Body Image Issues: Why Women Feel Insecure in the Dressing Room
It’s just you and the mirror.
Every distraction stripped away. Leaving you with your reflection and your wandering mind. Have you ever been excited to go shopping but as soon as you step foot in the dressing room to try on something, you feel emotions creep in that weren't previously there? Such as feeling ugly, fat, discouraged and essentially just insecure? Have you felt confident up until you experience all of the emotions that most all of us as women have encountered in the dressing room? Has an exciting shopping experience left you feeling insecure and resulted in a few days of trying to find your confidence again?
We’ve all been there.
Sometimes shopping can be frustrating. After all, it is just you, the mirror and your wandering mind. Whether you’re trying to find something that isn’t too long, short, baggy or tight, we each have our struggles. The common theme with most women’s negative experience in the dressing room is their mindset.
We think we are _____ (fat, ugly, too tall, etc.), so that is what we see.
The mind is a powerful tool, and we get to choose how we use it. Studies show that women who exercise not only boost their confidence but they actually change the way they see themselves. A woman can work out for a short span of time (whether it’s a few days, a week, etc.), and she will actually begin to physically see herself differently in the mirror. She will physically see a more desirable image of herself in the reflection (whether smaller, more tone, or more fit) just simply due to the fact that she has been exercising.
If our mind can convince our eyes to physically see our bodies differently and to make us actually feel better and more confident in our own skin, imagine the influence our negative and judgmental thoughts can have on our mental state and well-being. If you think and say that you are fat all day, every day, then that’s what you are physically going to see when you look in the mirror. If you think and say that you are beautiful though, that is what you will see.
We pay too much attention to size
Size varies depending upon where you live, what store you’re going to, and what clothing item you’re trying on. As women, we can get so stumped on this number game. We want to lose weight in order to fit into a certain size, we feel awkward reaching towards the back of the rack to see if they even carry our size, and when we have to go up in size, we experience anxiety and feel discouraged. But why does this number carry so much weight and value in our mind?
I have experienced these feelings before, and sometimes I still do. I go to stores that sometimes don’t have my size in certain items, and I’m the one reaching towards the back of the rack to find a pair of pants that will fit over my thighs. And the funny thing is that I know my size is very normal. I’m not too big - some stores just carry clothes for really thin women. But that doesn’t mean that my size is bad, and it doesn’t mean that I have to be self-conscious because I’m not as thin as other women. When we buy clothes, we should be purchasing something that feels comfortable and makes us feel beautiful. We’re not buying them to show off what size they are.
We measure ourselves against an unattainable standard
You see the perfect outfit on a mannequin, but when you put it on your body it looks completely different. But honestly, how many women are actually represented by the average mannequin you see in clothing stores? Not many at all. We have the tendency to compare how something fits us to how it fits another person, and this only leaves us feeling discouraged.
Related: Eliminating the Root of Comparison
We can fall into the practice of nit-picking our body because of the ideal presented to us every single day. We scroll through our Instagram feed and instead of admiring something beautiful about another woman, we develop an insecurity because we don’t have the same feature that looks so good on her. We fall into the trap of aiming to perfect our body because of the standard presented to us through the media, and it becomes this endless cycle of trying to attain perfection when it doesn’t even exist. These feelings translate over to the dressing room because it is in this moment that we see ourselves without a filter and without distraction. Just us.
Reality is beautiful because it is REAL.
It’s time that we let go of insecurity and live in confidence and bravery because we know our worth. When we realize that who we are is enough, this translates into our outer beauty. We begin to see ourselves as beautiful, powerful, confident, smart, talented and capable. And when we see ourselves in a positive light, we become these things. No dressing room experience can affect our self-worth because we know that we are beautiful. We know our value.
Check out this bomb post by Molly Ho over on Wholehearted Woman: 3 Ways to Empower Women to Start Loving their Bodies
So next time you step foot in a dressing room and notice these negative feelings creeping in, stop and acknowledge the root of your reasoning. Are you feeling insecure because of size, comparison, or measuring yourself against that unattainable standard? Speak positive affirmations over yourself, step into your authenticity in confidence, and conquer that dressing room experience! True beauty is displayed when we find the confidence to live in our most authentic, real and honest form… And measuring by that standard, you are absolutely stunning.
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