I bought a dress online at ASOS. ASOS is one of those stores that I thought I could not buy at. I form opinions of stores and retailers quickly, pretty much assuming that I can’t find anything to fit me at about 95% of them. I think I’m right about 80% of the time…someone do the math on that one. I assume they won’t have my size without really looking at the sizes they offer. Bad habit.
I kept seeing ASOS pop up in the all the plus size blogs I read, and I kept seeing this dress on them too, so I knew my prejudices against ASOS must be wrong. I went online, found my dress and size, and fell in love with it when it arrived. It’s so comfy!! And I’m quite happy to be wrong in this case.
After being so happy with ASOS, I ventured out and looked at some other stores I thought were out of my reach. H&M is one that I see everywhere, with just darling items. I saw something I liked online, but didn’t buy it. The other day I actually walked past an H&M store, and since I had some time to kill, I thought I would just go in to see if they had the sweater I liked. It was a horrible mistake, but it made me think.
As soon as I was in the store, I felt like I should turn around and leave. Not only was I the oldest person there, I was also the biggest, so obviously. I felt uncomfortable right away. But, I wasn’t going to be chased out of there.
I felt so uncomfortable though, and I felt like everyone was staring at me. I wandered around, realizing that this particular store didn’t have any sizes over a large, no matter what the online store might offer. I asked about the sweater, was told where it might be, looked for it, and didn’t find it. I left the store and breathed a sigh of relief when I was back on the street.
I don’t know if I was being judged while I was in there, I really don’t know if all the young girls were looking at me and judging me and asking themselves why in the world I was in that store. Did I feel like I was being judged? Absolutely. Did it really happen? I will never know.
I don’t know what I’m more upset about – the fact that people might have possibly judged me, or that I let myself become uncomfortable and sad over what might have all been in my imagination. And even if they were judging me, why does it still matter? Do I know any of them, or respect them, or care about their opinions? No, not at all. I’ve come so far in my self-esteem, yet it’s so easy to be knocked down again. Only I was the one who knocked myself down this time. I did it all on my own. And that makes me sad for me.
I was talking to a friend about my blog, and I told him that I have self-esteem issues that I am working on, and although they are better than they were 10 years ago, some are still there. He said he was really surprised because I seem to be very self-confident. I told him that I fake it most of the time, as I’ve told a lot of my friends. Surprisingly, it works a lot of the time. I just pretend that I’m not nervous or feeling ugly or self-conscious, and I start to really believe that I am confident. Strange but true. But it didn’t work in the store. I faked it and didn’t run out of there, but I was miserable afterwards, telling myself I had no right to be in that store. And that’s not ok. I have every right to be in that store, or any other store, whether they carry my size or not.
So, I’ll keep faking it. I’ll try not to put my insecurities on other people, and try not to make assumptions that they are judging me. And I’ll try not to make myself sad and put myself down. I deserve better than that. And if I can’t be comfortable with who I am, then I certainly shouldn’t expect other people to be.
And this post is in no way a bashing of H&M. I haven’t bought any of their clothes, I don’t have any actual experience with them, just customers in their store.
And sorry, no pictures. Pictures will come tomorrow! I needed to write this one and get it out there. Besides, if you just read that long and winding narrative, you will realize I didn’t buy anything at H&M, so of course no pics, silly bird!