Growing up, I was always being called la gordita (the chubby girl). And while I know it’s used as a term of endearment in my culture, it still leaves an unsettling feeling, especially at such a young age. I’ve always struggled with accepting my body and truly loving myself, which made shopping for clothes both my favorite and most dreaded activity. I have always loved fashion and putting together new pieces to create outfits, but to this day, I still get very anxious about going into fitting rooms. It’s an ongoing process, but at least I’ve stopped throwing tantrums. #progress
Running Into An Old Frenemy… Again and Again
I’m a lover of fashion:
colors, patterns, textures,
all astounding how they come to play.
I love spending hours
looking through tight racks overflowing
with every piece imaginable.
I love conjuring pieces in my head
imagining they’ll mold onto the perfect fit
for my body.
And through all this love I have,
Fitting Room remains my worst enemy.
Fitting Room has always been that friend I try to love,
but in reality, she’s just toxic.
Yet, I keep running into her.
Always making me think I should be a different version of myself,
Always whispering I would look better if I was maybe just a size smaller,
Always taunting me to the verge of tears.
Each time I step into a fitting room,
while I wait for the attendant to unlock the door to my dungeon,
I can already feel myself begin to sweat,
before the fluorescent lights even begin to shine upon me.
(I mean do you really have to make them so bright?)
I see myself reflected back at me on the mirror,
and I immediately begin to point out what I see as flaws:
thighs are too wide, too flat chested, stomach not flat enough.
At that time, I began to cry.
But that was then.
Now, I walk into a conversation with Fitting Room
feeling anxious, but not defeated.
I walk in ready to find what I feel great in,
ready to put together my greatest creation.
I still struggle. I still find imperfections.
But the first thing I see,
is my smile.
Happy to be here. Ready to take on this challenge.
Now I say,
Hi Fitting Room, nice to meet you.
I’m here to feel great.
By Melanie Rodriguez
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