After going clothes shopping for myself for the first time in several years, I have come to the conclusion that fitting rooms and women’s clothing sizes are created to induce eating disorders.
I don’t typically use a scale—I find that no matter what number pops on that evil digital screen, it’s always greater than the number I’d like it to be in my head. As long as my clothes fit and I’m relatively happy with how I look, I don’t worry about it. Seriously, there are so many other things to think about, stress about and wonder about, this doesn’t come close to the top of my list. But several months ago, I realized my clothes weren’t fitting the way I wanted them to and I was unhappy with the way I was looking in photos. So I made some changes and I lost a few pounds. Then I got super stressed and I lost a few more. Not enough for anyone else to notice, but enough for me to have fewer choices in my closet, since I’m not a fan of the “baggy pants hanging with your rear end sticking out” look.
So I went shopping, the first time I went shopping for myself—other than a random top or a special occasion-dress—in years. There’s something about shopping with teenaged girls that drains all the shopping desire out of me. But they were occupied and I have a need to be covered as the cold weather arrives, so I snuck away. The sales lady had a field day with me. Essentially, she got to play dress up with me for two hours and I left with a new fall wardrobe. Bonus points to her for not rolling her eyes at me once.
But here’s where it gets tricky. Because while I know I’ve lost weight and eat healthier than I did several months ago (even though I still eat dessert and firmly believe that chocolate is an essential food group), trying clothes on brought out all of my known insecurities and even a few that I didn’t know I had (because THAT’S always fun). Here’s why:
- Dressing room lighting makes me look like death warmed over—even “my” colors make me look pasty and sallow; put me in colors that might be the “it” colors and forget it. I realize zombies are popular, but eating brains is not my thing.
- Dressing room mirrors are like carnival fun houses come to life—they magnify every single flaw, both real and imagined. I don’t need any more crazy.
- Women’s sizes make no sense—how is it that men, who essentially have no shape, have neck sizes, sleeve sizes, waist sizes and inseam sizes, but women have one size for their entire body? What, was the math too complicated?
- And who the heck came up with 0 as an actual size? Are they trying to erase our very existence or is it some hidden plot to suggest we wear nothing?
- The sales lady successfully convinced me that I was a smaller size than I thought—but the time between telling me, showing me and convincing me was quite longer than it should have been. She earned her commission and probably should have been given a tip for counseling.
- As the sales lady was trying to convince me to purchase items for my “girls’ nights out,” I realized it’s been so long since I’ve had one of those that they’ve created an entire wardrobe selection and I didn’t even know it. How did that happen, and are there matching shoes?
I made it home with my purchases and am still happy with them, and I think I’ve recovered from the iffy psychoses I almost got during the process. Now it’s a question of which will be a better deterrent to remaining healthy—throwing away the old clothes, or thinking about having to go clothes shopping again.