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Dedicated to the care and keeping of brassy women.

above average

by Maren Nelson


about above average

“When I was 13, I was already a size 10 and 5’7”. While all my tiny classmates were shopping in the Junior’s sections or at Limited Too, I could go next-door and buy dress pants and sweaters at The Limited, or jeans and skirts at Express (as long as they went up to a size 10). I was allowed to shop anywhere that fit most of my body but never my age. Looking back, it almost felt like I had to grow up quickly—trading cute patterns and pastels for business casual in a store meant for full-grown women. I remember how awkward it was to sort through low-cut shirts and short skirts just to find something that fit and looked reasonably like something a 7th grader could wear to school, store associates cooing over how cute I was as I tried on clothes stores away from my peers. And when I did shop in the Junior’s sections, the shirts were always too short, the shoulders a little too narrow, and the jeans always impossible to wear. I got really good at hanging around the accessories for 45 minutes while everyone else shopped, despite not having pierced ears. When you’re 13, it’s hard not to see the lack of inclusive sizing as anything other than a referendum on your body and your belonging. It has taken over half my life to try and reverse those thoughts and even now, at 31, I find it hard to value my whole self every day. That said, I wish I could take that smaller version of myself shopping, teach her the value of a strong and powerful body that sits off the growth charts.” — Maren Nelson