We Aren’t Mannequins

My time is cut between school work, writing, and work. I work for a women’s clothing store called Charlotte Russe, and while I definitely have some horrible retail stories I could tell you that isn’t what this is about. It’s about the fact that all of the mannequins our customers see, are only made to fit a size X-Small or Small; can only wear a size two in jeans; and can only wear a size eight in shoes. It’s about how I hear “it looks better on the mannequin!” way more than I’d like to; kind of ironic considering our clothes are made for you to be worn by you, right? It’s about how I see way too many women putting an article of clothing back on the rack because it shows a part of her body that isn’t “flat enough” or “perky enough”.

Think about the clothes you buy for a few seconds. Do you buy them because you absolutely love them? Or because you think they look “good” on your body? Perhaps we’re dressing our bodies to minimize your own discomforts in it?

Now obviously, we all buy clothes we look “good” in because no one buys something that looks hideous on them. The problem comes in when we’re buying clothes that make us look “thin”, or it makes our breasts look bigger or our butts look bigger. The problem is in all of the long sleeved dresses we buy to cover our arms because of that little bit of skin, or all of the baggy tops we own because it hides our stomach.

Fashion is meant to be fun and expressive, but we can’t do that if we’re still hiding in our clothing. Buy clothing that brings out your confidence, not something that makes you feel confident. Wear that bodycon dress even though you’re going out to dinner and you might end up with a food baby, wear that short skirt even though it shows off that scar you hate. Clothing is meant to help us show off who we are, but they don’t make us who we are.