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Colombia: Fitting into Colombia’s View of the Perfect Woman is Always a Tight Squeeze

By Juliana Rincon

COLOMBIA: Most adults shake their heads and wonder why anorexia and bulimia are on the rise in Medellin, when it is easy for any young woman to know.
Clothing in stores comes in two styles: fashionable and frumpy.
Guess which sizes match each style?

For example, I went shopping today, and it was amazing how a short trip into a store could make me feel like a blimp.
I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I still feel like I need to be half my size to look well-dressed.
This is one of those things I miss from the U.S. — the fact that I could find clothing that fits, and was designed to look good on my body.
Here, the latest fashions are just scaled up. So, if I can get something my size, it is (usually) skinny jeans that make me look like an ice cream cone with a muffin top, or a shirred top that sticks to every curve.

I even made the mistake once of trying on a bathing suit. Brr. I won’t go into details but let’s just say that I hated the experience.
I wanted to hide under a rock and never again see the light of day with anything less than jeans and a long sleeved shirt.
But this time it was much different than 15 pounds ago back in February when I first tried to go shopping. Today I did manage to bring home a pair of jeans.
I had to search in the “woman’s” department among muu muus and elasticized waist pants, but I found a pair of jeans that make me look good and don´t go up to my arm pits.
It was also under my budget, which was amazing, since it seems my taste goes towards very high prices I can’t afford.
There’s a lot of pressure to be really thin here, and I’m constantly reminded how being naturally curvy isn’t as accepted as having a silicone implanted chest.
At least, that´s my explanation for the bathing suit I tried on. It seemed that the sizes referred only to the chest, and the rest of the suit was left more or less intact — perfect for a size 6.
Learn more about Juliana
Juliana currently blogs from Colombia, where she’s taken a new life outside of the corporate world through English-Spanish freelance translating, writing and facilitating blogging workshops for underpriviledged teens in Medellín with Hiperbarrio.

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  • GregR
    March 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Complain, complain, complain. Remember, smoking one pack of cigaretts per day will help you girls stay skinny well into your 30s. Remember, young women are SUPPOSED to look good in tight-fitting clothes. So I’m sure you look fine. If not, then just lose the extra weight, already! I hope you Americanized bra-burning feminists don’t butch-out the currently beautiful women of Latin America too!

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