Why I'm Ripping the Sizes Out of My Clothes

Why I’m Ripping the Sizes Out of My Clothes

Shopping. It’s supposed to be a girl’s best friend.

Try enemy instead.

Is there anything more torturing than picking through racks, finally finding ONE piece of clothing that you (a) like and (b) is your size, taking it into the dressing room, and looking at yourself in three full-length mirrors in horrible lighting that make your skin look radioactive? Sweaters and jackets aren’t too bad. Shorts and bikinis? A different story.

We shame our bodies because we don’t see them as “perfect.”

Why I'm Ripping the Sizes Out of My Clothes

Mannequins make everything look so flawless, so beautiful. Their size 2-4 frames have the ideal proportions. They don’t have our lumps and bumps, our knobby kness, our torsos that seem to be longer than our legs or vice versa. It’s hard to picture how that shirt will look on you when you see it hanging on a culturally desirable figure.

Sure, we can have more plus-size models and body positive ads. But will that really stop that voice in your head that mocks you when that sparkly tank top doesn’t fit just right? Sizes on clothes are powerful.

You don’t have to be XXXXL to feel body shame. You just have to have a body.

Body Shaming

Size 0 or size 2 doesn’t guarentee happiness. Looking like Barbie doesn’t exempt you from bad body image days.

Even when the size small/medium shorts I had always worn in high school hung off my body, even when my bra straps slipped off my shoulders, even when my feet swam in my tennis shoes… I wasn’t happy. At first, it was because I still looked in the mirror and saw the pudgy girl I thought I was. Then, during recovery, it was because I didn’t have rippling biceps like my sister to fill out that t-shirt or didn’t have a big enough butt for those shorts. I was a size 00, and I still left stores empty-handed with tears in my eyes.

The sizing on clothing was a back-and-forth battle. Every time I needed to buy new pants because the old pair I bought (while at an unhealthy weight) became a little tighter, I was happy. Tighter jeans meant getting healthier, stronger.

Then a tiny voice would say, “But don’t you want to be size 0 anymore? If you’re this new size now, what’s to stop you from getting bigger and bigger?”

I thought I had escaped the calorie-counting, scale-watching obsession with numbers. Yet, here were more numbers–sizes–making me have a virtual breakdown in Kohl’s parking lot.

body positivity ads

Having a beach body doesn’t mean fitting into some bikini. Having the body we always wanted doesn’t mean fitting into some pair of jeans we’ve had hidden in our closet for years.

Having the “perfect” body means having the confidence and self-esteem to feel comfortable no matter what we’re wearing. We are spirits and minds and hearts inside bodies, not merely bodies meant to look picture-ready all the time.

Like it or not, clothing is often a part of our identity. We choose what we want to wear and how we want to wear it. As much as walking around naken might get rid of this pressure to dress “right,” that doesn’t work if you want to be a functional member of society.

Sizes probably aren’t going to change, but you will. One day, you might be a size 0. A few years down the road, a size 8. But–just like the numbers on a scale–these sizes aren’t measuring your health or happiness.

Your body is worth loving. All of you is.

I wish I could cover up every clothing tag in a store. I can’t (at least, I think that might be illegal). What I can do is change my attitude.

Next time I try on a less-than-flattering shirt or too baggy/tight pants, I’m going to think, “Something’s wrong with these clothes” rather than “Something’s wrong with me.

You aren’t a dress size. You aren’t a swimsuit. You aren’t even that tank top you love to wear.

I am beautiful and if you try to tell me otherwise I will pee on all your things. Pug.

That t-shirt looks horrible on you? Put it back on the rack. Move on.

You are more than a body. Work on cultivating your spirit and self-confidence instead so that, even if you wear a muumuu, no one can say you don’t shine.

Love to hear your thoughts!

–> How big of a role do the sizes of your clothes play in your life?

–> How do you deal when trying on clothes in stores and nothing seems to fit?


12 thoughts on “Why I’m Ripping the Sizes Out of My Clothes

    • Agreed! Sometimes I think people making the clothes just switch the tags to have a laugh. I might be swimming in one “small” shirt, but then try on a “large” in another shirt and have it be tight.

  1. This is something I struggled with a -tonne- in recovery. I hated trying on new clothes, especially while I was getting healthier and a lot of my older clothes didn’t fit me anymore. IT also didn’t help that there was such a huge variety in sizes between the different stores, and I could be an S in one and an L in the other. It was a tough thing to get over, but like you said — we weren’t happy at those lower weights, so it’s obviously an issue of our minds more so than our bodies.

    • Changing clothing sizes definitely is more an issue of changing our mindsets than our bodies. Throwing out those old clothes is a lot easier if we see them as symbols of an unhealthy past, rather than the “size” we’re meant to get our bodies to fit into.

  2. Reblogged this on Can you Stomach it? and commented:
    It’s so tempting to rip the sizes off my clothing, but I haven’t yet gotten round to it. But I have noticed on a few occasions the difference in sizes across different stores. It’s a bit far fetched really. I could be a size 10 in one store and a size 14 in another. It’s miss leading and sorta makes you feel like crap. What do you guys think?

  3. SO I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHOSE SKIN LOOKS TERRIBLE IN FITTING ROOMS? That’s such a relief! Haha. Love this. Something I started doing was just grabbing 2 or 3 different sizes to try on and not looking at which one is which when I put them on. Just going with what feels best and forgetting the numbers. We aren’t numbers. Great post!

    • Any and all fitting rooms seem to have the WORST lighting! Grabbing mulitple sizes is a great strategy. It makes it a lot easier so, if you don’t fit right in one, you can just slip on another different size that will look and feel better. Glad you liked the post.

  4. Clothes shopping is a form of torture for me at the moment. I took the plunge and emptied out my closet of all the clothes that no longer fit, all of the clothes that held ED memories for me and everything I didn’t feel good in….it was a great feeling and was so needed, but I have been struggling to replace things so have been stuck wearing the same few outfits over and again the past while. This post has given me some motivation to take a deep breath and go find something to wear- thank you!

    • Congrats on taking the plunge! Throwing out those old clothes can be hard, but it feels good afterward. I know it’s so better when I search through my closet and see only clothes that actually fit, versus the too small ones that marked my ED. I try to think that, if my ED was such a painful time, why would I ever want to wear those old clothes again anyway? And, hey, it’s a great reason to go out and spend money on new clothes that make you feel awesome instead. Best wishes on continuing to embrace recovery.

  5. This is a great post! I hate clothing sizes. They seem to vary so much from store to store, and can really mess with your head. It’s funny how attached some people get to being a certain size. Hopefully one day in the future we can find a way to buy clothes without knowing sizes… automatic robot fittings? haha

    • People do get attached to sizes, but it’s just another relative number that can change all the time. I’m up for automatic robot fittings! That would solve so many problems…. I think you may be on to the next great invention for the fashion world.

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