A woman recounts a story about a friend’s experience winning a free style consultation with Clinton Kelly from the TLC show “What Not to Wear“. The friend wore a plus-size and had a hard time finding clothes that fit her well. She assumed that it was because of her size, but she couldn’t seem to get good results even when she tried to follow plus-size fashion tips from the show. She asked Clinton what she was doing wrong, and he shared this secret:
“His answer was that everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including their outfits when they’re out and about and they just get caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored, and the same goes for everything on What Not To Wear. Jeans, blazers, dresses – everything right down to plain t-shirts and camisoles. He pointed out that historically, up until the last few generations, the vast majority of people either made their own clothing or had their clothing made by tailors and seamstresses. You had your clothing made to accommodate the measurements of your individual body, and then you moved the fuck on. Nothing on the show or in People magazine is off the rack and unaltered. He said that what they do is ignore the actual size numbers on the tags, find something that fits an individual’s widest place, and then have it completely altered to fit. That’s how celebrities have jeans that magically fit them all over, and the rest of us chumps can’t ever find a pair that doesn’t gape here or ride up or slouch down or have about four yards of extra fabric here and there.”
Everything is altered. So many of us find fault with our bodies for not fitting the clothes, instead of finding fault with the clothes for not fitting our bodies.
“I sat there after I was told this story, and I really thought about how hard I have worked not to care about the number or the letter on the tag of my clothes, how hard I have tried to just love my body the way it is, and where I’ve succeeded and failed. I thought about all the times I’ve stood in a fitting room and stared up at the lights and bit my lip so hard it bled, just to keep myself from crying about how nothing fits the way it’s supposed to. No one told me that it wasn’t supposed to. I guess I just didn’t know. I was too busy thinking that I was the one that didn’t fit.
I thought about that, and about all the other girls and women out there whose proportions are ‘wrong,’ who can’t find a good pair of work trousers, who can’t fill a sweater, who feel excluded and freakish and sad and frustrated because they have to go up a size, when really the size doesn’t mean anything and it never, ever did, and this is just another bullshit thing thrown in your path to make you feel shitty about yourself.”
Remind yourself of this helpful little secret the next time nothing in your closet seems to fit. Remind yourself the next time the diet ads start making you think you need to lose weight. Remind yourself when you start feeling fat and ugly and worthless. Because the truth is, the flaws may simply be in your jeans — and not in your genes.