Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 27

Day 27: What is the most difficult thing about wearing or participating in mori for you?

This is going to be a bit emotional for me to write, and a little vulnerable. But I've been meaning to speak on it for a while now, so why not here? I suppose I could say it's wearing mori in the heat and not sweating, or finding mori pieces, but there is something else that has caused me to avoid wearing mori in recent years.

TW for discussions of weight and light discussions of fat-shaming societal expectations in Japan

When I started wearing mori, I was a young high school student. And as such, I was a lot thinner. I've always been a curvy girl. I have big hips and big boobs. It's a fact of my life. But now I'm in my mid-20s, living abroad and more than a little stressed out about my job and the state of the world, and I've gained weight. I'm not plus-sized by US standards, but by Japanese standards, I definitely am.

Gaining weight for the first time was strange, to put it lightly. Growing out of my clothes, and having to get rid of pieces I loved, was really hard for me. My silhouette changed with my weight too. The way I used to dress didn't look cute anymore and I had to adjust what I wore and how I wore it.

I'm not ashamed of my weight. I don't hate my body. But I do live in Japan. And Japan is a skinny society. Way moreso than America ever was for me. People here are tiny, and plus-sized clothes are almost impossible to find. 

In America, sure, sometimes stores have limited plus-sized items, but you can find some kind of plus-sized piece anywhere. And sizes overall are larger than in Japan. I never felt like I couldn't find clothing in the US. Here in Japan, the average L size is closer to a US M, and plus-sized clothes are hardly ever present in stores. A lot of stores don't even stock their plus-sized clothes in-store and you have to go online to find their larger sizes. It can be kind of humiliating to walk through the mall and know you are too heavy to wear anything.

I want to be healthier from a literal health standpoint, so I've lost some weight recently. (I've been biking with the Conqueror Lord of the Rings challenge and I'm currently working towards my second medal! I love it and have a lot of fun biking!) But I'm not interested in being hyper-concerned about my weight to fit the standards of a "normal" Japanese body. Which isn't normal, by the way. Plus-sized people have always existed here. They just get shoved to the side.

All this to say, finding clothes here is very hard. So once I've outgrown my mori pieces, I can't find replacements. It's not only limited my wardrobe but also discouraged me from finding new pieces and wearing mori again. It's a sad cycle.

I'm trying to break the cycle on my own. I try to not compare myself to standards that I could never reach anyways (heck, my bone structure alone is wider than "standard" Japanese sizes). And I'm also trying to love myself no matter what my size is. But it's been hard. 

So, trying to be kind to myself, I've started wearing mori sometimes again. There are a few of my recent casual outfits I've worn. I see it as a simple way to love myself again. 

I hope no one else can relate to my story, but I know that so many people do. So I want to close with this. You can be happy at any size. Your worth isn't based on your body or your weight or how you look. And you can enjoy wearing cute clothes at any size and you shouldn't let anyone stop you, even your own self-doubts. 

Thanks for listening to me and letting me be a little vulnerable if you've read this far. I'm grateful to have you here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to hear you've had such difficulties but I really appreciate you sharing them with us. I can relate in regards to feeling like I have too much weight but also too little. I've had chronic health issues for 22 years and as a result I have been too thin but also had lots of bloating issues in my stomach that seem to be getting worse over time and sometimes people poke fun at me for it (my stomach bloats out as if I'm pregnant) and it makes me feel really unpretty and self-conscious 😭 So many people have told me I'm too thin too.... Positive body image can be really hard sometimes when there are so many struggles. 😞 I've never actually worn Mori for lack of funds, but I really like its focus on being pretty without showing a lot of skin. Bc I have insecurities about my skin too so it's nice that there is a fashion that focuses on finding beauty while covering your body and dressing cozily. I've never been able to do the whole beauty is pain thing either, so I REALLY, REALLY appreciate the coziness of Mori.