Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm a 10!

I went bathing suit shopping the other day. Why? Because I was feeling way too good about myself lately and the quickest way to depress yourself as a women over the age of 12 is to go bathing suit shoping. Seriously, I live in Los Angeles now, and there are beaches and well... snowsuits don't make for an even tan.

I go into this store that shall remain nameless (because I honestly don't remember the name, but it had the word "swim" in it I think) and I start looking. It's divided up by size. There's an area for size 4, size 6, size 8, size 10, size 12 and size 14. Now this is weird to me because most swimsuit stores I've been in have their stuff sized Small, Medium, Large, XL.

The sales lady visually sizes me up and tells me to look in the size 6 rack. I think that makes sense because in clothing stores I am anywhere from a size 4 to a 7 depending on the store. I grab a few size 6 suits and head to the changing room. I can't get any of the bathing suits over my ass. Not a one. I head back out, confused and look for size 7s. They don't have size 7s so I go to the size 8 rack. I find a few there I like and take them back.

I find one I love that fits.... but it's a little tight. The kind of tight that makes your back fat bunch up under your armpits and gives you the oh-so-not-sexy muffin top. As I am walking back out... ready to wave the white flag on bathing suit shopping and start starving myself asap I see the exact same suit on the size 10 rack.

I'm not a size 10. If I was to wear a 10 in jeans I could pull them on without undoing them. here is nothing wrong with being a 10. I know tons of 10s and they are fine wonderful, fit people. But I am not a 10. It's weird how you learn to identify with a size system but you do and I did and my size has never been bigger than a 7.

Anyway, I pick it up and examine it and for the first time look at the tags sewn into the bahting suit instead of the sizes marked by the store on the racks. I see that although the store has stuck it on the rack marked "10" it actually says "medium" on the tags. I look at the one I had tried on from the "8" rack and it's marked "small". The 4/6 rack are actually "extra small and "extra-extra small".


So I take the "medium" and I try it on and it fits perfectly. It's awesome. I love it - and I haven't loved a bikini since I was 14. So I go to the cash to buy it..... this is the conversation that ensues with the cashier.

CASHIER: So you found something you like?

ME: Yeah, I love it.

CASHIER: I thought you had me put this one back earlier? You changed your mind?

ME: No it's the same suit but a different size. The 6 and 8 didn't fit.

CASHIER: It's a 10?

ME: It's a medium.

CASHIER: Huh, I never would have thought you were a 10. You hide it well.

ME: Wow, way to kick start an eating disorder. Thanks.

I'm 5'7 and 126 pounds, what ,exactly, am I "hiding well"??????

I should have walked out. I shouldn't have given her my money. But seriously, that would mean I would have to go and do this to my self-esteem all over again somewhere else. And that option was way more unappealing than just giving her my money and taking my size "10" (and by "10" I mean "medium") ass home.


Joan said...

That cashier needs a good kick in the head, and a career change.

On the same subject, I am 5'6" and 125 pounds. Why is it that I have to buy size LARGE underpants?

Jennie said...

i agree with joan about the kick and the career change.

i am in desperate need of new jeans and yet i won't go shopping because EVERY store in vancouver caters to teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy women and i wear a size ENORMOUS. i wonder if anyone on freecycle has a sewing machine they don't want, i could just make new jeans patterned from my old jeans. no size lables required.

Joan said...

do they have value village or goodwill out there? low-rise wider leg jeans have been out for so long that now, there's always a vast selection of them in these places. and somehow, it doesn't feel like such a sizist environment, though i'm not sure why.