Clothes Shopping: Midsize and Disabled

Hey pals!

This is a post that has been planned and pre-written/experienced before lockdown, don’t worry, I am keeping safe and haven’t left the house in a month. I wanted to talk about what it’s like to go clothes shopping on the high street as a midsize disabled person… coz the facilities are pretty minimal in most shops, it can be really difficult to do.

I have different levels of shopping, I always start with window shopping/browsing. I take a lot of photos of items I like and their labels so I can find them when I have more time/energy. Before lockdown I used this as a mode of exercise when I needed to be in town for my Chiropractor or a massage, I’m quite an anxious person and end up being somewhere really early. (Well, you never know, I might struggle to find parking where I usually park and have to find somewhere else in the annoying one-way system and I’d rather be too early than LATE) So, I often have something like a spare 20 minutes before appointments and some time after (coz my ticket is usually up to 2 hours parking) and I find I can walk more when my brain is distracted by stuff.

I saw a few pairs of trousers that I like and all looked very similar. The difference? Apparently only colour even though on is ‘Lift and Shape’ but the other is ‘Tori’? I’ll let you know now, I didn’t go with Tori, just like in every election I’ve ever voted in.

I also really liked these t-shirts, but only the one on the left came in my size, or anything CLOSE to my size. Seems like the biggest most clothes go in NewLook is a 12. I took photos though, in case I ever came back in or wanted to find something similar elsewhere. Sadly not yet. I ended up buying the light blue top but recently decided it’s not really me and is too similar to the colour of my jeans so will be selling it on depop. I really wanted the yellow top, I’ve fallen in love with mustard yellows.

I decided on this trip (A different one, and this is the next stage of shopping) that I would try on some of the clothes that caught my eye and see which I liked on me more. I can’t trust high street sizing, even in men’s sections. It’ll say 34 waist and be too big, but pick up a pair of 34 waist shorts? Can’t do them up! But that’s a lesson I’ve learned so I have to try things on, especially if they’re a big purchase. This first pair of trousers looked nice on the hanger, but the material resembled something cheap and thin I would purchase off Blue Banana in 2010 as a teenage emo. They were dreadful and looked horrendous on. Clung to all the worst places. These were a quick no.

I struggle in changing rooms coz I need to get a decent distance from a mirror to see if I like the item I’m trying, so I tend to go down the end and not use a disabled cubicle even though I am entitled to it. A lot of these non-disabled stalls don’t even have a bench to sit on inbetween item or to help you pull things off or on. On this trip, this store doesn’t have seating anywhere in the changing room except right at the entrance for those waiting on someone, or in the disabled stall. Standing for too long, I get quite dizzy and sick. Plus, changing rooms can get quite stuffy and the lights are so industrial… It’s just not a good place to be sat on the floor wondering if staff could get you water or let you use a toilet. Oh, also I can’t really tell the difference in these photos which jeans are which!

I realised that I’d picked up a pair of trousers with short leg, and though I liked the look, I like the idea of flexibility so I got them in the Regular length so they at least grazed my ankles. After trying on three pairs of trousers and nearly passing out/being sick on the floor, I had to pile back on my usual clothes including a coat coz it was chilly that day and go home… I think I went and got some food and a drink first so I would stop feeling so dizzy. I took pictures so I could look at them later when I regained some brain function and make a decision. I had to come back at a later date to actually make the purchase. I bought them in a size 16 because size doesn’t mean a damn thing, I wanted to be comfortable, and the cashier confirmed that NewLook clothes run small so bare that in mind when you go shopping there.

 

This isn’t supposed to be some super hard hitting piece about how HARD it is being disabled, it’s just a commentary pointing out how weirdly inaccessible shopping for clothes is which is why many buy online. I never find clothes that fit me online unless I’m going oversized so this is the best I have, but like… can we turn down the intensity of the lights please? They don’t flatter anyone and I’m gonna get a migraine.

 

~ Artie

 

 

Check out this article on Huffington Post by Wendy Lu about the inaccessibility of the acting industry and education systems and how grossly ableist they are!

Bored? Like shopping? A UK reader? Check out my depop I have much available for sale!

9 Men in Dresses We Need To Celebrate

keiynan lonsdale in a dress and ezra miller in a dress

Hey pals,

Every few months on Twitter, I see a new set of photos going viral of men (or nonbinary AMAB people) in dresses or other femme items of clothes. I saw a tweet today talking about the white members of this group always get a tonne of praise bubt when it comes to black men and nonbinary people, there’s nowhere near as much appreciation. I have to agree, whilst doing my Google search for pictures, most of the people breaking gender fashion boundaries were actually black men who I’d never heard of/never seen the photos. A lot of them are also Rappers and R&B artists, adding another layer of boundary pushing.

(Also, I know my features image isn’t men, they’re nonbinary, it was just a pretty image I wanted to use!)

