3 In who am I

Why does the world say that in order for a woman to be beautiful, she has to be uncomfortable?

The clothes I wear

I can totally run in these shoes.

I have a thing, a kiiks, like we say in Estonian. It’s actually the sound of something squeaking but it also means a thing, you know a Thing, a quirk, like having to fold your laundry a certain way or having to iron bed sheets.

My thing is definitely not ironing bed sheets but it’s to do with clothes & shoes, namely – I detest being uncomfortable or restricted so I never wear super high heels or anything that is tight around my waist.

I don’t really want to wear bras either but darn it, there’s only so far I can take my comfy look before I look like a total hippie. Double standards, I know, but one can still push the boundaries without totally pushing them over.

The Thing for me probably started in my childhood when clothes and especially shoes were not the greatest. Soviet life meant either hand-me-down shoes or ones that were on sale but only in a size that wasn’t quite the right one.

If your current pair of unfortunate shoes were too tight, you’d soak woolen socks in vodka, jam the shoes on your feet and walk around the house until the shoes had stretched OR until your feet had become totally crippled. Not the most enjoyable activity for a child or a pre-teen or a teen.

Until I moved to the States and started wearing tennis shoes at all times, I don’t remember a summer without blisters or bleeding feet or walking barefoot through town because I just could not take another step in shoes that made my feet bleed.

My husband says I have princess feet as they do blister very easily but thankfully these days I have figured out what I can wear in the summer when socks are taken out of play – bendy ballerinas & sandals with minimal straps & definitely nothing between toes. I love how comfy Birkenstocks are but after wearing them for quite a few hours last weekend, I have 4 blisters.

I totally get why the Germans who invented them wear them with socks. I have not yet done that in public as I do stick to SOME rules of what is socially acceptable to wear but peeps who wear socks and sandals – I hear you!

As for clothes – if I can’t breathe or move freely – forget about it. If something is fitted around my waist I hate myself.

Sadly ever since fashion became a thing, you know sometime shortly after the stone age, women have been squeezed into things that are uncomfortable. And it’s somehow been totally normal that beauty equals pain.

Are we only attractive when we are not able to be strong and defend yourself – when we can’t run away if necessary (high heels) or can’t scream if necessary (corsets, waist trainers, tight belts)?

For my wedding, for example, I designed my own dress. Somebody else sewed it for me but I wanted one that was first and foremost comfortable so I could enjoy the day without hating my body. I also wore flat shoes. I should have taken it a step further and worn sneakers under my long dress like Serena Williams did. That woman won my heart for doing that.

Maybe I’m taking this a bit too seriously but I think one can look very nice without being uncomfortable.

I just really really have a problem with the world wanting women to be uncomfortable and vulnerable and “sexy” (if boobs-out-waits-cinched-walking-like-bambi is sexy).

I also have a problem with women buying into it.

And if you wear Spanx and/or stilettos and say that you are NOT uncomfortable, I simply do not believe you.

But this whole thing is MY Thing, right? My quirk and I can’t get upset over other women choosing to dress differently. Even though I will not be able to relate or understand, at the end of the day it’s not my body and all I need to worry about is whether I am comfortable in MY body.

I just hope that young women learn earlier rather than later that beauty and strength and sexiness does not equal pain and discomfort.

I have squeezed myself into jeans that were the smallest possible size I could squeeze myself into because I thought that if I was able to squeeze into a certain size I was ok.

I wore Spanx on dates and couldn’t eat properly and enjoy myself.

I have done all that. None of that has empowered me.

It took me well over 3 decades to understand that squeezing my body into clothes that the society told me I had to wear was not making me feel good about myself. I made me want to be smaller and weaker.

So one day I stopped.

Now I can breathe at all times, eat at all times and run for the freaking bus at all times.

Do you have a Thing when it comes to clothes or shoes?


Part two will be about what we wear in the gym and why more men than women tend to take their t-shirts off when it’s stifling hot…

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  • Reply
    Anna @AnnaTheApple
    June 12, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I rarely ever wear heels. I think the only time I do is at Christmas parties with work and then it’s quite a novelty and seems fun. But always ends up being painful!
    I agree, women (and men) should dress however the hell they want to be comfortable (I mean within reason of course depending on the setting). And wearing heels and tight clothing should not be synonymous with being sexy or beautiful.

  • Reply
    Tess Agnew
    June 11, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I got targeted by one of those ridiculous waist trainer ads the other day on Twitter and promptly reported it. I think there’s still so much emphasis on how we *look* rather than how we feel. Even the fitness industry is in on it too now, with social media awash with fitness models flashing their abs that are unattainable to most of us who like a slice of cake and a beer every now and then. For me, I try to focus on what my body can *do* rather than what it looks like and that way I feel comfortable knowing it’s strong, fit and healthy. BUT… I do still wear heels to parties (chunky Irregular Choice faves that I wore on my wedding day). The difference now, is I take my Birkenstocks or trainers with me so I can change out of them within a couple of hours instead of suffering in silence!

    • Reply
      mind matter project
      June 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Don’t get me started on waist trainers! They are criminal.

      As for high heels – you have worked out what works for you 🙂 Feet totally have a breaking point so if you get a kick out of high heels, know what that breaking point is (in minutes /hours) and yes – pack some flats for after that! I wear high heeled boots in the winter quite often actually. They are pretty comfy and I’m already tall so being taller than most people is kind of cool and makes me feel powerful 😉

      I will write about what is worn in the fitness industry in a separate post 😐

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