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12 Nov

The In-Betweeners: Why Every Woman Is Not Either “Regular Size” or “Plus-Size”

inbetweeners

After my recent blog post, Honor Your Curves, got an overwhelming response of clicks and comments, I have continued to receive a flood of feedback from my followers {and non-followers}, sharing with me their own personal journey of coming to love their curves and having a positive body image. Amongst all this sharing of positivity, encouragement, and love, something very interesting happened. I started to notice that there was one attitude in particular that seemed to be an overarching theme of most the conversations I was having. It was something I had already been asking myself for years, but the post unexpectedly brought to light that so many other girls have been thinking the exact same thing. I knew I had to speak out on the issue after noticing one question that is at the core of most the girls I talked with. The question we all seemed to have was this: why are there are only two categories—two extremes—available when describing women’s body types? Since the release of my story on how I’ve come to love and accept my curves, many women messaged me to express their feelings toward the inexplainable reason that fashion-conscious women are quickly separated into one of two categories: “regular size” (AKA typical skinny and size 0-4) or “plus-size” (AKA heavy and size 14+). But what about those in between?

What I’ve been noticing for years is that there is no in-between, no happy medium. For girls like me, and the countless other women I see around me, we do not fit into either category. We are not size 2’s rocking Triangl bikinis and body-con dresses with ease, but we are also not shopping at Torrid and have never identified with or been referred to as “plus-size.” We are what I’ll call “in-betweeners”—just average girls of varying sizes with some junk in the trunk but not a part of either of the two categories mentioned above. Think about it, there is not a term/definition/description for those who don’t fit (no pun intended) into either of these categories. This seemingly no-(wo)man’s land concerning fashion and body type pushes girls like me into a grey area that at best creates a feeling of ignorance and at worst creates feelings of judgement.

To show what I mean, here’s a visual example of the only two concretely defined types of bloggers/fashion-conscious women that are recognized today. I chose two bloggers, one to represent each category, who happen to have almost the exact same number of followers on Instagram. {Before we start, I want to make abundantly clear that I would never shame or judge any girl of any size anywhere. Every girl deserves to love her body and every body type discussed in this article will be discussed with respect and positivity.} First, you have the most popular and readily accepted size/body type that includes all the biggest names in the fashion blogger world—”regular size.” These are indisputably gorgeous women and ones that I follow and am inspired by daily. For the purpose of this article, I have permission to use my friend Megan Mitchell of Style’d Avenue as an example of this category. Meg is a very popular blogger with 134,000 followers on IG and a woman that is constantly the recipient of comments like “#goals”, “*heart eye emojis*” and “perfection.” Now, I talked with Meg for this article and asked her about her body type. She said that she does try to eat clean, but admitted her exercise routine is casual. She told me she has always had a very petite frame {with a high metabolism} and her weight stays pretty much the same regardless of diet and exercise. {We can all dream, right?} To put it into perspective, below is a picture of Meg in all of her beauty:

A photo posted by Megan Mitchell (@meg_legs) on

 

Now, let’s go to the second of the two firmly defined categories of body types/fashion bloggers. Now we are talking about the women who identify as “plus-size.” This group, who is just as fashionable and gorgeous as any women i’ve ever seen, are comprised of bloggers like Chastity Garner of GarnerStyle. Chastity is a fab fashionista with great style who effortlessly rocks the latest trends. Although I’ve never met Chastity before, I reached out to her for this article and asked her the same things I asked Meg. Her response was pretty much the exact same: she’s always been plus-size so she accepts and loves her body, as do her 136,000 Instagram followers. Here is a photo of Chastity doing her thing:

  See what I’m saying? Both women are beautiful and have great style but why is there such a contrast? And to get back to my original question, why is there no middle ground? There are so many girls that fit into this “in-betweener” category and I am one of them. I don’t fit the mold of the most popular fashion bloggers but I also don’t qualify for the title of a “plus-size blogger.” I’m somewhere in the middle, along with millions of other women. The important thing to point out here is that so much of this is subjective. There really is no rhyme or reason as to why some girls are considered “regular bloggers” and others are “plus-size.” I mean, just look at what Sports Illustrated Swimsuit considers to be “plus-size” these days. {Hold on to your hat.}

Like seriously? Are we really all supposed to believe that 6′ 2″ Australian cover babe Robyn Lawley is considered “plus-size” on any planet? Google pictures of her and you’ll be as flabbergasted as I am that a woman with a body like that is considered “plus-size” in anyone’s mind. In doing more research, it seems that one of the main reasons Lawley is considered plus-size is because she doesn’t own the infamous measurement of today’s standard of beauty: the thigh gap. I could write a whole other article about the disturbing ideology behind “the thigh gap” but I won’t. I just hope most girls understand how ridiculous it is to think that their worth or their beauty can be measured between upper legs that are genetically different from every other woman’s. Lawley isn’t too blame for this disturbing trend and she has even used her beauty and fame for good to help dispel it:

Robyn-Lawley-Shawn-Johnsons-The-Body-Department1

To conclude, I’m not saying that everyone needs to fit inside a box and be properly filed and categorized. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I believe no person is just one thing and that it is what’s different about us that makes us all beautiful. This article is not about creating a label for my body type to fit into, it’s about creating a place of love and respect that will allow women to feel comfortable just being themselves. I’m not skinny and I’m not plus-size; I am woman size, as are we all. So instead of trying to mold, shape, and squeeze ourselves into fitting a narrowly-defined category, we should all just do our own thing in our own way. It is 2015 and I believe that the days of women, and anyone for that matter, having to fit a label are long gone. Let’s celebrate our bodies, let’s encourage everyone, and let’s foster a culture of positivity in a society that seems to be so tainted by pornography, mass media, and other depictions of women that are nothing close to real life. I love my body, I love my curves, and I want you to feel the same! Let’s rid ourselves of labels and just be the one thing that we all are: beautiful.

xx,
Sarah

p.s. this is the perfect opportunity to share my favorite meme of all time & i just can’t resist. the first time i saw this i literally could not stop laughing.

chubbyswag


To see some of my favorite posts that I feel celebrate my favorite things about my body and my curves, click any of the pics below:

HaleyNordPhotography-4035 HaleyNordPhotography-4064HaleyNordPhotography (32 of 62)IMG_4808DSC_9316

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