Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why Do We Blame Our Bodies and Not Our Clothes?

It’s funny how each day you can look in the mirror and see something different. Some days you feel ‘small’ and some days you feel ‘big.’ And, yes a lot of factors contribute to how we feel about what we see in the mirror every day, some real, some imagined. Maybe you ate a lot the past week and really do look bigger. Or, maybe you are wearing a shirt that’s too small and you only feel bigger. Either way, we’re usually quick to blame ourselves for these real or imagined changes in our bodies before we point the finger at anything else. But, maybe, just maybe, something else deserves the blame more often than not.

In our image and size obsessed culture we’re always measuring our self worth by the size of our clothes. If we can’t look good in a size 6 then we feel we need to lose weight. If a size medium is too tight in the chest, then we must be fat. We seem to always point the finger at ourselves. And, I admit I am not immune to this sort of ridiculous and irrational thinking. But, when you really step back and think about it, you realize how absurd it all is. Why not turn the blame to the clothes? Why is it our bodies’ fault for not looking good in a size 6 and not the size 6’s fault for fitting our bodies? What if instead of demanding our bodies conform to clothes, we demanded that clothes conform to our bodies and accentuate our attributes? It’s amazing what a good pair of jeans will do for your self confidence, but it’s also amazing how an ill-fitting pair can derail your self image just as quickly. It leads me to believe that we tend to obsess over small changes in our bodies too much when in fact the real culprit eating away at our self image is our obsession with size.

Instead of squeezing into sizes that don’t fit us or getting upset when not every pair of size 6 pants fits, maybe we should try to ignore sizes and go with what actually looks good. Hmmm imagine how much better we’d feel every day if we didn’t measure our happiness or success by what size we wore. What if we just bought clothes, regardless of size, that looked great and made us feel confident? Would we be as unhappy and self loathing? Or, would we walk around with our heads high proud of our bodies just the way they are?

Whether you need to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your current weight, you should go through each day feeling confident and beautiful. To stress, obsess, and berate yourself over your perceived imperfections will not benefit your mind, body, or soul. Furthermore, to convince yourself that fitting into one size or being one specific shape will equal happiness will only set you up for disappointment and failure because this simply isn’t so. What makes the world so beautiful is that there is an endless assortment of colors, shapes, sizes, etc. that all exemplify that one word. So accept yourself just as you are and dress your body in a way that makes you feel confident and accentuates your beauty. I encourage you to continue to focus on your goals, but in the meantime love your body just the way it is by making your clothes work for you and not the other way around because great-fitting clothes can make all the difference in the world.

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