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Size 36 : The tyranny.
For Cinderella it was a "glass slipper" that allowed her to find her Charming Prince and marry him to live happily ever after. In modern day life it is a Size 36 that we believe will open the doors to our "happy ever after". And it does not matter how good a girl looks, there will always be the phantom of the size 36 in the back of her head.
A size 36
For those who are not familiar with continental sizes, a size 36, is the equivalent of a British size 8 and an American 6. You are right... a 36 is a tiny size and there are not many women who can wear it.
I have never been able to fit a 36 for tops, but I do have a pair of Versace jeans in 36 which I wear proudly. Not because they are Versace... but because they are a size 36! Although secretly I am almost convinced that the size labels were changed at some point.
I say that because when I was in Spain, I worked in a boutique in Marbella for a couple of months. The boutique belonged to a heavy German lady who loved dressing baroque and provocative. She did not have any issues on being a big size, but soon she understood that most women were bothered asking for big sizes. So one day, tired of seeing women of all countries and shapes coming everyday to her shop and asking for a size far too small for them-which they never fitted- This lady opted for changing size labels. She employed a tailor to work at the back of the boutique changing all the size labels in a way that even a 42 sized lady could believe that she was buying a 36 size. I must admit that the strategy worked and the sales doubled.
People who work selling clothes to women, know this very well. I had a friend who worked in a designer shop in London. She was one of the best sellers because she had a knack for telling stories. As soon as she saw someone trying on a size 8 she would start a story about the designer being very small and making all her clothes accordingly small. Her trick was to boost the buyers' ego. To tell them that although they were trying on a size 10 or 12, that was only the equivalent of an ordinary 8. And people did believe her!
Why do we pant for a size 36 if it is so unrealistic?
The average women wears anything from a 38 to 40. So why do we punish ourselves with diets and exercises just to fit in a size 36.? It is not to please our boyfriends or husbands. They have already told us that they prefer us curvy. It is just to show to our girlfriends that we are masters of our bodies. The media has supported for a long time the idea that our weight depends on our determination. All diets tell us the same story: You can do it. In our society to be slim has become a synonym of success. How many times you or a girlfriend have gone on a diet after breaking up with a boyfriend just to show him that you do not need him, that you are successful enough without him? It is not only about being slim but keeping the weight down. We like to think that even if we have no control on what happens to us, at least we are in control of our body.
Even the most "disruptive" women live under the tyranny of the perfect body. Take Lily Allen, the bad girl of pop. At the start she was proudly showing her curves, but a few months ago she said in her blog that she was tired of being a "fat cow". The actual post has been deleted but next days' post is just as poignant. Now, why would someone successful and pretty like her,would say something like that?
Victoria Beckham and Geri Halliwell were both curvy girls at the start of their careers with the Spice girls. Nowadays, despite maternity, they look slimmer than ever! Victoria Beckham is featured on dozens of pro-anorexia sites thanks to her concave thighs, and emaciated body. She is been called a thinspiration
For the Hollywood girls, the battle is even harder. With the new high quality screens, being a size 36 is not enough... a 34 is more desirable. But thankfully, there are more and more stars that are resisting this dictatorship of the size 36. Kate Winslet, Shakira, Scarlett Johansson are just a few of them.
Those of us who had spend part of our lives dieting and exercising know that being slim is not the door to happiness. We might be pleased to see ourselves in the mirror, we might be pleased to have our girlfriends complimenting our slimness... but at what price? Is it really worth it?
I remember my husband complaining that I was always irritable when I was slim. Frustrated If had not eaten something I wanted or guilty if I had! It certainly was not happiness for my husband...
Being more relaxed about weight allows you to enjoy more your life, as you are not focussed on calorie counting. For instance, if you are not dieting, you do not refuse going out for dinner or a drink with friends. We become more receptive to others and life, in summary... we enjoy our lifes.
Is a size 36, dangerous for your health?
In his book, Les hommes préferent les rondes (Men prefer curvy women), Dr. Pierre Dukan affirms that: "Without changing eating habits, a woman gains 1 kg. with each child that she has and 1,5 kg. every 10 years". Therefore, trying to unnaturally keep down to a size too small for you has devastating effects on your body. Diets, often deprive the organism of vitamins, most commonly of vitamin D and E found in fats. In the long term this causes osteoporosis in women no older than 50 and problems with the joints.
In the short term, the lack of vitamins and minerals produces physical fatigue. This, added to pregnancies and hormonal changes, make women more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue than men.