I am a very body-positive person. I don't believe in crash diets or excessive workout regimens. I don't have or want a thigh gap. I believe that exercise should be about making you feel good, not look good. And I am generally pretty comfortable and happy in my body. Yet all of that goes completely out the window when I shop for jeans.
I love jeans. I wear them almost constantly. And because of the previously mentioned lack of thigh gap, my jeans get worn out and full of holes way more often than I would like, since jean shopping is, objectively speaking, the worst thing that has ever been invented. If there is not science on this, there really should be. Jean shopping is the worst.
First of all, the stakes are ridiculously high. Jeans are like the cereal of clothes. They are staples. You need them. When you really need to go jean shopping – and chances are if you've finally admitted that you should go jean jean shopping it's because you really need to go jean shopping – you can't really leave the store without at least one pair of jeans. Otherwise you'll keep wearing the only pair you have left every single day for weeks on end. And yet you also can't compromise your standards. Because having uncomfortable, unflattering, sucky jeans is even worse than having no jeans at all.
And all of this is running through your brain as you shop, frantically wondering if there is even a single pair of jeans in this whole store that will ever fit you properly.
Because that is the thing I hate most about jean shopping: It invariably, without fail, every single goddamned time, makes me feel fat. And not in a "I love my fat" kind of way. No, in the totally bullshit "fat = worthless" sort of way. And a part of me starts getting mad at myself because I know better than to feel that way, but the rest of me just wants to break down in the dressing room and cry about how no one will ever love me.
The worst are those jeans that come in European sizes. They always seem to max out at 31, 32, or 33. I can fit into a 33. I can sometimes fit into a 32. Size 31 might as well be a Size 0 for all that it is getting over my thighs. And I'm just like, goddamn it this is America. Where are those U.S. size-inflated jeans where I can fit into something other than literally the largest size available because I am a whale.
By this point, it goes without saying, I have completely forgotten that if you look at my shape and not my size, I am actually a slim person. All that matters in dressing rooms is that I am not tiny.
And given all this, it's unsurprising that once I find a pair of jeans that actually fits, I'm tempted to just buy it even if it doesn't really look good. Because jean shopping is of the devil like that.
By the time I do buy something, I feel like I ought get the damn things for free as compensation for all of the mental anguish the process has caused me. But no. At the end of the experience, you walk out of the store with your overpriced strips of denim that will eventually wear out just like all their predecessors, sending you right back here again to start the whole process over.
I hate jeans.