Girls@gupshup by Aradhika Sharma

The jean jinx

Now this would be the height of things! At a time that there are a gazillion brands offering jeans for women, I cannot find a pair that fits well.

The jean jinx

illustration: sandeep joshi

Dear Diary Didi,

Now this would be the height of things! At a time that there are a gazillion brands offering jeans for women, I cannot find a pair that fits well.

Today, all excited, I went to the mall for shopping. My agenda was to purchase a couple of pairs of jeans. Vaise, shopping for jeans has never been a pleasant experience. I usually step in and out of numerous garments. It seems as if the jean makers have ganged up and decided against making a decent pair of jeans for the Indian woman’s body. Often, I end up buying a garment that’s too loose at the waist and I must belt up just because I have, what you may call, “generous hips”. Many times, the garment won’t go up beyond my thighs, not because I have thunder thighs but simply because I have ‘Indian women thighs’.

Shouldn’t everybody be able to buy clothes that fit and they feel comfortable in? High time the manufacturers embraced diversity and reflected back to us what we really looked like, instead of trying to make us prototypes.

Anyway, I went to four major brands and asked for jeans: “Size 32, regular fit.” Seemingly, that request was extremely difficult to fulfil because all they had on offer were ‘skinny fit’ jeans, which the salesgirls offered to me somewhat scoffing, as if dismissing me and my body. When it happened for the third time, I said to the store manager: “My dear, I don’t know if you’ve noticed that there are a huge number of women that belong to the segment that I belong to: Women who like to and can afford to wear jeans and who do not have matchstick-like bodies. Do you expect us to stuff our bodies into these undersized garments that compress our thighs and get into our crotches?”

Diary Didi, you know that I’m reasonably slim, have a bit of a ‘muffin tummy’ and want to be able to procure a garment in which I can be comfortable through the day, without feeling that my nether regions are asphyxiating and choking to death, often causing terrible tummy aches. Neither do I want to be forced to wear misshapen jeans with elasticated belts that are offered as substitutes. I simply want a pair of jeans that celebrates my body — without enhancing the fat or trying to compress it, making me feel like a toothpaste tube. Judging by the non-availability of anything but the narrowest silhouette in jeans, it seems that not being the prescribed figure is still viewed as the most horrible, devastating thing a woman could be.

While we’re about it, what’s this whole thing about “embracing my flaws?” What flaws? A body that has given birth to two children and kept itself healthy and fit and functional for over five decades is not a flawed body. So, stop trying to put us in uncomfortable clothing.

We belong to the country that offers paranthas, jalebis, samosas, chaats, namkeens, pakoras, vadas….Anyone who thinks that everyone is going to be twig thin, must be kidding!


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