By: Shivani Shete
Growing up in a world where social media was, and still is, the norm took some getting used to. Aside from watching funny videos or making my own DIY crafts, it wasn’t easy to avoid comparison. Not only would this include comparing my life with other people’s, but comparing my looks, personality, and the types of clothes I wore. It became so easy to get trapped in a web of follows, likes, reposts, shares, and numbers simply because validation was the only motive.
There would be a handful of days where I would remember refreshing my explorer page only to find another one of my favorite YouTubers announcing that they need to take a break from the online hub. Once I started getting older was when I realized the importance of being confident in who you are, comfortable in your own skin, and seeking positivity out of a platform rather than being drained out from the bad.
As years went by, it made me happy to hear about clothing brands taking steps to shine light on body image and positivity. People became more geared to the fact that there is not a “normal.” Normal body shape, normal look, normal style; society started recognizing beauty in everyone and individuals were becoming more accepted for their features, expanding the range of true normalcy.
When it comes to buying clothes from different brands, of course I’m pulled in by word of mouth, trends, style, quality, and comfort. But I’m also captivated by where they stand in terms of who can wear their products. Are there enough sizes? Can people with different body types wear their clothes and feel good? Will each piece compliment someone’s natural shape? All of these questions are what I like to have in the back of my mind when figuring out where to spend money.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve realized that, a lot of the times, I stumble across new clothing companies while scrolling through my Instagram feed. The young influencers I follow often post and promote certain companies, whether it be for a clothing line collaboration, new launch of a brand, or huge giveaways and partnerships. From formalwear to athleisure, I’ve been able to find companies with products for everyone that you can wear almost anywhere. Products that perfectly flatter your body and are made of quality material.
Feeling confident in what I’m wearing instantly boosts my happiness. There have been way too many instances where I’m running late, scrambling to figure out what I should wear, trying on a bunch of outfits, hating each one of them, and ultimately leaving my closet like a warzone. After getting out of the house, I’m in the worst mood simply because I’m not feeling myself and I don’t like the look I have on.
Personally, I like the idea of styling simple pieces in an endless number of ways to speed up the process of me showing up to an event on time, while being satisfied with how I look. Wearing clothes that are designed to show off certain areas, cover other areas, and keep things tight in just the right places so you feel your best is what I’m all for.
Aside from these improvements, there still has to be more representation of body positivity and embracement in today’s day and age. It’s impossible to completely get rid of what is seen as “socially acceptable” overnight, but raising more awareness as each day passes, whether it be more public movements instigated or clothing brands acknowledging and adopting this topic, will contribute to the overall societal view.
I love clothing companies that have a heavy female presence. Branding that pushes the message of women feeling beautiful in what they are wearing and truly taking advantage of their day is exceptional. Having a girl boss presence in a company is inspiring and is another feel good moment when looking for and confiding in clothing brands.
Confidence in what you wear has a huge impact on your mood, and how you approach what comes your way in life. Continuing to push the boundaries and shining light on different shapes and sizes is crucial to steer away from the world’s built-in standard of beauty.
Spreading the message of body positivity all starts with change. Change has to be consistent and powerful to catch the eyes of internet users as they scroll from post to post. Change has to have purpose and individuals from diverse backgrounds and businesses need to make their voices and beliefs heard.
Wearing clothes that boost your self-esteem is a big help in fueling body positivity and acceptance. Clothing companies like Levi’s, thredUP, Aerie, Playground Active, and ASOS have hearts and souls that embody this very thought. If you want to flaunt your features, these ones do it perfectly.
Items with neutral colors can be styled in so many ways based on the vibe you are going for. You can either keep it simple, dress it up, add on some accessories, and truly make your look personalized for you to feel nothing but stunning. Whether it be for a cute and bright summer-chic aesthetic or rainy-day cozy-by-the-fire look, your confidence will be at an all-time high.
To my younger self: social media has a mind of its own. Wear clothes that make you feel your best. The sky's the limit for expressing yourself and your style, so take advantage of it. You got this.