American Eagle Outfitters is trying to rebrand as a "body positive" store, so I thought for sure I'd have luck there.
Wrong. While American Eagle's Aerie brand made headlines for its "real girl" ad campaign, the size range only goes up to a 14 in stores. Any other sizes have to be ordered online.
I picked the biggest, stretchiest high-rise jeans I could find (a size 14) and it was awful. I *could* have buttoned these, but that would have caused the rest of my body to come tumbling over the sides. Plus, they were so tight I couldn't move. No.
The shorts were WAY worse. The front wouldn't zip, the hems dug into my legs, and the crotch was like nothing I'd ever experienced.
This was also a size 14 that ran MUCH smaller than its full-length counterpart. Am I not meant to wear shorts when it's hot because I'm not a sample size? Way to shame me out of being comfortable in hot weather, American Eagle.
Throughout this experience, I couldn't help but think that it was my body that was the problem — and that I should condemn myself to basic, baggy shirts forever. But it's not, and I shouldn't. And neither should you.
My body is average — and it's beautiful. It's bigger than fashion brands want it to be, but that's not my problem. These stores and designers are limited, not me. My body is worth celebrating, and it's worth dressing to my standards.
Dear retailers: As you're decrying the death of brick-and-mortar stores, know that the majority of women WANT to shop IRL.
Whether you intend it or not, you are forcing an unrealistic standard upon us with the sizes you carry — and don't carry — in your stores.
We should not and will not lose weight for the sole purpose of fitting into your sad excuse for a size large. We are your customers, and you're failing us.
So screw this, I'm going to Sephora. There are no sizes at Sephora.
Is my shopping experience similar to yours? Which retailers do you think need to improve, and which ones do you have the most success with? Tell us on our I Heart My Body Facebook page and like us for more!