I used to hate jeans. When I was in elementary school, most kids didn't wear them. By middle school, most did (this was the mid-90s). They never fit right, and were uncomfortable. I was also a chubby kid, and the only jeans they made in my size came from Sears. I had a pink pair, and a black pair, and I only wore them because other kids made fun of my leggings with foot elastic.
By high school, I dressed like a boy. I was getting bullied a lot, and it made me feel less noticed. Girl clothes embarrassed me since I looked fat and awful in them. I lived in JNCO jeans, then Kikwear jeans (that had 30-56 inch leg openings) and men's T-shirts. I loved those Kikwear jeans.
Throughout college, my jean size fluctuated a lot, depending on how many drugs I was doing. I loved the rush of getting skinny and fitting into smaller and smaller jeans. By the time college was over, I not only fit into a size 5, but I went clothes shopping every single day. I racked up a huge credit card debt and was so thin from drugs that I had bruises on my hips from my mattress, and on my knees because they touched each other when I slept. I didn't care at the time because I looked good.
Once my horrible relationship was over, 6 months shy of the wedding, I stopped the drugs and met the boyfriend 2 months later. I could still fit into my size 5s. A few months later, I was pregnant with T, and my jeans of choice were the maternity variety. These jeans are super comfy, but not much to look at. I guess that mirrors how I felt at the time-even though I was obviously pregnant, I did not like being back at my high school weight.
After having T, I slowly downsized my jeans until I was the same weight as before I was pregnant, but 1-2 jeans sizes larger. It didn't really bother me, but I got pregnant again right away with Princess and didn't realize it until I was 20 weeks along.It took me longer to lose the baby weight this time, and I settled in to a comfortable size 9. I bought a lot of new jeans. I felt pretty good about how I looked.
Then I had Goober, and the weight didn't all quite come off. The strange thing is, I'm finally happy with how I look. My whole body shape changed, and I'm comfortable with myself, even at a solid size 12. I look good in dresses, I have hips where there were none before, and my butt looks awesome in jeans and leggings (except for the pair of capris I ripped this week, right between the side seam and the back pocket; I guess my butt was a little too big for them). I recently bought a couple new pairs of flare jeans and I love how I look in them (if you want really flattering jeans, go to ).
The types of jeans I've worn through the years have really shown how confident I am with my body at any given time. And the older I get, the more I realize it's better to be happy with me, whether I'm a size 5 or a size 12. I'm so much happier as a person now than I've ever been, although if you told me 5 years ago that I would be content wearing a size 12, I would have laughed in your face. So, here's to me being me, and wearing awesome jeans while I'm at it.
This post was written in response to this week's Red Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge.
The assignment this week is to write a piece – fiction or creative non-fiction – in which jeans play a prominent role. You can even write an ode if you’re so inclined.
Ok, so maybe this isn't a super creative post, but I found it interesting when I reflected on jeans about how much the type of jeans I wore through the years was such a mirror of my body image.