point they could’ve just asked my booker which jeans size I was and look around at their sample sizes? But still, I tried on the pants and of course, they wouldn’t come up over my thighs. The shame, to be all hot in that room with the crisp-looking businesswoman, trying to hop in those jeans and feeling so small and stupid..
After that I gained a certain knowledge about the wit of stylists and their abilities to look at my measurements on the website before hiring me. If someone tries to make you wear a size 2 dress while it says CURVY on the website, it is not your fault. And it certainly doesn’t mean you are fat! Everyone wears a different size, and it differs from brand to brand what that size is. I am determined not to feel guilty about my size anymore: if something doesn’t fit me, fine, we’ll try something else. Or bring me something better, people. Stop looking at me like I am your worst enemy.
After these wrong fits, I experienced one more: an agency that told me I looked fat in the above picture, but didn’t want to sell me as ‘plus size’ before I would ‘eat a lot of Ben&Jerry’s’. He clearly didn’t understand that models were humans, too. A lot of people in this business don’t seem to, unfortunately, but I’m not going to worry about it anymore. I am going to work, do my best and feel proud.