A little thing happened Eroticon weekend in Camden that left me feeling upset… Not at the conference I hasten to add, which is brilliant and lovely, but as a sort of side effect.
I am someone who struggles to be confident with my body. It doesn’t conform to media portrayals of femininity.
When I was 12 I reached my full height of 180cm, (6ft) and my feet were a 42 (size 8). All the cute boys came to my elbows if I was lucky. I was straight hipped and broad shouldered and although I didn’t really understand it at the time, gender and sexuality confused.
And flat chested… relatively. A cups easily flattened under a vest, far more pecs than boobs. And this continued for years.
No, I’m not posting someone else’s pictures… 4 babies later and I have the other problems.
The thing that happened wasn’t lingerie related. It was shoes. Round the corner from the hotel I stayed at was the Doc Martens’ store. And I really wanted a pair. The front of shop was full of beautiful boots, from holographic finishes and velvet to plain black with rainbow stitching. But I now wear a UK 10 or 11. First, I was ignored in favour of the cuter, hipster customers, which normally would have been my cue to leave. the universal sign of “you don’t fit here”. But I had Eroticon confidence running through my veins, so I toughed it out and eventually asked how would I know which shoes I could get in my size.
I was directed down a set of stairs to the clearly labelled men’s department.
There was a choice of black, burgundy or vegan.
I walked out.
How does this relate to lingerie? My chest has done the opposite. From masculine to maternal. But I still can’t buy bras. I walk into shops and ask for my size and get askance looks.
I had stopped asking. The bra that I dug out from the back of the draw for last week’s photo was last worn between babies two and three, had lost wires and yet, I hadn’t thrown it away because I knew I couldn’t replace it. I had the grand total of 3 serviceable bras, one nude, two black, left in the world, and like shoe shopping I had lost the nerve to go looking for something more pretty than serviceable.
Twelve websites later, and I found somewhere that had my size, in a choice of styles and at a price I could afford.
I hate to be made to feel less because of my size and my height. I hate the assumptions made about what I might be like based on things over which I have no control. I didn’t ask for the F cup chest I have now, any more than I wanted the A cups I wore through my teenage years anymore than I want size 10 feet.
I ordered a new bra… and it fit.
I can’t begin to express how that feels.