Dressing To Love Your Body: An Open Letter

To those on the journey to loving their bodies,

    Spring can be a hard time for people who struggle with body image issues. The onset of summer brings a wave of ‘get your bikini body fast’ programs and crazy diets, and warmer weather means dragging yourself out to shop for some new clothes. Usually, spring and summer clothes pass me by. Over the years, I’ve got it in my mind that I don't deserve to wear nice new clothes as my body is not the one boasted about in the ‘bikini body’ diets. I falsely believed that a body can’t look beautiful even when wrapped in beautiful clothes unless that body looks a certain way.

    This spring break I uncovered my ‘better body’ clothes bag. This black trash bag that sits in the corner of my closet is filled with cute clothes that are 1 to 2 sizes too small for me. So why do I keep them if they are too small? I keep them because some part of me believes that I do not deserve nice clothes unless I have a nice ‘summer body’. Therefore, I keep this bag so that when I get my ‘better body’, I can reward myself with the nice clothes. However, when looking through the bag this year, something within me changed. I decided that I was going to get rid of my ‘better body’ clothes and instead buy clothes that fit me and the body I have now.  I know this sounds silly. I mean isn’t being able to wear the clothes you buy the whole point of clothes shopping? In a rational sense, yes. However, I know so many people that do what I do and buy clothes that they will only get to wear if they lost weight. Almost every girl I know has at least one clothing item that they say would be perfect if they just lost a couple pounds.

    This spring though, I am getting rid of those ‘better body’ clothes, and I encourage those of you who have them to do the same. Keeping those clothes is unhealthy; it perpetuates the false idea that you don't deserve to look beautiful unless you have a certain body. So if like me you struggle with clothes in this way, I urge you to dress for the body you have now, not the body you hope to have, because the body you have now deserves to look lovely! So this spring, don't fall for the bikini body diets, because everybody is a bikini body. EVERYBODY IS BEAUTIFUL AND DESERVES TO LOOK BEAUTIFUL. This Spring, I have made it my goal to embrace my body, and I hope that you decide to join me on this journey!

- a girl on a journey to loving her body