Well Hello Lane Bryant: This is what a size 20 looks like (Part One)
If you grew up a fluffy kid like me, you probably had a very evil experience with a plus size store, or as I used to call it, “the place where the fat people shopped.” My plus size store of horror was the mama of all stores: good old lady Lane Bryant.
Let me back it up for you a little bit. Lane Bryant created the first plus size section in 1920 and actually help popularize the “plus size” description. They were first known for making maternity clothes for women, so naturally creating clothing for larger women made sense for them. But for me thus an ugly stigma began.
I remember as a kid first hearing about Lane Bryant around the same time as hearing about Weight Watchers. For many women it seemed like they had to pick one or the other: lose weight or shop at the big lady store.
One day at the age of 12 my mom dragged me into the store and I got to finally see my enemy face to face. All I saw were images of large white women wearing giant tents along with ruffles, trousers and granny panties everywhere. I ran out of there screaming with tears rolling down my face and I never looked back.
I ran of course, with the other women, to the Weight Watchers nearby.
But Weight Watchers soon turned into another diet, which turned into another, which turned into diet pills, which turned into laxatives, which turned into starving, which resulted into body obsession and eventually an eating disorder. (No shade to Weight Watchers, by the way. This is just my own personal story.)
And now as an ED survivor and a Body Positive Activist I’ve learned that I had serious issues when it comes to how I viewed my body and even my perception of clothing stores. I had to learn to love myself no matter what size I am. I had to learn to stop dieting, starving, bingeing and obsessing, and I had to start living! I had to be okay with any clothing store and any size I am – no matter a size 2 or 20.
I also had to learn to confront all of those triggers that made me feel disgusted about my body. And lady Lane was one of them. It’s time to bury the hatchet, face my fears and walk inside of that same store that I ran out of 15 years ago.
So, hello Lane it’s nice to finally meet you.
Well first off, old lady Lane must have gotten her groove back because I didn’t see a single piece of clothing for an old lady. I saw curves, hips, booty, breasts and I saw women that looked like me; young, hip and ready to party.
I also saw familiar faces like Ashley Graham (aka bae). I saw brighter colors and things on trend with the fashion industry. Not to mention I saw so many women of color in their ads; which is something I still have yet to see in size S-L stores. (But I won’t say any names, at least until my next blog post which is coming soon. Hint.)
So after walking around, checking out the ads and all of the clothes, I selected a few items and walked into the fitting room.
And now the moment of truth. Alright Lane. Let’s get physical.
Before I shopped I first measured myself. As an activist, it is what I recommend doing before shopping at any clothing store. Review the store’s sizing chart and then measure yourself the same day that you plan to shop. Then select items directly according to their sizing chart. And lastly, which is the upmost important step, DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE NUMBER ON THE LABEL.
Always remember that neither a label nor any number on a scale defines this body.
As bae always says,
"It doesn't matter if you're a size 2 or 22, you can be healthy as long as you're taking care of your body, working out, and telling yourself 'I love you.' "
-Ashley Graham -
The first thing I did was measure my boobs as I really needed a good sports bra. According the sizing chart, I’m an H. Yup, you read it right, an H. But, remember there are no labels here! So without giving thought to the letter that I didn’t even know existed in the bra world, I ordered an H.
And guess what, it fit like a (Click Here for Page 2)