Hi, I'm new to this group. The clothing industry has made me feel inferior since I was 10 and I started to go through puberty. When I was in girl's sizes I always felt that your age should match up to the size on the tag because I was a size 6 when I was 6 years old. When I was 10 I was size 14/16, and that crushed my self-esteem.
When I was 14, I developed an eating disorder. I lost a lot of weight, and for the first time ever, I was wearing size Smalls and 0s. This made me feel great every time I went shopping. I continued to maintain a low weight for the next year and a half.
When I was 15, I went into an inpatient eating disorder unit for treatment. At this point, my eating disorder had gotten so bad that the 0s were falling off of me (I took that to be a good thing.) I gain some weight, but I was still small. I only really had to go up to a size 1.
While I was at a healthy weight when I left the hospital, it was not the weight that my body wanted to maintain. To my dismay I gained more weight. I never became overweight, but I wasn't "superskinny" as I had been. I was devastated.
When it came to shopping, I had a dilemma. I had been buying the smallest sizes for years because they fit. Now they no longer fit, but I still wanted to be a size 1 and wear a size Small. I found a way to satisfy this desire by buying clothes that "ran big" but were still in these sizes.
Over the past few months I've been making peace with my body. I began trying on clothes in bigger sizes. I came the the realization that while I no longer fit into the smallest size, my size was still on the smaller end of the spectrum. I also realized that "I wear a size 5" does not mean "I am a size 5". I had been using clothing Size as an identity. Now that I don't, I feel liberated.
Here comes my conclusion (warning! cliche): Woman of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. I had thought that I needed to be thin to be beautiful. However, when I was thin, I felt ugly. Now that I am healthy and confident I feel beautiful for the first time.
I apologize for sounding so sappy.