When I first moved to Edmonton, I only owned one pair of jeans. And I only owned them because I felt like they were something I “should” own, not something I wanted to own. You know… everyone has jeans, right? I should too. It’s the kind of garment everyone owns.
When I was big, wearing pants made me feel awful about myself. I can’t speak for others when I say this — only myself. I felt paunchy and obvious and when I walked, I envisioned my pants splitting and everyone laughing at me, the fat girl in jeans, who had no right to wear a garment that she wasn’t supposed to be wearing. My jeans were a hefty size 16. In retrospect, that really isn’t that big. But when I hold up a garment that size in the store now, it astounds me that I was ever this big. Because of my awkward self-image wearing jeans, I rarely wore them. Typically, I was a skirt and tights girl. Tights don’t seem much better than jeans, but they’re somehow more invisible. They feel icky, but don’t look as icky as they feel. For a long time, I refused to wear jeans.
And now I own lots of jeans. The first pair I bought felt light in my hands – the material felt smaller than the pants I was used to purchasing. The waist seemed smaller than I ever imagined I could fit into. And yet, here I am, wearing them, and they fit. Jeans. And when I wear them, I feel like I can wear them – like I’m allowed to wear them. And I don’t at the same time — I don’t feel lighter or different or smaller or tinier… I feel like myself wearing jeans. The difference happens when I see myself in the mirror and get a glowing sense of confidence, of accomplishment. I succeeded. I did. And no one can take THAT away from me at the very least.
The lesson here is never accept yourself as “the way you just are” when you know you could do more and be a better human being. We make choices in life and those choices help us become better people. They help us wear jeans like “normal” people do without feeling ashamed.
I don’t just own one pair of jeans anymore. I own several — beautiful jeans with stretch and destruction, dark washes, chino cuffs, slim and skinny leg openings… I own lots of jeans.