Posted on August 27, 2011 by Dr. Deahblog about redefining beauty and challenging societal standards of perfection. I am the member of the family who is the co-author of a book about size acceptance and women calling a truce in their battles against their bodies. My niece is getting married. She is the bride. I will be scrutinized. This is not narcissistic, grandiose, or ego maniacal. This is fact. The last time I had to dress up for an important family event was six years ago for my son’s Bar Mitzvah. When I was shopping for that dress, I was a “nouveau riche” size 4. I had never been that thin…and of course I was “just visiting.” I was so inexperienced in shopping as a thin person, that I accepted Sax Fifth Avenue’s offer of assistance from a Personal Shopper. “I’m sorry I’m such a challenge. It’s my butt and these thighs; they must make your job so much more difficult.” Did I mention I was a size 4? And there I was apologizing to my personal shopper for not being a size 2. Today, six years later, the “mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy suit” that I purchased won’t get past my shoulders. And I no longer have a personal shopper. Flying solo, I dared to go where all too many women before me have dared to go…into the belly of the beast…charge card in hand. But I was not shopping completely alone. I entered the store with the belief that I deserved to find a dress that made me feel good. I shopped with a self-confidence that hugged my shoulders with an attitude of, “I can look just fine…beautiful even…at this size.” Most importantly, I was accompanied by my newest companion, ME. I was NOT shopping with the eyes and opinions of my family or the media. I was clad in the bullet proof vest of MY eyes and MY opinion. I was draped in a comforting serape of conviction that how I looked and what I chose to wear was the only opinion that held any weight!! I began looking around the store. I focused on fabrics and colors that I found pleasing. Then I included the elements of comfort and a dash of pizzazz. I was almost enjoying myself! I wasn’t obsessing over what size I was or whether my arms, thighs or butt would be offensive to someone. In a way, that opened up a wider range of possibilities. A sales woman approached and I waited for my usual wave of apologetic embarrassment to wash over me. It didn’t! “That’s a gorgeous dress,” I said pointing towards the rack of Elie Tahari designs. “Expensive but beautiful!” “This dress is a classic. You’ll be able to wear it forever!” I smiled when I thought of the size 4 Bar Mitzvah suit gathering dust in my closet. The personal shopper had told me the same thing and I hadn’t been convinced. After all, a part of me knew I was “just visiting” the land of size 4. But this time I had a feeling she was absolutely correct! After years of working personally and professionally on size acceptance, my years of yo-yo dieting and shape shifting had finally come to an end! “What size are you,” she asked flipping through the hangers? I smiled, and said, “I’m a perfect size ME!” If you enjoyed this blog, please visit my website and subscribe to my FREE monthly Schmooze-letter! www.drdeah.com And who knows...maybe you will buy my book? 😉 It couldn't hurt! Til Next Time, Dr. Deah
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