(Content warning: Talk of weight gain, diet, etc.)

After the holidays, your wallet is probably packed with gift cards, prepping you to do some post-holiday shopping. While you’re getting ready to hit up the department store, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself. 

Shopping for clothes can be extremely triggering. Sometimes they don’t fit correctly, or perhaps you spend too much time looking in the mirror,seeing flaws that only you can spot. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember to be practice kindness- to your body. . It’s so easy to become self-critical when shopping. Not only that, if you take your children shopping, it’s also important to be conscious of what you say to them, too. Or what you say in front of them about yourself.

“As your kiddo is growing, and trying on clothes for the holidays, and the clothes don’t fit for whatever reason at all…” Heron Greenesmith said on Twitter. “Blame the clothes, not the kid.”

Whether you’re shopping for holiday clothes or post holiday shopping, blame the clothes, not you (or your kid.) You are beautiful exactly how you are in this moment, and every moment. When you’re standing in front of that mirror looking at clothes that don’t fit, remember that it is not your fault. According to Byrdie, the average size of the American woman is 16-18, while the majority of clothing brands only offer up to a size 12! 

It’s essential that we watch what we say to ourselves. We know the power of negative talk and self- critique. If you shop with children,  remember that  their young minds are still forming, but they’re retaining what they hear. Adults are considered the experts. So when a child hears, “Omg, I can’t believe this size doesn’t fit!” they’ve now learned that there are good and bad sizes and that the number on a label has the power to cause pain. Not a great lesson 

After the holidays, it’s easy to punish ourselves for eating “too much” or gaining weight. STOP. You are allowed to eat, and you are allowed to take up space in this world. Every negative thought we say or think stores in our brains and encourages self doubt. If you are looking in the dressing room mirror and saying harsh things to yourself about the way your clothes fit, stop! Blame the clothes, not your body.

Here are some things you can say instead: 

  • This shirt is the wrong size, let’s find my size that’s still just as beautiful.
  • I look amazing, regardless of these pants not fitting correctly.
  • I am stunning despite this outfit not looking the way I thought it would! 

Likewise, another huge issue with post-Holiday shopping can be the way salespeople speak to plus size humans, particularly plus size women. Reinforcing the unfair beauty standards laid out in a lot of countries. #BoldBoss Amanda LaCount actually participated in a movement highlighting the negative way some sales people speak to plus size women, and how to correctly approach it.

In the video, a plus size woman enters the store and is shamed for being plus size. Mallory, one of the sales women, says that she needs to find another store because nothing will fit her there. In contrast, another sales woman actually helps her find cute clothes that fit. We won’t spoil the ending for you, but it did bring us to joyous tears!

In instances like this, it is still just as important to remember how wonderful you are. You are acceptable, valuable, powerful and unique inside and out, and the sooner you start believing that, the better you will feel. Be BOLD. (Because you are.)