One of the longest journeys towards my self-acceptance centered around buying clothes. It's always been relatively easy to accept my body sans culottes, if you will, because I can see everything, I know what it looks like, no surprises. I like my curves and my strength. But with clothes on? Oof, girl, there's a battle.
For one thing, we all know the fashion industry is epic levels of fucked up. From sweat shops in third world countries, to stupid sizing policies, to the lack of quality and fast fashion, it's got issues. My biggest problem was the whole aspirational clothing wishful thinking thing.
My weight has fluctuated some over the years. Not like epic amounts, but I've definitely gone up or down a few sizes in my time. And the rub of it was that I kept saving my smaller clothes for "someday". As we all know, you can't live for someday, you gotta live in the here and now. It's all we've got.
I had a victory last year when I got rid of some tiny-ass pants, and the world was a better place for it. But I still had the occasional sentimental clothing item around in a smaller size, and that's been hard to shake. I'm happy to say that I've figured out that holding on to that stuff is actually weighing me down, because when I see it, I miss the person I was inside it, as well as recognizing the happy memories it holds. It's a bittersweet waste of energy, and another form of not living in the now and letting your dysmorphia run the show. Photos and memories themselves are a better way to hold on to those good feelings, without being tempted to try to be a past self. But the best antidote to aspirational clothing? Buying clothes that fit you now that you actually like.
I can't even tell you how damn liberating it is. I have heard nearly every body-pos blogger talk about this one, but for serious, it's a game changer. It takes a loooong time to really get it, but once you do? Shivers! Sparkles! The biggest damn unicorn singing you Bootylicious while handing you ice cream and tickets to a Beyonce concert.
Once I realized that I could wear anything and in a size that actually fit, shopping became exhilarating and my closet became a delight. I went to clothing swaps and didn't look at the tag -- I just threw that shit on my body, and if it fit and looked amazing, I kept it, and if it did not, I gently removed it and suggested it to someone else. Boom.
In stores, I guess-timated my size, and wasn't afraid to go up or down depending on the fit and the fabric. Clothes were just ... clothes -- vehicles to enhance the lovely, strong, capable body held inside. I didn't pause to check out my cellulite in the mirror, because I already knew it would be there, and that fretting about it wasn't going to change a damn thing.
Instead, I just got on with my business, no longer an apologetic servant to clothes, pleading with them to fit me. The game has changed. Clothes serve me now. And if they don't make me look good, back on the rack they go. And I am more than good with that.