I stood in front of a three way mirror. Staring at myself in what I believed was the least flattering color on me ever, I couldn’t even pull the sample dress up over my body. Tears came pouring down, and I quickly had an array of emotions and thoughts going through my head.
I had just spent an entire year battling anorexia. This dress fitting happened to have taken place as the pendulum swung the other way–I was overweight. The skinny ass girl who was helping me pulled out her measuring tape, and started wrapping it around different parts of my body. As if that wasn’t uncomfortable enough, she proceeded to tell me that I would need to order a size that was double of what I had been before I developed an eating disorder. “Don’t worry. These dresses run very small,” she continued. Whatever she tried explaining to make me feel better did not work… not even a tiny bit.
Being a bridesmaid in a wedding is an honor. It symbolizes love, family, friendship, history, and a special bond like no other. I have had the opportunity to be in a wedding party five times. And each time I have been a bridesmaid, I have found a reason to bitch about the dress–the style, the color, the time it has taken to go to a bridal store, and, obviously, the worst of them all… getting sized with that measuring tape.
But, this last wedding I went to as a guest was the first in a long time I hadn’t been a bridesmaid. Before this experience, I wished that I could just be a wedding guest who went shopping for a dress style of my choice, the color I desired, and from a store I am familiar. Let’s just say this… it wasn’t as glamorous as I had been envisioning for years…not even close. Though it didn’t seem possible, it was actually worse than being a bridesmaid.
I started shopping online a couple months prior to the event. I had about ten different dresses shipped to my house. Not a single one was right. They were either too tight around my stomach, too clingy to my thighs, or just in general, too figure-hugging and horrid looking on me. After returning them all, I became desperate and rushed to local boutiques. It seemed as though I tried on dress after dress until I came across “the one.” But, even “the one” exposed parts of my body that I was insecure with, ashamed of, and uncomfortable.
My entire life I have had a relatively flat stomach. It was flat enough where I have never purchased or worn Spanx. Until now. The boutique owner who was helping me through the ever traumatic experience was the first to say, “Oh, don’t worry about that. Spanx will fix that.”
So I ran out, and bought myself my first pair of these things. Oh my goodness. I thought putting on jeans right after they came out of the dryer was hard. That was nothing compared to the act of pulling Spanx over my legs, hips, ass, and stomach. Once I finally squeezed my way into them, I felt accomplished. So much that I ran to show my sister-in-law my latest find. “Oh, I wear them all the time,” she said so causally. Seconds later I seriously felt like I was being suffocated and couldn’t breathe. But, despite suffering, my stomach was indeed flat (what was coming out the sides was another story.)
It ended up being a great dress for a beautiful wedding. It was so special to be with my family, friends, and people I knew. However, after wearing Spanx and holding in my pee the entire night because I dreaded having to maneuver my way back in them, I learned one thing…I truly would rather be healthy and more comfortable than too thin or too critical of my body to use Spanx.