I’m about to let you all on in a little secret. It’s not one that I’m proud of but I’m trying to be transparent with my blog peeps.
I hate summer. Not the sun, the beach, the longer nights, or the margaritas. The clothes. Yes, the clothes.
I actually get incredibly anxious when it starts to get warm outside. Why, you ask? Because it means I have to put away my baggy sweaters, sweatshirts, and jeans. I have to start uncovering my body in hopes of staying cool.
Here’s my problem. I get a ridiculous amount of anxiety over summer clothing. Why? Because I hate, hate, hate showing skin. It’s part of my dysmorphia issues, I know this. And that’s why I’m writing about it now. I feel like I need to admit this to start getting over it.
I dread, absolutely dread swimsuits. Shorts. Skirts. Anything that is revealing.
Until you’ve been overweight and teased, it’s hard to understand. I didn’t understand until it happened to me. And it scarred me, it really did. People don’t understand what it’s like to be compared to someone skinnier right in front of your face. What was once a cute outfit in your mind seems frumpy and not cute at all.
Make matters even worse by adding in the clothing industry. I love to shop, but god help me if I have to navigate through clothing that is made for women without curves. It’s like I’m in purgatory between ladies and teens departments.
Someone once asked me what it’s like to look at your body and not see what everyone else sees. I’m not sure how to explain that. But here is what I can tell you. Getting dressed in the summer gives me panic attacks. Almost every time.
I’m not even kidding. This is how it goes:
- Open the closet. Think about how hot it will be that day.
- Select shorts. Put them on. Immediately check to see if my butt looks big. Look at my legs first and decide those are way bigger than my butt.
- Return to closet and put away shorts. Examine other shorts that I haven’t worn, in hopes that they fit better.
- Try on 3 more pairs before deciding on a dress
- Try on dress. Immediately check to see if I look like I’m pregnant.
- Decide that my arms look fat and my hips are making the dress look bubbly, not sleek like the mannequin in the store.
- Put the dress back.
- Try on several more variations of outfits. Chest is pounding now. I’m thinking of who I’m going to be with that day. Are they skinnier or bigger than I am? Will they make me look fatter?
- Decide on an outfit that meets my criteria for: a) who will be with me, b) how bloated I feel like I look, and c) what makes me feel the least miserable about myself.
- Look in mirror with outfit. God help me if it’s a swimsuit. I examine my legs for cellulite and stress out about my stomach. Ask Kevin multiple times how I look and snap at him when he says I look fine.
- Decide what jewelry I can wear to distract people from my body or the clothes I’m wearing.
- Spend the rest of the day tugging at my dress, shorts, shirt, or swimsuit. Find a way to cover up with a hoodie or swim coverup as much as possible. Worry that people are looking at me, comparing me to someone else, or judging me.
While this may seem dramatic, this is the reality of someone who has terrible body image issues.
I went online to try to find someone that looks like what I *think* I realistically look like and I couldn’t find anyone. What I did though was find a Twitter picture of Amanda Bynes where she says “About to put on makeup! I weigh 135, I’ve gained weight! I need to be 100 lbs!” And this is the photo she attached:
Really?! She thinks she needs to lose 35 pounds????? I weigh more than that and I think she looks great.
Here’s what I found that I think looks like my body. And I think she is beautiful.
This is more my speed. Back in the day, we celebrated curves. Regardless of what your opinions are about her as a person, her sex symbol status, or her mental health, she has an amazing figure. She has fat on her arms, a nice full booty, and hips. Like what women ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE.
But this is the problem. People look at someone who looks like that now and they think, she needs to work out more. Eat less. Sugarbusters. Low carb. She’s probably lazy too. Don’t even get me started on how mean girls are to each other. Doesn’t she know she shouldn’t be wearing that? I swear.
It needs to stop. I need to stop. The anxiety needs to stop.
So here is my task for the summer. Make nice with the season. Recognize when I start the heart-racing, anxiety-provoking dialogue at my closet every time I need to put on shorts, a dress, or a swimsuit. Correct my dialogue or at least stop myself before I start to get teary-eyed and hide in the bathroom. Stop piling up my bed with outfits every Friday night before I go out with friends. Pick one outfit and just move on.
I’m not proud of this post, but I know I’m not alone. I hope that by posting it, I’m helping someone else who experiences this as well. It’s lonely and embarrassing, but it needs to be said.
At least for me, it needs to be said, because I can’t live like this forever. It robs me of happiness with my friends and family.
So I’ll add this to my bucket list for the summer: get dressed and be happy about what I am wearing. Smile and say thank you if someone compliments me. Stop wondering if they are secretly judging me in their heads. Be kind to myself.