Monday, July 11, 2016

One Size Does Not Fit All

If you've walked through any major retailer in the mall lately, you may have noticed the increase in "one size fits all" labels making an appearance inside the seams of many of our favorite brands. You know, the brands that typically have a celebrity ambassador, and overly sexualized print ads.

Upon first glance, that tag can cause anxiety in many people. "What if" tends to be our first thought. "What if 'one size fits all' means 'all, except me?'" 

Credit: Rachele Cateyes
These are not clothes you want to buy. 

You want to buy clothes that make you feel good about your body, whatever size you are right now. You want clothes that make you feel like the confident being that you are. Why are we still supporting brands that are trying to trick us into believing that in order to fit into their labels, we first need to change something about our appearance? Until this happens, the ads mock, we cannot possibly expect to look good in the clothes. 

These are clothes I will not buy. Or try on for that matter. 

Recently, I have started shopping small, from local designers [Esty], or thrift shops. On one shopping adventure on the gypsy junQue bus, I noticed the designer I was shopping from had all of the labels cut out of her clothes. 

Initially, I thought it was a mistake, and I was a little annoyed:

How was I supposed to know whether or not the clothes were going to fit me or not? 

Little did I know, the owner of the boutique, Elke Lockert, had intentionally cut out the size labels on all of her clothes to promote body positivity and divert our attention and preoccupations with the size of our waists and hips, and back to the craftsmanship of the clothing. 

"I've worn a size 4, and I've worn a 3XL," said Lockert. "If it fits, it fits. If it doesn't, something else will. You shouldn't have to look at a tag and think, 'I can't fit in it, because I've been programmed to think I'm a certain size." 

Credit: Pretty Pear Bride
About two weeks after this initial encounter with no labels, I was browsing a local thrift shop, and noticed there were no labels in the shirts. Rather than feeling similar irritation, I felt a sense of calm. 

I didn't feel the need to know the size, and I liked not knowing. 

I didn't have anxiety attached to a number, because it didn't matter what it was. 

If I liked the shirt, I would try it on, and if it fit, I would buy it. If it didn't, I would put it back on the rack, without giving it a second thought and avoiding the disappointment or shame which is often involved in trying on clothes when we make ourselves hyper-aware of labels.

Who cares what the label says? We are the only ones that know what it says on the inside of our jeans, or on the tag of our shirts. We are the only ones that hold the power to let that number either dictate or destroy us. Don't let it. That number does not give, or takeaway our worth.

Our character is what gives us our worth: our kindness, our heart, our sense of wonder and creativity, our sense of humor, and our loyalty to our friends and family.

This is what matters.

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