While we were at the mall, I stopped in to Lane Bryant. A few years ago, I struggled with finding jeans that fit me just right. They never fit right, they always made me feel uncomfortable. I stopped in to Lane Bryant just to see. Shirts at Lane Bryant don't fit me- I'm not as broad in the shoulder area, as I am in the hip area, so the wider shirts fall off my shoulders.
I am digressing, right? I had never tried pants on, so I went in a few years ago, and tried. I found jeans that fit perfectly. Oh, how comfortable they were! Two years later, my jeans are getting a bit raggedy. I decided that since we were there, and I had some extra money, I might as well stop in.
I don't know HOW I could have forgotten the dressing room of HORRORS that Lane Bryant has, but I did. Never been in one? Let me regal you with the dressing rooms. Mostly, it's the lighting. Horrific, horrifying, horrible lighting.
It's recessed, spot light lighting. It creates shadows. LOTS of shadows. Know what stands out in shadowed lighting, when you are spot light from above? Every dimple, crease, and pocket of fat. In glorious up close vision, because you're standing right there looking in a mirror.
Clothing that looks perfectly acceptable on while outside of the dressing room, looks horrific, horrifying, and horrible in the dressing room lighting.
I walked out of that store today beating myself up because of the 5 pounds I've gained since breaking my tailbone. I'm seriously crushed over weight I've gained, and the weight I've carried around since becoming a mom. Yes, the weight is my own fault. I could (and should) watch what I eat more. And I could (and should) work out more.
What I do not understand, however, is how a store that caters to larger women, can get away with lighting like that. Have they never heard complaints? If I hadn't walked out and looked at myself in the more normal lighting, there is no way I would have bought the two pairs of pants that I bought. The lighting had another effect on me. It made me look shorter, and made my legs look stumpy and wide.
I felt not like a beautiful, slightly larger than average woman. I felt like a circus freak waddling around. I felt like I'd shrunk 5 inches, and widened 10 inches. I felt horrible. I felt like saying something to the women working, who all were my size or larger. I felt like crying.
Is this really the message that shopping at a store should send us women? It wasn't a store for twigs. I expect to feel fat if I'm in a store surrounded by size 0 stick figures, where an XL is really a M, and isn't going to fit. When I walk into a store built for woman of a larger size, I expect to feel comforted. I expect to walk out not feeling like every eye was on me, wondering just who I was shopping for.
And I didn't. I walked out thinking every eye WAS on me, wondering why I only bought a size 14, when clearly, I should have bought a size 18 or 20. I felt like they wondered who I was kidding. I felt fat. Maybe it was the kick in the pants I needed, but I certainly didn't need it today.
On the plus
Another blight on the day? Getting harassed about signing up for a Lane Bryant credit card. I get it every time I go. It's one thing to ask, and stop when I've declined. It's a whole different matter to ask repeatedly after I declined, and mention "how much you'd save!" by getting it. Of course, they don't mention how much you pay in interest. I firmly declined again.
-sigh- I'm fat. Fantastic.
I should clarify. I don't think there isn't anything wrong with whatever size a woman is. This isn't about size itself. It's about self image, and being comfortable with who I am as a person. No woman should be made to feel even worse, or even larger than they are at a store there to cater to them.