Do you know this situation when you are in the fitting room, trying on a new pair of jeans. And suddenly you realize that you do not fit into the same size of your favourite jeans you just bought a year ago? You try closing it standing up, sitting down, even lying on the floor and it does not work? Well, please do not panic. This does not mean that you gained weight. Often, it is just the clothing scheme of brands that changed.

I cannot really tell you which size of clothes I wear: for some brands, I am a Small or even X-Small, with others I am an X-Large. I used to be really upset when I went into my favourite store and immediately thought I gained weight because I could not fit into the size I had used to wear. But when I looked at pictures of me, I did not see any difference in my body. The more friends I talked to, the more I realized it is actually not us but the apparel industry making us believe that we are too fat. A friend of mine used to be a size 42 for years and now she can barely fit into a 46 without a change in her weight. Why is this happening? Why do we have to feel bad about ourselves when we should enjoy our shopping day?

I read somewhere that Marilyn Monroe used to be a size 42. I am wondering what would she be now? 48? 50? And would this size label make her less beautiful? I doubt it.

I think first and foremost we need to forget about the concept of labelling ourselves with a size. If there is such a big difference like in my case of being an X-Small or even X-Large, there must be something wrong in the decision making process of brands. I think it is a better idea to just take out the clothes you like from the rack and look at them. Do you think you can fit in? Try them on and see how they fit. I bet it is a more successful strategy than considering the size label.

A thing about the fashion industry I do not understand is the constant craze about being thin. And I am not talking about a nicely shaped and healthy body. I mean really thin. I do not only get it from a personal perspective but also from an economic one. If the clothes at the stores are too small for the majority of women and make so many women feel insecure about their bodies, these women will start hating to go shopping. I would assume that this will result in a decrease of revenues for the brands.

I am not going to make a call here to sabotage all the fashion brands but what I do want to achieve here is that you see that most of the time, your insecurities are caused by things that are minor – maybe even stupid. It is crucial that you love yourself. And the next time, you walk into the store and get a dirty look from a shop assistant because you do not fit into their clothes (yep, that happened to me at multiple occasions…), just walk out of the store and say that this is not the way they are supposed to treat their customers.

And please never forget: size is just a number. It is the way you wear the clothes and your attitude towards yourself and your body that counts. Not a label inside a pair of jeans!

xxx

Elisabeth

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