“I will work to praise my body for what it is, instead of what it isn’t.”
I was browsing the selection of breeches at the local tack store and minding my own business, when a salesperson walked up and said, “Can I help you find your size? What are you, a _____?” The blank was filled in by a number three to four sizes bigger than the size of pants that I normally wear.
I was crushed. But there’s a lot to learn here.
Part of the human experience is seeing things through different eyes. I will never view myself the way that my mom sees me, nor will I be able to understand what a stranger or a salesperson sees when they look me up and down. I understand that most people don’t come from a place of malice… but remember that the only person who knows the most about a body is the person that inhabits it. You might think nothing of trying to guess someone’s pant size, but I can guarantee that almost 100% of the time, it’s not necessary.
We also need to remember that there is no true universal sizing system and that we are all at the mercy of individual brands who cut their clothing differently. I have a closet full of breeches from a variety of brands in three different sizes. There simply isn’t consistency in equestrian apparel sizing, and what might fit you in Kerrits won’t fit you in Pikeurs. As frustrating as it is, remind yourself that the number printed on the tag is far less important than the way you feel. This is something I continue to work on every single day — if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have written this post!
Perhaps what’s most important to keep in mind is that bodies change and fluctuate constantly. Some days, you wake up, look in the mirror and like what you see, and sometimes you wonder why you look drastically different than the day before. It drives me absolutely nuts that my body “betrays” me like this even when I’m active and eating well, but I don’t have complete and total control over the way my body reacts to and digests food. Bloating is just part of life, especially for women. The sooner we learn to accept it, the happier we will be.
Every day, I fight the voice in my head that tries to tell me my muffin top is too big or that my love handles are hanging over my belt. That language is so unhealthy. From now on, I will work to praise my body for what it is, instead of what it isn’t.
Kate Kosnoff is a recent college graduate and founder of Riders for Well-Being and Glam Glitter Gal. She competes with Waffle, her hunter-turned-jumper across the Midwest. Visit her at glamglittergal.com or @glamglittergalkate on Instagram.