As a long time professor of “new year, new me!”, I curled-up on my couch yesterday to watch Tidying-Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix.
In this trending new series, bestselling author Kondo teaches ordinary people how to free themselves from unnecessary clutter and only keep the items that ‘spark joy’, using the KonMari method of tidying-up.
After three episodes, I couldn’t watch anymore.
It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the show – I loved it. I loved it so much that I needed to get-up and start “kondo-ing” my house right away.
Kondo says that the first step of the KonMari method is to declutter your wardrobe. I thought that this step would be easy for me, because I clean-out my wardrobe quite regularly, but I found some uneasy emotions arise when I noticed a particular section of my wardrobe – ‘my fat clothes’.
I want to preface the rest of this story by saying that I genuinely believe that all body shapes are beautiful. I call these clothes ‘my fat clothes’ due to my own complicated relationship with my body image and, from a pragmatic point of view, they were the clothes I wore when I was at my biggest. I would never call another person fat, but I’ve lost count of how many times I have slurred that loaded word at myself.
My weight has fluctuated since the moment I hit puberty. I was one of those girls who seemingly developed curves overnight and before any of my friends. Out of fear of looking different and feeling like I didn’t belong, I hid my beautiful little body under baggy clothes and developed a completely unnecessary sense of shame.
This shame unfortunately followed me into adulthood and got reinforced by societal expectations. Not to mention when friends, family or even strangers made comments about my body through its various shapely seasons that reinforced the idea that slim is good and curvy is bad.
The clothes in the ‘fat’ section of my wardrobe were purchased during a pretty sucky time in my life. Due to challenging circumstances and side affects of some medication, I was at my biggest. Within a year I went-up three dress sizes.
LISTEN: The big problem with Marie Kondo’s method for tidying up. Post continues.
I can vividly remember being in a Glassons fitting room, struggling to squeeze into a pair of pants and realising just how much weight I’ve gained. I decided that day, that I never wanted to have that realisation in a public place again.
I’ve lost most of the extra weight now, but I’ve kept the bigger pants.
In fact, half my wardrobe has become clothes that are too big for me. I’m holding onto those clothes so that I will never again be a shocked mess in a dressing room.