Waist not, Want more

I have always understood my body to be not exactly how I would want it, but something I had to learn to love.

And the centre of this internal struggle has always been synched in at my waist. Or, in fact, lack thereof.

Mostly, for me, it has been the way it functions on the inside:
give me more energy
make my skin normal
tolerate more
react less
be skinnier so I can wear these high-waisted jeans everyone is pulling off

But as with anything internal, things have a tendency to manifest outward into How Great My Life Would Be with more or less of this.

And oh, the things a waist that adequately balanced out my body would do for me:
a) look good in dresses
b) look good in togs
c) do more towards the ever-coveted thigh gap in a pair of those high-waisted jeans everyone is pulling off

And then, recently, I witnessed something spectacular.

In a clothing sale in a lofty work room in Wellington, amidst the hoards of organic cotton and folds of fabric, there it was. Communal empathy for the waist between women.

And in this moment I experienced three things:

  1. Frustration at my lack of having a fashionable body type. All these clothes make me look like a small tent trying to look like a big tent. Is anyone else having this problem? (Random woman: ‘yes, but try this on’)
  2. Affirmation that high-waisted jeans require just that: a waist (Second random woman: ‘But try these pants on they are so great for our body shape!’)
  3. A realization that a communal changing space liberates all insecurities (Me: Hi this is my bra and my lack of waist – I like that top! Third random woman: ‘It would look great on you, you should totally try it on’)

Perhaps this is something we, as women, will always return to – how can we look/feel/be better at the middle of ourselves? For the waist, in a way, is where our closet sensitivities lie.













Words by Annabel Hawkins. Photographs by Anna Williams.