Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Problem is the Clothes

I named my blog The Problem is the Clothes, Not the Body for a reason. It is something I have to remind myself of often.

Body shame and shopping have always walked hand in hand for me. The first time I remember feeling ashamed in a dressing room was when I was eight years old. I was shopping for jeans at Target with my dad. I tried on the jeans and walked out to show my dad how they fit. Without my shirt on. My dad freaked out and I was incredibly confused. I didn't understand was it was so wrong to be seen with out a shirt. (I still don't, really.) What I did understand was that something was wrong with my body.

We receive negative feedback on the way clothes fit our bodies everyday. I've noticed in diet ads a lot of companies use clothes as a motivator. Remember the Sara Rue Jenny Craig commercials? The introduction in that series of ads stated that is wasn't normal to not feel good in a pair of jeans. As Sara lost more weight she was shown trying on dresses and asking for a smaller size.

I believe this is a common attitude. It was for me anyway. I can't even tell you how many times I looked in the mirror and told myself I could buy nice clothes when I lost weight. I felt that clothes didn't look good on me. I've never some across a dress that hides my round belly. Most tops I buy I have to wear a tank top under to avoid cleavage. My thighs touch each other. I have more “problem areas” than I can count.

None of that is my fault. It is not my fault when a skirt I want is too small for me. Or when a ring won't fit on my finger. Or that jeans always give me a muffin top. That dress that didn't fit wasn't made for me. It was made for a fit model and then scaled up or down.

And it doesn't matter that a tight top shows off my back fat rolls. Or that my favorite stripped dress makes me look bigger than I am. Throw out those concepts of figure flattery.

I'm not going to lie. Even though I am at a very good mental place with my body I still hate shopping. I hate that poorly lit tiny inclosed space they call a dressing room. When something I want doesn't fit me it can put me in a stormy mood for hours, if not day.

Sometimes I just have to lean against the wall and remind myself, the problem is the clothes, not my body.


  1. I love your blog <3 I have some of the same problems, and luckily in the past year or two I've been able to look at myself and see beauty instead of "gross." It's nice. It does still frustrate me, this muffin top =( especially because mine's permanent. Never ever goes away.. but hey, it's me. My concern is that I stay healthy more than thin. <3

  2. I too can get very disheartened from shopping. I used to go to a store then just buy everything that fit, whether or not i liked it, because I was just relieved that it fit. I. Hated. That. Maybe now my mindset has changed or maybe the clothes selection has changed with so many more stores that have stuff in fat sizes, but I rarely find myself doing that anymore.

    Torrid was a revelation for me. A brick and mortar store where I could find actual pretty, exciting clothes! I spent years shopping exclusively at Old Navy. Not that Old Navy is bad but it is so disheartening to only have one option for clothes.

    I also find thrifting to be the most difficult of shopping. It is so cool and people can find such awesome stuff, but I have rarely had luck - most things are too small or giant and ugly. Even at that fat thrifting mecca, Re-Dress, my two skinny ("curvy" but still not "plus") friends found awesome clothes that looked awesome on them and I basically found muumuus.