This post deals with themes of body image that might be triggering for some readers.
Yours could be tucked away under your bed or pushed to one end of your wardrobe. They could be squished back behind a pile of shoes. Tucked up high on a shelf you can’t reach. A single dress hung in a dry-cleaning bag.
Mine take up three boxes stacked on top of one another in my spare room. Three boxes full of clothes that don’t fit now, but might ‘one day’.
Before I moved into my current place and had the luxury of a spare room, they hung on my $15 clothes rack. It heaved under the pressure and often toppled over in the middle of the night. Before that, it was under my bed in flat storage containers I’d wheel out and open up whenever I felt like taking a gamble on my self-esteem.
It’s a very privileged problem to have – owning too many clothes – but when none of them fit you, it’s all you see when you get dressed every morning. Not clothes that are too small, but a body that’s too big.
WATCH: I spoke alongside other Aussie women about my relationship with my body in the video below. Oh and I did it in a pair of swimmers. Post continues after video.
Like me, you might’ve been holding onto your too small clothes for years. Or like my mum before me, even decades. Clothes you don’t like anymore are easy to donate or give away. But small clothes? You’ve got to hold onto them just in case. Sure, you won’t be able to wear them anytime soon, but you’d kick yourself if you threw them out because, after all, you’re not going to be the size you are now forever, right?
This is the message my too small clothes tell me. Yours might say something different.
‘I’ll start eating healthy on Monday. I‘ll lose the weight before the wedding. I’ll look great in this once I’ve lost a few kgs.’
And just when I think I’ve forgotten about mine, something will remind me they still exist. A photo on Instagram. A Facebook memory. A dress online I really love that looks an awful lot like one I already own…
Even when they’re packed away, these clothes are a reminder my body in its current shape, size and weight is temporary. An incomplete project I’ve been working on for 17 years.
When I brought up my box(es) of too small clothes with a group of women at work, everyone in the room nodded. Some let out a murmur. Others a wry smile. Because, of course, I am not the only woman in the world who owns clothes that don’t fit. In fact, you’d struggle to find a single woman who doesn’t own at least one thing at this very moment that isn’t even the littlest bit too tight.