How many times have you ended up in a heap amongst a sea of clothes wondering what on earth you're going to wear and feeling deflated? I know I have countless times, somewhere to go and 'nothing' to wear - when really there's loads to wear I just didn't have the confidence to believe that I looked good enough. But good enough for who?
More often than not I wouldn't be dressing for me, I'd be dressing to impress other people, to live up to society's standards of beautiful, always asking myself "What would so and so think?" and listening to those voices in my head that were telling me I was too fat or the wrong shape to wear what I truly desired. Therefore, I'd normally end up at the end in some kind of black dress, with sucky in pants up to my bra, cutting into my butt and giving me a massive wedgie. Then the whole night I'd feel self conscious and wonder if everyone could see my panty line.
How about jeans? Jeans are a battle I have faced my whole life and still do, finding ones that actually fit both my smaller waist and my thunder thighs, being a pear shape haunted me. I always felt like I was uneven, unbalanced and that my body was just wrong. "I'd be more attractive to men if I had bigger boobs" I genuinely believed and constantly researched plastic surgeons, I'd actually picked one at one point and I am so glad that I never knew you could do payment plans or I might have gone ahead with it. Trying jeans on in the changing room was pure torture, what is up with those mirrors?! I swear down they make you look 10x bigger and a completely different shape. I'd pick up the size I wanted to be and then the size bigger to be safe and when neither of them would fit I would just collapse on the floor as tears ran down my cheek. Once when this happened the shop didn't actually go any higher than the size bigger than I wanted to be and I felt like a failure, like I didn't belong. I left the changing rooms and rushed out of the shop, snapping at my dad letting out my frustration on him (sorry pops).
I was obsessed by the number in the back of my clothes I let it and other people's opinions of what you 'should' or 'shouldn't' wear take over my life, my style, my passion for clothes. It took me a long time to come to terms with the size I am, after trying a million diets and thousands of hours working out, it wasn't until I found self love that I could be truly happy and proud to be myself.
A number in the back of your clothes, is just that, no one else is going to see them. When you rock up to a party is looking in the backs of peoples trousers or t-shirts to check what size they're wearing the first thing you do? NO! It is literally one us who sees this and it does not define our beauty.
Stepping away from those unwritten rules of what we're allowed to wear isn't easy but just start with a pop of colour, jazzy socks or pants if you want to start small, then move it up to a scarf, a headband, a top and perhaps then you'll start to find your own style again and be able to start dressing to express yourself.
With love & gratitude,
Ana Louise Bonasera
Ana Louise Bonasera, mum of 4 boys, girl power enthusiast.