I have fallen for dresses like this before. It’s something about the curve-hugging, see-through sweater material that gets me. And usually, when I see it, it’s on a straight size model. She has no rolls, creases, or hips poking out of the garment, it just falls on her so perfectly. So I order it. I can’t wait to try it on, and then I face the reality of just how different my body is from the model’s. It’s not like I didn’t know that as I came across the dress on her. However, sometimes when I see something online, instead of thinking “I wonder what this will look like on me,” I think,” I will look like her if I order this.” And while I love my body and I feel confident in who I am, I fantasize about having a different body.
The mainstream plus size body we are advertised
I think we all do. That’s why most of your favorite plus size brands use size 8/10 models, and while they may be a little thick and curvy in all of the right places they are not plus size by any means. For a long time, I wondered why brands did this, but it hit me relatively hard when one of my favorite plus size brands started using one of my friends as a model in most of their commercial and print shoots because I had modeled with her before, and I knew that she was a size 8. I had even seen people on set stuff her leggings with body pads to fill her out to fit a size 14. I thought to myself, “Why would a plus size brand use a straight size model?” And I even called them out on it. Their response: “Our clothing sells better when she wears it.” I guess it all made sense. We all look at these airbrushed models with perfectly curved bodies, and we think, “If I order this garment, I am going to look like her in it.” It’s purely aspirational. It doesn’t mean that you hate your body and that you don’t love yourself. It’s just an automatic response to the criticism and brain washing we get from society regarding what our bodies should look like.
Patience is key
So next time you order something, and it doesn’t look the way you thought it would, or it doesn’t make you feel the way you thought it might, give it some time. And more importantly, be patient with yourself.
How I feel about this dress
For me, this dress was a huge disappointment. When I put it on, you could see every roll, dimple, and crease. I quickly tore it off and threw it to the side. A couple of days later, I confronted the real issue: my mindset. I put the dress on, and instead of holding myself up to the unrealistic standards of that model’s airbrushed body, I looked at my own body and said, “Natalie, let’s be real. You have hips, curves, dimples, creases, and rolls, but that is your body, and it’s beautiful. You better let your creases and dimples show. You better learn to love them and give them the appreciation they deserve.” And it took some convincing, but I started to see this dress and my body in a different light. I decided to make myself feel even better by setting up my own little photo shoot in my apartment, and once I saw myself in this dress through the lens, I got a rush of confidence. You can really change your perspective and mindset by treating yourself or making yourself feel special—like I did with this photo shoot.
P.S. You may be looking at these photos thinking “What was she worried about? I think she looks great.” And honestly, that is so telling. We are our own worst critic, and even though we see every flaw and decide to obsess over it, sometimes the people around us see the beauty we can’t see in ourselves. What I am saying is: we are all way too hard on ourselves.
I got this Walk in the Sand Crochet Maxi Dress from Fashion Nova Curve, and I also have a similar dress in a midi fit and orange color called Walk on the Beach from Fashion Nova, which you can check out here: Walk on the Beach. If you love this look, you can get it for 20% off by using the code “NATINTHECITY”!
SIZING INFO: I am wearing a size 2X in the Walk in the Sand Crochet Maxi Dress, which is my usual size. However, I will say that the dress was very long on me (I am 5’2), but it did fit on my body. I think I may have been able to size down for a tighter fit since it is quite stretchy.