Just My Body: how i beat the denim blues

Just My Body: how i beat the denim blues

"Will it be the fitting room blues or a successful shopping trip?" 

This is the funny question I used to ask myself every time I would go into a fitting room. Admittedly, I never really had a problem with my body until I would try on the clothes. Every trip to the clothing store became more and more unbearable. It gave me a negative outlook on myself and the fun act of shopping. 

As a plus size woman, it was  just difficult since there weren't many fashion lines catering to my size at that time. I would try on something that I absolutely knew was my size and it would not fit! I would try on a bigger size and again get frustrated because it looked too frumpy. It was even worse when it was a plus size store and even some of the clothes there would not fit. Like, “a plus size store. Really?!” It was really taking a toll on my self esteem.

 "How could something be my size and not fit?"

 “What was wrong with my body, with me?”

All of the negativity started to flow through my mind. Jeans were the worst for me to try on. I'd find maybe one good pair, two if I was lucky. The struggle to get these big hips of mine into something that doesn't have stretch....Oh forget it! Talk about a joy kill! 

Sometimes, I would go home crying because I couldn't find anything. I began to grow a hateful spirit towards trying on clothes to the point I wouldn't even go shopping anymore.These experiences hurt my confidence, a lot. I didn't even want to look in the mirror anymore. 

It doesn't help that my body strongly fluctuates, so sometimes I am in between sizes, which of course most fashion lines don't sell "in between sizes". My only choices were either look baggy and bigger than what I was or suck it in and be uncomfortable. Not many positive choices there. 

My friends would want to go shopping together as an activity. They were always asking me to come along, but I would almost always decline. I didn't want them to see me frustrated or break down in front of them. This went on longer than I'd like to admit. I then began to learn that not all fashion is the same. I didn't realize sizes differ with different fashion lines. I always thought it was just my body.

Once I learned that I had been wrong, it was time for me to learn to be comfortable with my body again. I had to re-train my mind into thinking that it's okay if it is not the size you think you wear. Not all things are made alike. 

After some time away from the dressing room, I decided to put my anxiety to the side and slowly ease my way back into the fitting room. My fashion sense was getting pretty bad.Little by little I regained my confidence. By knowing how versatile and ever-changing the fashion industry can be and being able to be more comfortable with myself. 

Fast forward to today, and I have all the confidence in the world to try on clothes! Sometimes I can even determine if it'll fit by eyesight, I've gotten so good at shopping. 

It also helps that there are more fashion lines for plus women and that they are more true to size. I'm okay that I may be bigger in some clothes and smaller in others. I am okay with my body evolving. I don't ask myself those negative little questions anymore that would have stolen my joy. 

I'll admit it, I still have little battles with myself when going into the dressing room but thankfully it is not to the point that it sends me home to curl up in a ball and sob. I make sure to think positive thoughts and just breathe for a second. Knowing that I will find something and not be afraid or discouraged if I don't. 

Going through that difficult time made me appreciate not only my body but fashion as well. I adore fashion so much more now. I'm glad to finally make peace with it. I take selfies when I find something cute in the dressing room. I would have never done that before. Wouldn't even cross my mind to. I make it into my own personal fashion show and it brings me so much happiness. 

 

JH

Born To Stand Out: an essay on finding my identity

Born To Stand Out: an essay on finding my identity