Female. White. English. Irish. Middle Class.
Picture her. What do you see?
Waif-like? Skinny? Pale? Bones. Hip bones? Vertebrae? Ribs?
That's the body you would expect from a white, English, Irish, Middle-Class woman. Right?.
Slender. Lean. Thin. Size 8.
That is what white Middle-Class girls are meant to look like.
So what do you do when you're a pale and white, English, Irish, Middle-Class girl with hips, boobs, a bum and thighs. No bones in sight.
Thighs that don't hide - That don't have a gap. That cosy up next to each other like a loved-up couple on a cold winter's day.
What do you do when your posterior protrudes to the side? In thongs, in jeans, in leggings. Out there for everyone to perceive.
What do you do when your bosom bursts from bras, bikinis, and bodies? They can't be bound; they are there for all to see.
What do you do when the body you have doesn't quite fit into the racial, social and cultural narrative you are told every day of your life. In magazines, in film, in the paper, on the news?
Hate your body. Hate your thighs. Hate the way you don't look like the skinny, blonde girl that is so typical of your class. Starve yourself; avoid carbs.
That's what I used to do. Hate my body, hate my thighs, eat less, avoid pasta, and avoid bread. Restrict. Feel guilty. All of the guilt. Shame. Embarrassment. I was embarrassed I didn't look like the girls my age, class, girls in my seminars, in my place of work, in the magazines, in the adverts, on the screen, and Instagram.
Embarrassed by my appetite. Embarrassed by my cosy thighs, protruding posterior and bursting bosom, which were not in line with the racial and cultural narrative associated with my race and class and gender.
I got bored of hating my body. It is exhausting. Something changed when I turned 27 - the effect of Saturn's Return, some might say. I began to move my body but not how I had done before. Not to try and sweat for slender thighs in vain. Not in a craving for creating crevices where there were none. But to feel strong and to feel powerful. I became grateful for my thighs that those muscles could power me through those miles on a treadmill or on a bike; That those muscles could support my squats. I found strength within my strength and have begun to see my body as a tool, not as an object - not one that can be measured and quantified and reduced.
It's taken a long time to try and shake my embarrassment and guilt and accept my body for what it is. I still am. I have a bum and boobs and thighs. That isn't going to change, and they're not going away. I'm never going to love my body, and that's okay. Acceptance is what I strive for now. My body can move in ways some could only dream of. "I have a body; I am a soul". I tell myself this when I am low and focusing on my body as an object. I am so much more than my body, and so are you. Your soul is where the real magic is. Acceptance is crucial, and it's what I can only hope for both you and me.
Sophie x the anti-casting
All the womxn featured on the underargument have been selected based on the personal story they shared with us which was inspired by one of our collections' themes. We only receive stories, no photos and no measurements. This is what we call the anti-casting and it is our way of reclaiming the representation of women's diversity and utilising the power of storytelling to empower ourselves and others. Find out more and maybe submit your story too here.
Sophie is wearing collection no.01 For awesome // Against perfect.