Last week, I did something that I hadn’t done in ages – I went clothes shopping. Now, there are several reasons why I don’t shop often–and you’d better believe that being broke is at the top of the list. But, on those occasions when I do splurge, I’m often disappointed by the lack of figure-flattering options for plus-sized women. Why do blouses fit one part of my body but look terrible everywhere else? Does every pair of pants have to be fitted at the waist but baggy in the rear? Who models these clothes when they’re being made? When I am lucky enough to find something that I like, I’m never truly satisfied with how it looks on my body. For years, I blamed the clothing designers. But, after this shopping trip, I realized that part of the problem has to do with the negative perceptions I have of my body. Let me explain.
When I shop for blouses, I typically try on two sizes. One size is my true size. The other is a larger size that I refer to as my “safety size.” The safety size is often my default choice as it is bigger, more comfortable and generally hides my rolls, bumps and lumps. While the “safety size” doesn’t necessarily look better on me, it subconsciously makes me feel better because it covers up the parts of my body that I’m not proud of. Essentially, the items that allow me to hide the most are the ones that I take home. Despite how great an item fits overall, if I can see any hint of pudge, back on the rack it goes. And that’s how I roll.
However, this time I decided to do something a little different. Instead of freaking out at what the proper sized blouse didn’t hide, I celebrated what it revealed – God given curves, a slimmer frame and a more confident Jennifer. In that moment, I realized that bigger clothing didn’t really make me look slimmer (in fact, it did the exact opposite), and I vowed to no longer hide myself behind bigger clothes. As I twirled in the mirror I thought, “so what if someone sees a roll or two? I know who I am. I know what I’m working on, and I know I look good in this blouse.” Needless to say, I have a new outlook on dressing for my body type and an awesome new blouse. Now that’s what I call winning.