Before I get into this article, I will say that there may be some triggers for anyone with low self-esteem. Please read with precaution.
I love my body. I sometimes don't get along with it, but that doesn't mean that I don't love it. I know I'm not thin, but I also don't fall into the "plus-size" category. And sure, I gained and lost about 30 pounds of weight in high school, but the weight gain or loss did not put me in the "thick" or "thin" category. I was and still am the in-between.
Here are some of the things I struggle with as an "in-between" womxn:
1. My body fluctuates ALL THE TIME. My clothes run from a spectrum of all sizes. From when I was 160 lbs to when I was 130 lbs. I find myself cleaning out my closet every year. Sometimes, I lose 5 pounds within 2 weeks, sometimes -- I'll gain them back. Sometimes, I gain 15 and then lose then within months. Though it's sometimes a blessing to lose weight (like trying to fit into this reallyyyyy cute mauve dress I have), it's sometimes a curse (especially when my cute jeans don't hug my body the way they did when I had gained a couple of pounds).
2. Choosing which clothes will fit me better is such a struggle. I can either pick the pair of jeans that make my butt look a little perkier but suffocate my thighs or the jeans that make my butt look non-existent, but allow my thighs to breathe.
3. There are hardly any models that represent the in-between. Brands/companies just opt out for the extremes: thin or plus-size. Now, I'm not hating on the representation that both portrayals get. I'm just hating on the lack of representation of my body type: some belly rolls/no flat tummy, petite, curvy, etc.
4. Clothes with specific types: "curvy," "tall," "petite," etc. I love that designers are becoming more inclusive with clothing, but what about people who are petite, but curvy? I either have to roll up my jeans or pull down my shirt because it's made for a petite or tall body size.
5. Not being able to identify with either or. People compliment my thighs, arms, etc. They tell me I'm thick and beautiful, but... I'm not! I technically do not fit into that category of thickness. But a part of me wishes that I was! Though I do believe that labels can be restricting, sometimes, labels help identify with what one resides with or doesn't reside with. I will see beautiful, plus-sized womxn and see them own their body like no one's business. And though I am a huge supporter of plus-sized womxn/people (and thin womxn/people), there just isn't much praise for in-between womxn/people for owning their body. I just believe in acknowledging in this specific size, because I know so many beings who are the in-between, but feel terribly self-conscious because clothes fit them differently than what they would look like on another, specific audience.
So, some advice to designers/advertisers: PLEASE REPRESENT MY BODY TYPE. We feel self-conscious, too, and would like to know that our body is just as beautiful as the others.