Today was the first time in a very long time I cried because something I ordered online didn’t fit me. The frustration of not fitting into clothes isn’t new to me, but since I discovered the growing world of online plus size retailers it has become so much easier. It took me by surprise when a wave of sadness hit me after trying on a pair of soft knee pads I had ordered for pole dancing, and I couldn’t do anything but give in and sat crying on my bed for twenty minutes straight.
“There are the moments where I just want to give up everything, because you ALWAYS have to go the long way when you are fat. ALWAYS. It’s always a fucking extra mile.”, were the exact words I typed down to some friends after sending them a picture of the super tight knee pad. And it made me realise I wasn’t frustrated with my body or suddenly felt bad about it, I was just so fucking tired of how the world around me sees my fat body.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a special item of clothes you are looking for, rings that fit bigger fingers, specific sport clothes, something simple like a black pair of tights warm enough for winter, it always requires an extra amount of research, if you want it in an extra large size. It eats up your personal recourses and your money, because after you finally found this one seller on eBay, that sells a pair of over knee socks in an 3XL (which doesn’t mean you know they will fit, it’s still a risk), you have to pay double of what everyone in a straight size has to pay, plus shipping, plus taxes. I am not sure if thin folks realise how much of a daily effort it is for fat people to find the things they like. Most of us can’t just go into town, we have to buy every single piece online, and we pay a lot more than you.
I started pole dancing in January, I am planning to write a post about how amazing it is, but from what I gathered so far there is quite a huge community of plus size pole dancers but a lack of pole wear, wide fit shoes and especially any kind of gear like knee pads. Obviously having a new hobby requires research for everyone, but if you are a size 14 or smaller your new pole outfit is a “pole wear” search on google and a few clicks away. While for me it means finding new resources, checking different retailers, asking for help and being confronted with shops that apparently are selling to plus size dancers but have not one single plus size model in their shop.
It’s something that you come across again and again as a fat person. People tell you your life will be so much easier once you lost a certain amount of weight, but this exhaustion, the tiredness I am feeling has nothing to do with the weight I carry around, but with how the world is treating me because of it.
May it be fashion or fitness, it doesn’t really matter, the reality is that industries and people are trying to exclude us from being ourselves over and over again. We are denied the easy way and most days I personally don’t care, I just do. I go to the pole class, I wear the dress, I have an awesome date, I eat what I want. But today a pair of knee pads that didn’t fit as well as I hoped pushed me over the edge and into a good and deserved cry.
No matter how much you are at peace with your body always having to ask yourself or others “Does it come in my size aswell?” is a certain kind of openness that doesn’t come easy for everyone. Especially when there is always the risk of the ‘just lose some weight and it will be easier for you’ advice. It shouldn’t be that hard for me or any other fat person to enjoy their lives, may it by expressing themselves through fashion or by dancing their arse off in a pole studio, but unfortunately it is.