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A Temple Girl’s Advice To Not Let Your Clothes Wear You

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

*Trigger Warning: mentioning of unhealthy eating habits and struggles with body image* 

Re: Calorie counting or cutting carbs? Keto or temporarily vegan? Do these jeans make my waist look wider? Should I still wear horizontal stripes? And all the rest of the b*llsh*t questions you ask yourself daily. 

The annual Met Gala came in tandem with news of Kim Kardashian’s crash diet to fit the mold of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic 1962 gown.  

“Give me, like, three weeks” she recalls, telling the story of how she aimed to lose sixteen pounds solely to adorn the rhinestone-covered garment. She goes on to state that losing the weight felt “like [preparing for] a role.” I actually think that’s pretty spot-on- don’t we all feel that way sometimes?  

I know I’ve definitely had moments in dressing rooms where I rethink my entire perception of myself based off one ill-fitting top. I’ve even left the mall misty-eyed after tying a dress the wrong way and thinking it felt a little too tight. Obviously, this is not an experience applicable to everyone, but in a world where aesthetics reign supreme, it can be a little hard to not fall victim to these dangerous notions of body image.  

Seeing celebrities like Kim Kardashian endorse appetite-suppressant lollipops and link unhealthy dietary habits to self-proclaimed “determination,” is frustrating but not shocking. It seems body types continuously fall in and out of trend, and with the current revival of “pro-ana” culture across various social platforms, it is salient that we recognize the problematic nature of promoting harmful beauty standards and understand the best ways to protect ourselves from this rhetoric as well.  

It is all too often we fall down the rabbit hole of dangerous crash diets and disordered habits that ultimately stem from our desire to keep up with the latest fashion trends. “Is it a fit or is she just skinny?” is the seemingly simple question that now stalks the corners of my mind when scrolling through Pinterest.  

We’re constantly told that we should wear whatever we want- whatever makes us feel confident. But what happens when I feel like my low-waisted jeans make my legs look shorter, or when I think that one square-neck top broadens my shoulders? 

I’d love to come on here and write an article that says, “Just don’t think about it! Love yourself and say three kind things to yourself in the mirror every day.” But that’s not always helpful- I’ve tried all that and maybe I’m just stubborn, but I still have my insecurities exacerbated by certain clothing pieces. If you feel a similar way, the one thing I can offer to you is that what subjectively looks best on you may simply depend on your natural body type.  

That’s right- no tricks or gimmicks, no flat-tummy teas or ten-minute ab workouts. Just dressing yourself according to your natural attributes.  

There are several extremely helpful guides online that detail how to best style each body type; one of my favorite TikTok creators right now is Ellie-Jean Royden (@bodyandstyle) who makes videos explaining this concept exactly, even connecting her advice to famous celebs for reference.  

In Korea, finding your “personal color” is a popular trend that allows many to best choose the right shades of makeup, types of jewelry, or colors of clothing. There are many ways we can adjust the commodities we adorn to highlight our timeless features, rather than reworking ourselves to fit those fleeting, material goods.   

Ultimately, the clothes we wear, or at least want to wear, can dictate the perception we have of ourselves and disregard the version we’re working to become. In order to combat these harmful influences, we must shift that criticism to the clothes themselves.  

If you think wearing yellow dims your skin tone, don’t wear it. If you feel uncomfortable in a halter top, opt for a sweetheart neckline instead. Don’t run yourself ragged for a prom dress or a “one size fits all” pair of pants. Wear the clothes that accentuate your pre-existing beauty. Don’t let the clothes wear you.  

Rylee is a freshman English major who was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She enjoys poetry, small trinkets, maladaptive daydreaming, and her orange tabby cat Couscous.