It's Been 3 Years Since I Bought Jeans

For me, looking at the jean section in a store is like checking your bank account: I'm afraid of a number. In fact, I was so afraid I hadn’t done it since junior year of high school when I was the thinnest I had ever been. Thanks to dance and choir, people felt like they didn’t have to comment on my weight anymore and I felt free to browse jeans.

After the inevitable freshman 15, I stopped wearing the jeans I bought in high school and stuck to skirts, dresses, and one pair of black leggings because I felt like those clothing items hid my stomach the best. As the “fashion girl”, I told friends that I didn’t wear jeans because they’re “ugly” and “fashionably lazy”. Dresses and skirts were stylish and were a lot more effort than just jeans. People also blamed the lack of jeans in my closet on the fact that I was a “girly girl,” which was fine with me because I was getting in touch with my feminine side after years of internalized misogyny (which is another story for another time). Little did anybody know, I didn’t whole-heartedly believe jeans were a fashion crime. They were just my personal insecurity nightmare. 

Dresses I relied on to hide insecurities (with more unpictured)

People also didn’t know that I did keep a pair of jeans in my dresser. My old high school jeans were under piles of skirts like a dirty secret. I kept them as part of a toxic rule I created: if I couldn’t fit into those jeans, then I couldn’t wear jeans at all. It seems like such an extreme approach but when you look down at your stomach, it seems reasonable. You’d do anything to keep people from thinking you’re anything but a size small. While the body positivity movement has become more prominent now, it wasn’t there in my past and I think it's hard to ignore the toxic ideas of beauty that have always been there.

My new jeans!!

The volta in this narrative isn’t that I lost weight or that I love my waist size. Both of those things just aren’t true. My exact realization is put into words by Tumblr user Fairycosmos, “i don’t think i have to be beautiful all of the time in order to be accepted and loved and sucessful. I don’t think every small detail of my outer appearence needs to be translated into prettiness”. In other words, I stopped believing that my worth was equated to my physical beauty.

Once I stopped caring about being society’s idea of beautiful all of the time, I felt freer. I threw my old highschool jeans into a bag of clothes I will be donating and started my hunt for new jeans. Yes, I still had my insecurities. I wasn’t perfectly confident and I would have to keep working at it but I was and am in a much better place than I was a month ago. 

Saying bye to my old jeans!

Two weeks ago, I bought my first two pairs of jeans in almost three years! To go from hating my waist and terrified of jeans to being shameless and confident is such a huge milestone for me. If you’re struggling with jean shopping or have barred yourself from wearing a certain type of clothing because it “wasn’t made for your body type”, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to reconsider. Don’t stop yourself from wearing things because you’re scared of what you will look like in it. If you like rompers, buy that romper, girl! I don’t care if somebody says it doesn’t look good on someone like you, if you like it, then it does look good on you. Don’t let anybody tell you that your happiness doesn’t suit your body.