So this post is just a fun appreciation of the men pushing the gender boundaries with a few nonbinary honorary mentions.

Ashton Sanders

IMG_9976

Billy Porter

Raviv Ullman

IMG_9971

Seth Meyers

Jaden Smith

ASAP Rocky

(picture 2 is a pair of shorts but low-key looks like a skirt)

Young Thug

He has done numerous interviews talking about wearing women’s clothes and explaining that he is not gay. Quite interesting read.

YungBlud

Also is going to or already has set up unisex skirt as part of his merch.

And of course the king himself, Kurt Cobain. This is only one of many occasions he wore a dress, super easy to Google. Our Grunge ’90s King smashing gender roles.

kurt cobain in a floral dress playing guitar and singing

Now our honorary Nonbinary Icons

Sam Smith

Keiynan Lonsdale

Ezra Miller

There are many more I’m sure (this article mentions a few people I haven’t) and I’m sure there are many I haven’t found or have forgotten. Please share any below that you know of! Would love to know more! I just wanted to put this out there for people born AMAB that no matter your sex or gender, you can wear whatever the fuck you want and I support this! (I also have a tonne of stuff up for sale, UK friends, and I am a trans friendly seller, I don’t care what your gender is you can buy from me!)

Men in dresses rock.

~ Artie

My Dysphoria as a Nonbinary person

Hey pals,

 

I wanted to talk to you guys about my personal relationship with pronouns and dysphoria. This is something particularly personal to me, I don’t often talk about this in general except with some close friends.

 

So, I use they/them pronouns and only those pronouns. I understand that programming your brain to not use pronouns that you assume is a little difficult but it’s still very irritating when someone gets it wrong.

 

For reference, if you get someone’s pronouns wrong, DO NOT make it about yourself. So many times I hear ‘oh gosh I’m so sorry I’m awful!’ or ‘oh I’m so so sorry it’s so difficult trying to use those pronouns it’s such a hard habit to break isn’t it?’… phrases like this or similar are centring yourself rather than the person you have wronged. If you make a mistake, quickly correct yourself, maybe a ‘sorry’ but just brush through. I don’t want to hover on this and I certainly do not want to make you feel better for your mistake.

 

For me personally, I do not want to got any gender surgery or hormones. I’m happy in the body I have, I just feel a complete disconnect from gender full stop. I mostly use and identify with nonbinary but also agender. I personally do not have a connection with or to gender and I feel like I never have. I’ve written things in the past about finding it strange that I have a name at all. I like both names that I go by but generally just feel weird about the concept. The only thing that matters to me is using the right name and the right pronouns. I find it funny when strangers mistake me for a man and call me sir and maybe try to correct themselves and call me miss… that doesn’t bother me. It is a total stranger I’ve never spoken to and in a lot of jobs you are told to refer to people ‘politely’ by using things like sir, miss, ma’am…

 

It bothers me when people I know can’t get it right, or do the above, or don’t seem to even try. And it particularly bothers me when people don’t get it right when they have not ever known me with my female name, or never knew me when I did identify as cis. I don’t feel like there’s an excuse for getting that wrong, sorry not sorry. And there is definitely no excuse for online friendships. You have space and time for your replies, you have time to think about what you have written and to who, and getting it wrong in text is probably the absolute worst. That tells me you aren’t even trying.

 

I don’t have dysphoria in any regard except for my name and pronouns. I feel lucky in a sense because the things I want to change about myself aren’t related to gender and don’t involve a long, gruelling process of NHS waiting lists and invasive surgery to feel comfortable. All I need to feel comfortable is for you to get my name and pronouns right, and that’s not a lot to ask.

 

Our languages are inherently gendered a lot of the time, but English is the least gendered and we still can’t be bothered to just use some neutral pronouns…

 

~ Artie

I’m Going To Be Published!

Hey pals,

 

No, my title isn’t clickbait, I’m really going to be published! 6 months after graduating my Creative and Professional Writing degree with a 2:1, I received the info that I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO AN ANTHOLOGY!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a small project and has only been made possible thanks to all the people who backed the kickstarter. We had days to spare and reached the £6,000 goal within a month! You can still pledge (I think? I’m not sure by the time I publish this… if not, then sorry.) PDF copies and physical copies of the book are available along with merch and signed copies etc.

This anthology is a collection of nonbinary writers’ personal essays about their experiences of being a nonbinary person! I’ve very excited to get my hands on a copy and read everyone’s essays and to have a real hold-in-your-hands book THAT I’M IN!

I’m sure there will be an option to purchase the book after the kickstarter closes, I will update everyone on that when I know more. I was too excited about this I couldn’t keep quiet about it!

 

Please check it out and keep an eye on the project! And thanks to India for putting all this together!

 

See you guys next week!

 

~Artie