The Fitting Room: My Least Favorite Place on Earth

September 20, 2020

Ola Weber
Ola Weber

3 min read

That tiny room. That seemingly massive mirror that is staring you down. Those LED lights that highlight every bump and indent on your body.

You stand awkwardly in the middle of that dreaded room and hang your clothes up on the rack. You’re so excited because you’re convinced those jeans are going to perfectly compliment your legs, and you know that shirt is the exact cut you’ve been looking for.

If the jeans fit the way you imagine, you know you’ll sashay out of that tiny room with your head held high, hair flowing behind you, elated about your new purchase. But more realistically, you know that it’s more likely that they don’t fit exactly the way you want them to, and you’ll be propelled down a vortex of disappointment, depression, and self-loathing. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there — far too often. 

And the feeling is, well, suckish.

“Did no one else cringe at the thought of having to put on a little “show” for the “audience” of people waiting for you on the other side of the curtain?”

I’m 5’11, so from a very young age I was painfully aware that my body was different from just about everyone else I saw – both girls and boys! When my friends invited me to the mall, I always had the image of that dreaded fitting room lingering in the back of my mind. I often wondered if I was the only one who hated those rooms and the way they made me feel.

Did no one else cringe at the thought of having to put on a little “show” for the “audience” of people waiting for you on the other side of the curtain? Did no one else tremble when you inevitably had to take that walk of shame back to the rack to swap out the pair of jeans you just tried on for a size (or two) up?

I had to be missing something….right?

Foto – Pexels
Foto – Unsplash

Recently, I’ve been giving a lot more thought to the whole fitting room-customer dynamic. Major brands have taken great strides to make women feel more welcomed in the dressing room — from quotes to aesthetically pleasing rooms, it’s obvious that they’re trying to make the atmosphere less intimidating. But, honestly, no amount of ‘body positivity’ messaging is going to make me feel comfortable when I walk into that cold, sterile room. The mirror telling me “you look hot!” or “that was made for you” just feels like an artificial attempt to assuage the brand’s own guilty conscience.

Although we might not always realize it, the relationship we have with clothing is a very intimate one, filled with sensitivity, insecurity, and vulnerability. Clothing can, in many ways, be like those middle schoolers who seem to have an uncanny ability to sniff out your biggest insecurity on the first day of class and hit you right where it hurts. Think about it, when a pair of pants don’t fit you or a shirt is just a little too tight around your arms, you almost feel as if your clothes are rejecting you. Why do we take it so personally?

Well, I have my theories. But ultimately, I believe it boils down to how we feel about our bodies and the expectations we’ve set for what an “acceptable” look is for our body shape. When we find something that “fits like a glove” we feel “understood” by our clothing, like we finally got it right. We seek validation through outfits that our bodies are “normal” — that the person designing that pair of jeans did it with YOUR body in mind. And honestly that feeling, in the moment, is an incredible rush. But the faster we realize that brands themselves have inconsistent sizing, the sooner we can throw away those deeply ingrained insecurities that they themselves taught us, and stop seeking out that supposed “perfect fit” from brands that were never made to suit our bodies in the first place. As we abandon these preconceptions, we can also start to change the way we view that dreaded fitting room. Figure out what makes you feel the most confident, and don’t let one tiny room take it away from you.

Maturity comes with age, and I think my relationship with clothing is slowly becoming a healthier one. Yes, it’s about knowing my own body and the clothing I feel compliments me, but it’s also about understanding why I react the way that I do in certain situations. I wish I could go back and tell my 12-year-old self that the fitting room is nothing to be afraid of, and in fact it can tell you a lot about your relationship with yourself and with clothing. So, embrace the vulnerability. Use it to better understand the intimacy of your relationship with clothing. And know you’re not alone as you try to navigate the complexities of that relationship.

show comments on this post (2)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Avatar

    You nailed it, Alexandra. The dressing room has always the “dreaded room. “ I know many people feel the same way. Your thoughts are so insightful. You give us something to think about regarding our self esteem. Thank you and keep these positive thoughts coming.

You may also like

Navigating Pandemic Pressures Around Weight & Body Image

Body Image Confidential: Beautiful Muscles

TikTok Doesn’t Have to be Toxic

Lindsey Vonn addresses critics’ hurtful body-shaming comments with swimsuit pics

Adele’s Friend Alan Carr Has a Message for Anyone Talking About the Singer’s Weight Loss

Lizzo Clapped Back At People Who Constantly Comment On Her Body Size And I Need This On A T-Shirt

The White Issue: Has Anna Wintour’s Diversity Push Come Too Late?

Rebel Wilson, Lizzo and Adele’s personal fitness is just that. Personal.

This Pregnant Sports Reporter Is Too Busy Crushing Her Job to Let Body-Shamers Troll Her

Inside the fight to take back the fitting room

Instagram censored one of these photos but not the other. We must ask why.

Hunter McGrady Talks Inclusivity In Fashion — Or Lack Thereof

Billie Eilish Hits Back at Body Shamers

The Fitting Room: My Least Favorite Place on Earth

Who Gets to be Casual? Not Plus-Size Women.

Seven Plus-Size Fashion Trailblazers on the Future of the Industry and How Much It’s Changed

Jeans for the Tallest of Them All

How Barbie Ferreira is fighting against fat-shaming in Hollywood

What Does It Take To Get Plus-Size Clothing Right?

