Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Charged by the pound.

Last weekend I took some time and went through my closet. I got a large Tupperware bin, with the goal of putting away all my clothes that are a size to two sizes too small. I slowly made my way through my stock piles of clothes, and found tops I love, but don't fit me. I stared longingly at the jeans I fit into when I did a protein-juice-fast-diet, and the jeans I wore before I gained so much weight, and put them all away.

I'm keeping them, because my weight fluctuates. I'm also getting progressively "better." I'm in recovery, I'm feeling better than I have in years, so my physical health might improve too.

It can be difficult, clothes can be so loaded. Sometimes they're a shame-lined tool for guilt, a dress you long to fit into, a sale-item you'll get to hopefully fit into one day. Tools of flagellation. I don't want that around me.

But, clothes are also expensive. Especially plus-sized clothes. This means I should (and am) keeping the clothes that are a size or two too small. The alternative is to "go with the flow" of my weight fluctuations - but that entails purchasing new clothes as I go - which I can't do.

Plus-size stores are becoming easier to access, but prices are significantly higher than regular stores. Also, because there are less stores, there are less sales. I can't buy a pair of pants for 20$ at Forever 21 like a co-worker can. If I want something that fits and that I can move in, I'm spending at least 50$ on a pair of pants, and that's conservative. When it comes to office-appropriate clothing, my clothing budget leaves me in the red.

This pulled out the memory of reading an article on how just being mildly rounder means making significantly less a year. The article's example is of both minor weight disparity and a more significant one, which means I'm likely making significantly less than I should be:
If you are deemed to be heavy, on the other hand, you suffer, as a 2011 study made clear. Heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average-weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less. Very thin women, on the other hand, earned $22,000 more than those who were merely average. And yes, those results are far more visible on women’s earnings than on those of men.
This is of course, on top of the regular old-hat criticism and fat-phobia you receive on a daily basis. So I'm likely making 22,000$ less a year than my thin friends. I'm assuming there's the correlation that my body size also means I'm lazy. It definitely means less people want to fuck me so I guess that makes me less quantifiable; less interesting.

So to reiterate, my clothes are way more expensive, and I make significantly less.

Since my finances are very much on my mind these days, feeling the financial prejudice (on top of the fat-phobic prejudice I see and feel often) is just kicking me right in the innards.

Right in the innards.

There's also a short piece on Jezebel about how having living with disordered eating is also correlated to lower income. Though, the assumption here is that the wage disparity isn't based on external judgement/bias but on an internalized low self-esteem and decreased opportunity due to the struggle.

So, for someone like me, who lived for years with an eating disorder in my late-teens and early twenties, it's assumed I "lost" a lot of time to that struggle. And in my case, I did. That ED was coupled with a severe depressive episode though. The ED lead to severe weight gain through eating-recovery and prolonged depression. So now, I'm like, double-fucked double-poor.

What a time to be alive.

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