Its Cuppa and a chat time people, and this one is a little personal for me. I hope thats ok! Have you ever seen Wonder Woman and me in the same room? No? Well there is a reason for this…….Well, actually, thats a lie, despite what our very similar looks and figures may say (ahem) Im not her. But I do occasionally, apparently become a kind of superhero, or at least I have a fab superhero uniform, so it could almost be true. Im Kerry, midlife ordinary gal, loves a gin, and I am often placed in not one, but two invisibility cloaks. Im telling you the secret of my midlife super power. Nice to meet you.
Now, let me explain.
My Midlife Super Power
In April this year, I turned 45. This apparently, officially makes me middle aged. I have no issue with being 45, but Im not a fan of being called middle aged. I will expand on why in a sec. I am also roughly, a UK clothes size 18. This makes me what is called plus size here in the UK. Again, I have no real issue with carrying extra weight, it dosent change my soul, but, just like the “middle aged” tag, it brings with it a change in peoples perception and attitude. This is where the invisibility cloaks come in.
Up until just a few years ago, I never had to worry about putting on weight. I was incredibly active, always having played netball, always had horses, and although I have always had a healthy appetite, (I love me some cake), never really struggled to keep my weight down. I then went through an extremely rough few years where for various reasons, I gained weight and, have somehow kept those extra few stone swaddled round me. The reason I am telling you this is because I want you to understand that I have been what the majority class as “normal” weight, and I have been larger and therefore, have seen both sides of the fence. The same as I have been young, and now I am “middle aged”. Iv stood on both sides of the road. Now I have got that bit out of the way, lets get to the juicy stuff. The stuff that explains what the hell I am going on about in my usual random way!
The first thing I am going to talk in reference to is fashion. It is becoming more and more apparent, that on Instagram, unless you are willing to post countless “outfit of the day photos” it is almost impossible to grow. Especially amongst my age group for some reason! They blooming love an outfit photo! Now, I have never been a follower of mainstream fashion, preferring instead to always have my own style and wearing what the hell I liked. Camden Market (secondhand, boho, new age-ish) was one of my favourite places to buy clothes in my younger days. I was the girl that in my younger years, wore huge, oxblood DM boots with hot pants, or dainty, pretty heels with rara skirts and leg warmers (it was the 80’s/90’s remember). I was even known to go out in a sailors suit! I was confident enough to wear whatever took my fancy and I just enjoyed it. Im still a little like that (don’t panic, I promise you no hot pants), I still enjoy clothes, but if Im honest, I stay away from the stuff I see on everyones feeds. It puts me off seeing everyone in similar things, (do not get me started on slogan tee’s). I don’t really look for fashion inspiration on the internet. After all, I don’t want to look like someone else, so Im usually preferring to just do my own thing, enjoy what I like, (I love colourful clothes), and will be like that whatever my size!
What has become very apparent though, is the attitude of other people. People can act like you are invisible when you are larger. People can treat you like your opinion does not really hold any weight (excuse the pun) when you are above a certain size. After all, what on earth can YOU know about fashhh-hun pork chop? I don’t think people are nasty, (well some are, arses) but I think people are insensitive and judgemental sometimes. They make assumptions about you by your size/age. Even a fellow blogger that I class as a friend said once on her Instagram stories, “Oh, Im a disgusting fat pig with what I have eaten today, I reckon I am going to be at least a size 16 by the morning”. Now, I am not particular sensitive about my weight, I have had waaayyy more pressing things to worry about, but I did find that this throw away comment hit a nerve. The indication that anyone bigger than her perceived “normal” weight was a “disgusting fat pig”. It made me feel self conscious and shitty for a few days. The fact that I still remember her words shows me that it hurt me, and I can shake shiz off pretty easily. I know she isn’t a horrible person, but its this insensitivity and carelessness with words that can make people feel shit. Its not nice.
You then have the middle aged invisibility cloak. another string to my midlife super power bow. This one is the one that you apparently must put on when you go into any shop that is super trendy. Or where the shop assistants are all willowy, beautiful, twenty year olds. That cloak must close around you because they will offer help to all the people in the shop that look like them before wandering over to you. Im not saying for one moment that they are unfriendly or unhelpful, but they make an assumption that you have perhaps got lost. You have wandered into their chrome, glass and shiny floored shop by accident, while obviously looking for Lakeland so you can top up on jam jars. (Im not sure if middle aged plump people regualy buy jam jars, but you get my drift).
Having been on both sides of the fence, I have seen first hand the difference in how people see you when you don’t fit their idea of “normal”. I have seen it. Even thinking about the bloggers etc that are chosen for press trips or photo shoots. You can pretty much guarantee that the vast majority will be under 30 and under a size 12. Its very rare to see a plus size blogger on these trips. They are incredibly under represented. The same as older bloggers, and although there as been a small shift in this area, you will again see, if an older blogger IS chosen, they will pretty much guaranteed to be a size 12 or under. The over 35’s are often very under represented, even from skin care brands where their main target audience is the over 30’s. The brands marketing team decide that the impact will be greater using young, slim bloggers, no matter what the brand are selling. Having worked in the skin care industry for the last 20 years, I know this to be true from an insiders point of view too!
Over the years, I have learnt to accept that some people will assume that I must surely live on chocolate eclairs all day, or use a mobility scooter to go from my lounge to my kitchen. I clearly do no exercise and would not know what an apple was if it was launched at my head. I am unhealthy, and I clearly have chip shop chips for my breakfast, lunch and dinner every day….. Im obviously exaggerating, but again, you get my point! I don’t compare myself to others, thats destructive and we spoke about this in my post Comparison – the stealer of joy.
Now, my honest view on all of this rubbish is quite simple, and I will try to be tactful……
Keep your judgemental opinion to your obviously perfect, faultless self. Ta
(Ok, tact is not my strong point) People are people. No one is better than anyone else. Not clothes size, not age, not followers, not your wardrobe, make anyone better than the next person. No one, not a single person, has a right to judge anyone else. There is not another soul that knows the full extent of what someone is going through or been through, so people should keep their narrow minded, judgemental views to themselves. Im personally, not the biggest fan of incredibly vain people, I don’t like that level of self absorption, but I would never judge them. The constant selfie posting, validation needing or fishing for compliments can hide their own issues, so I am understanding of that. I don’t sit in judgement. Its not my place to. Who the feck am I to be judge and jury?
So, I suppose what Im saying, (finally) is that I am ready to fling off my cloaks. Im ready to stand up and be counted and quite honestly, don’t give a flying feck if people like it or not. I may decide to lose weight, I may not, but that dosent change my heart, my integrity, the person I am. But if I do lose weight, people will suddenly see me. Thats the shallowness of our society now Im afraid. You only have to look at social media to see how “beautiful people” get a far bigger fan base and following. Its easier for them. Fact. I have no issue with gaining more years. I am sadly incredibly aware of how some people don’t get that privilege, but I will not age quietly. Ill still be kicking my (Jimmy Choo) heels up on girls holidays, going on impromptu pub crawls with my husband, and I dare say, getting drunk with my sons now they are of age. I also know, as I get older, I will give even less fecks about peoples opinion of me. My cloaks will be off, put in the back of the wardrobe, along with my leg warmers……
So, what I would love to know, is is there a cloak that you feel people think you wear? Have you been guilty of judging a book by its cover? Do you feel as a society that we have become more shallow, more judgemental? As ever, I would love to know your thought on this. You know me by now, I have no issue with you being as brutally honest as you feel. I love honesty! Lets chew the cud