Body Positivity on Social Media Is a Work in Progress

12 Black-Owned Fashion Brands That Sell Plus-Size Clothing

Without Black Women, Plus-Size Fashion Wouldn’t Exist

Debra Messing opens up about struggling with body image during ‘Will & Grace’

Body Positivity Has Lost All Meaning in 2020

Abisola Omole Makes Plus-Size Fashion Work for Her—in Spite of Industry Failings

Billie Eilish Opens Up on Body Shaming in Short Film

A plus-sized woman criticized slimmer influencers for ‘taking up too much space’ in the body positivity sphere, and it sparked a huge debate

Can We Please Stop Talking About Adele’s Body?

Adele’s Body Is None of Our Business

Billie Eilish Has Finally Released Full Film ‘Not My Responsibility,’ Addressing Body Shame

Blogger’s Powerful Photos Offer an Alternative to Body Positivity

Rumer Willis Gets Unfiltered About Body Positivity

Sailor Brinkley-Cook Opens Up About Her Struggles With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders

Charli D’Amelio Spoke Out Against Objectifying Comments and Told People to Stop Talking About Her Body

Here’s How (And Why) Plus-Size Brand Henning Plans To Survive The Pandemic

Billie Eilish Says She “Can’t Win” Against Trolls Who Body Shame and Criticize Her Clothes

Your Lockdown Fat Jokes Have Hidden Victims

Stop Torturing Yourself With Quarantine Diets

Ok, Fashion. What Happens Now in the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Fashion Influencers are Rethinking Their Curated Aesthetics Because They Can’t Leave Their Houses

Chase Hudson’s Quotes About Being Body-Shamed Send An Important Message

Stop Body Shaming During the Outbreak

5 Celebrities Who Don’t Photoshop The Sh*t Out Of Themselves

Lizzo Had The Perfect Response To Jillian Michaels’ Fatphobic Comments

Jillian Michaels Opts for Commenting on Lizzo’s Body Over Practicing Basic Decency

This Hero Sold Her Nudes To Raise Money For The Australian Wildfires

Christina Koch Sets A New Record For Women Astronauts

Serena Williams Aces AP Female Athlete of the Decade Honors

Making Plus-Size Clothing Is More Complicated Than Just Extending Sizes

Gabrielle Union Launches New Fashion Collection for ‘Plus Size Women’

Why Fashion Designers Are Finally Starting to Stitch Up High-End Apparel for Plus-Size Women

These Brands Are Combining Size Inclusivity With Sustainability

Anyone With A Body Knows That Clothing Sizes Are Flawed. Could There Be A Fix?

Mindy Kaling Calls Out the Emmys for Trying to Diminish Her Work on The Office

“All Body Types Can Be Badass”: Aidy Bryant, Niecy Nash and TV’s Positivity Push

Dear Fashion Industry, Stop Treating Plus-Size Women Like Second-Class Citizens

Mindy Kaling Didn’t Sign Up to Be a Role Model

A Potential Employer Called A 24-Year-Old Unprofessional For Posting Bikini Photos And It Backfired

Mindy Kaling Declares Herself ‘That Bitch’ as She Proudly Poses in Black Bodysuit

This Plus-Size Brand Just Launched A New Inclusive Modeling Agency

Simone Biles Just Became The Most Decorated Female Gymnast In History

Billie Eilish Opened Up About Being Sexualised When A Photo Of Her Wearing A Tank Top Went Viral

40 Companies Changing Plus-Size Women’s Clothing

Demi Lovato Just Shared Another Unretouched Bikini Pic

James Corden Did A Segment Calling Out Fat-Shaming And People Are Applauding

Pregnant Ashley Graham Praised for Sharing Stretch Marks Photo: ‘We Need This as a Reference’

4 Tips For Finding High-Quality Plus Size Clothing, Because We Deserve Sophisticated Options Too

Demi Lovato’s Body Positive Post Is Exactly What We Needed

Walmart’s Scoop Collection Will Give You The Ultimate Closet To Slay Fall Style

Naomi Osaka Invited Cori “Coco” Gauff to Join Her for a US Open Interview

Hearst is Aiming to Change the Way Women Think About Their Bodies

The 9 Realest Female Celebs To Follow On Instagram

How Model Emily DiDonato Is Using YouTube To Spread Body Positivity And Shatter Shame

Splash the Patriarchy: Why The It-Swimsuits of Hot Girl Summer are Sleek, Sexy, and Subversive

Pharrell, Adidas Champion Female Empowerment With ‘Now Is Her Time’ Collection

Lizzo Slams Body Positivity Double Standard for Women

Body Positivity: It’s a Learning Process, Not a Hashtag

Billie Eilish Slammed ‘Nylon’ For Their F*cked Up Cover

Traditional Clothing Sizes Aren’t Inclusive — So This Designer Is Getting Rid Of Them

4 Brands We’re Applauding For Not Retouching Their Ads

18 New Plus-Size Arrivals From Anthro (Some Of Which Are Already On Sale)

Macy’s Pulled a Line of Body-Shaming Plates With Portion Sizes Like “Skinny Jeans,” and Ugh

Is ‘Diversity’ Enough? The Problem With Tokenism In Influencer Marketing

There’s Controversy Surrounding Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequins and Social Media Is Not Having It

The Real Issue With Nike’s Plus Size Mannequins

Best Brands for…Small Waists and Big Hips

You Can’t Sit With Us

What’s Your Size?

Does Size Matter?

The Origin Of The Size Chart

Living Life To The Fullest

How To Waste A Life

Clothes Case: Bodysuits

What Our Closets Say About Us (Behind Our Backs, Of Course)

Would You Like To Try A Size Up?

How to Find Your Body Shape

Greetings from Revelle

show comments on this post (0)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.