In the spirit of diversity, I wrote this story. I did a bit of people watching in the mall. Again, this is a practise run for writing stories that have no magic or magical creatures in it (like Delusional from last month).
by Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Two friends were shopping, trying to find affordable clothes so they wouldn’t have to wear the same outfit more than once a week. Wearing the same thing every Monday was one thing. But wearing it three times a week? Unimaginable. Yet finding clothing that fit them right, one a size sixteen and the other a size fourteen going on twelve, was proving difficult.
‘You know who’s to blame for bad body image, don’t you?’ the blonde wearing mostly size sixteen asked.
Her brunette friend wearing a size twelve top and size fourteen pants shrugged.
‘Designers of affordable clothes that don’t understand what the human body really looks like.’ She held up a pair of size sixteen pants that clearly wouldn’t fit her or her friend.
‘Perhaps it’s the labellers who are to blame?’
‘Then why is this the biggest size here?’
The brunette could hear the tears, the self-loathing that simmered just beneath the angry words.
‘Let’s try the shoes. Shoes always make you happy.’
They found the perfect selection of shoes. But trying them on proved to be worse than riffling through the clothes racks searching for the right size. All the shoes were too big at the heel and too small at the front, squeezing the toes horribly.
‘Maybe this isn’t meant to be?’ the blonde asked, obviously upset but trying not to show it.
‘Next door’s a little more expensive. But maybe they have what we’re looking for?’
‘Ooh, look at this jacket,’ the blonde said before they left the store.
It was gorgeous: just the right shade of gold not to look gaudy and in a style that would look good on anyone; even someone who wears a size sixteen.
But the only big size, a triple extra-large, was made for someone with twigs for arms.
‘Don’t. Just don’t,’ the blonde said, holding her hand up so her friend wouldn’t say anything.
The slightly more expensive store yielded actual tears. Though the pants were big enough, something around the butt-area caused the whole thing to create the impression that they were wearing diapers. And it was so tight around the middle that it created muffin tops. Horrifying.
‘Do they really think that all women who wear a larger size have Pamelas?’ the blonde asked, looking disappointedly down at the saggy front of the tailored blouse. The weird thing was, the back was too tight…
‘Perhaps it’s wishful thinking,’ the brunette asked, trying not to squirm in the too-tight and simultaneously too-loose top.
‘I think it’s time to give up,’ the blonde said dejectedly as she changed clothes.
‘There’s still the shoes…’
‘Which probably would be as bad as this,’ she said and gestured to the clothes that were so ill-fitting.
‘Maybe they’ll surprise us.’
The shoes did surprise.
All the shoes were too small and tight, no matter what size they tried, and the shoes definitely weren’t made for human feet.
‘What the hell is wrong with them?’ the blonde asked, throwing the shoes back in their boxes.
‘They’re not really interested in selling clothes. It’s a front for something else,’ the brunette said as she led her friend out of the store.
‘Ooh! Drugs? Human trafficking? Black market organs?’
‘Self-loathing,’ she said and glared at the waif-thin clerks.
They made their way to the more expensive store where size sixteen pants actually sat a little loose and a lot comfortable in all the right places. A pair of pants there might cost three times as much as at the affordable store and a whole lot more than at the cheap store, but at least here there was no self-loathing and no tears while looking for clothes that fit just right.
Even the shoes, in the right size, had a little room to spare.
And the blouses? They were just right.
“Self-esteem and self-love are the opposites of fear; the more you like yourself, the less you fear anything.” – Brian Tracy
There are more women wearing size 14 clothes than those who wear a perfect 10. But maybe that’s observation bias? What do you think? Does this fit the spirit of diversity? Anything you’d change to the story?