In Search Of Good Shopping Juju

PJ & I are going shopping today. I’m looking forward to half of it, and dreading the other half. I’ve started his Christmas list, and there are a couple of things on it that I can’t wait to pick up today to make up to myself for having to buy clothes.

That sounds weird, I know! I do really like pretty clothes, but I hate shopping for them and I’ve been putting this off for awhile now. I have some pretty great Pinterest boards of clothes I would love to wear, but every time I go to the store I come home disappointed, and I’m especially dreading today’s outing.

The thing is, I’ve been on the larger side of average since middle school. And since I had the baby, even though I have technically lost everything I gained being pregnant, what’s left has shifted around to inconvenient places and I suspect that I will need to go up a size to the biggest number I have ever worn.

“It’s just a number!” some may scoff. “It’s not a definition of who you are, and you can always work harder to change it if you really don’t like it.”

That may be true, but in the meantime, it sucks. The bigger the number, the fewer pretty clothes there are to choose from. The bigger the number, the more major label brands (A&F, Lululemon, etc) who are publicly, absolutely disgusted by the idea that someone who looks like me would even dare to walk in their store, much less attempt to wear their precious clothes. And the bigger the number, the more of these small indignities are compounded by sneering, insincere platitudes about being concerned about my health. Which of course they know nothing about.

Even the maternity store where I get my nursing tops keeps the largest sizes in a back corner that is the only part of the store not decorated in hyper-cheery Pregnant is Pretty! themed displays (because otherwise tiny people with “bumps” are adorable, but too big is just eww, right?). I remember when I first needed maternity pants how relieved I was to find my size in the front, because in some stores I’m “normal” and in others I’m “plus size” and I never know until I get there which it will be. Having to buy plus-size maternity clothes from the hidden corner would have been the depressing icing on the hormonal cake.

I have (mostly) gotten used to this, and although it always bothers me, I haven’t given it too much thought. But now that I’m a mom, and have this little guy who will literally prop his eyes open to not miss a thing I do, I feel like I need to step it up a bit.

I don’t want him to get the idea that I’m ashamed of my body, or that I should be. I don’t want him to grow up thinking that all women should be tiny or else spending every waking minute trying to be. And if I ever have a girl, that’ll be even more important.

I just wish I could get a little help from the fashion industry with this. But I’m not holding my breath. I’ll hold my nose instead and go buy new clothes because I need them, and then I’ll cheer myself up with Christmas shopping for fun little guy toys.

Ok, ok, and shoes too.