***I’m warning you in advance: this post is a bit of a ramble!***
Today, I headed into town to buy some business-appropriate clothes. I am starting an internship in two weeks and needed some new outfits, in particular, I needed a smart black skirt. I went to several stores, tried on several styles, and finally bought a simple black skirt. With shopping bag in hand, I went home, but my confidence was much lower walking out of town than it was going in.
This was because of my size. I am (I think) a quite normal size; I usually fluctuate between a 36 and a 38. On most days I am happy and comfortable with my size, but on the day I went skirt shopping this didn’t end up being the case. I went to four different stores and tried on a black skirt in each, and in each store, I was a completely different size.
The first story I went to, I grabbed a size 36 and 38 to try on. Both were much to big, and so I tried on a 34, which fitted nicely. I have to admit, this made me feel great. “Wow, I am a size 34, I must have lost weight!” I thought. I instantly felt more confident, because the label on my skirt said I was a size smaller than I had been in the past. This concept in itself is ridiculous. Why should I feel happier, more confident, because of my skirt size? Why do I feel prettier and sexier, because I have dropped a size? Attaching so much meaning and emotion to a number isn’t healthy behavior, but I was still performing it. I didn’t end up buying the skirt though due to it’s style, and went onto the next store.
At the next store, I again picked up a size 36 and 38. There, the size 36 fit me well. Again, I felt quite happy about this, because in my mind, I was still at the lower end of the sizing scale. The skirt wasn’t perfect though, and I left to find another store with another skirt, and I had success. This time, the size 38 fit me best, and my confidence was slowly decreasing. In one hour, I had gone from size 34 to size 38, and in comparison with the first skirt, the size 38 skirt was less appealing. The number on the label proved that I hadn’t actually lost weight, and in my mind, I felt instantly less attractive. But the worst was yet to come.
The last store I went to, I had to squeeze into size 40. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could have cried. I had tried on tens of skirts that morning, was standing in a hot changing room and sweating, and I could barely fit into a size 40. I felt ugly, fat, and horrible. All because of the size the store had chosen to put on the label. Just like that, my self worth deflated and I no longer felt confident. I didn’t feel happy, or pretty, or sexy; because I was wearing a size 40 skirt.
Reading this now, I know that it’s stupid to care so much about my clothing size, but I can’t help it. I could blame the media for the way they portray feminine attractiveness, I could blame society for all their beauty and fashion norms, and I could blame myself for caring so much. But I think the biggest blame should be put on clothing companies. Why is it that in one day, I ranged from size 34 to size 40? Is it a sales tactic, or just pure stupidity? I don’t understand why we can’t have a universal norm in clothing sizes. Not only would it make shopping so much easier, but it would make people feel a whole lot more comfortable in the changing rooms.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that your body type, your clothing size; it doesn’t matter. I realize that these words are much easier said than done (as proven by my experience above), but they are so important. You are not defined by your clothing size, so don’t let it have that control over you. You should feel happy, confident, beautiful and sexy in whatever size you wear!