How I Stopped Dressing For My Body Type

This past summer I went to my first Lollapalooza.  It was a four-day long hot and sweaty festival in which I had one motive: to make it out alive. Lolla can be exhausting and quite dangerous due to the extreme heat and drunk toddlers, and since I was just there for the music I knew I’d have to prepare myself. So, that meant bringing a CamelBak Bladder filled with three liters of water, lots of sunscreen to protect my pasty skin, and lastly, which was new for me, minimal clothing.

 

If you were to look at my summer wardrobe when I was 14, it was barely reminiscent of “summer”.  In fact, I was the odd one out in school saying that summer was my least favorite season, simply because it was hotter outside and that meant wearing shorts and tank tops (don’t even get me started on swimsuits).  Of course, I didn’t comply with the weather and its dress code. I wore long pants and sweatshirts to hide my body until it was physically unbearable because I was ashamed of it.

 

Fast forward five years later and it’s time to plan my outfits for Lollapalooza.  On a particularly hot day, I decided I needed to dress for comfort. I was also seeing my favorite band, Walk the Moon, so I knew I was going to be wearing clothes I could dance in.  I decided on wearing a “one size fits all” halter top from Free People and some high waisted shorts. I have never in my entire life worn a top like this (it was basically a sports bra on me)--I rarely even leave the house in a tank top!  

 

The funny thing is I didn’t even feel weird about my outfit choice.  It was definitely a bold move for me since I’d never worn anything like it, but I didn’t really think twice after I walked out the door that day.  I saw so many girls wearing similar outfits, so why can’t I? It’s hot outside, everyone’s dancing, and I’m tired of covering up my body.  

 

I think part of this decision was situational -- I  was at a music festival where I needed to be comfortable. But I also think it took a lot of growth. I would’ve never chosen to wear clothes that aren’t “for me” back in high school and I can’t even say I would’ve dressed like this a year ago.  It took a lot of reflection on my personal values and I just recently learned that “rules about what clothes I can wear based on my size” is not one of them. 

 

There really isn’t an easy way to get over the negative thoughts you may have about your body.  Sometimes the journey is much longer and more treacherous than it is for others. I wish I had a simple solution to change those thoughts, but for me, it really was about time.  Of course, practicing positive self-talk is a huge step, but that’s not always easy. Sometimes it just takes growing up and not caring anymore. I’m finally to that point -- and it feels amazing.