Goodbye skinny jeans and good riddance

Last summer I wrote a post entitled, "The truth about my skinny jeans" in which I confessed that I still had my skinniest of skinny jeans. I knew it was time to get rid of them, but I didn't want to give them away to a friend (and see that friend walk around in them? That would be counter productive) nor did I want to throw them out. They symbolized a lot to me, more than any other jeans.

I decided to donate them to Eating Disorder Network of Maryland. In 2008 during NEDA Awareness Week the theme for the week was “Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you.” Women were encouraged to donate their skinny jeans to symbolize freeing themselves from the constraints of an idealistic body type, whatever that may be to each individual.

The truth is, I decided this last July. And it's now February. I don't know if there's some deep, unconscious reason I've waited until now to get rid of them and blog about it. But, at any rate, I felt they needed a public goodbye. You may think this letter is ridiculous, or you may relate. When I bought these jeans I was in a dark place mentally. I had let go of reality somewhat. These jeans represented a false sense of happiness. A lie. A hopeless, false sense of security. Here is my goodbye letter not only to the jeans, but to the girl I once was:

Dear Skinny Jeans,

Goodbye. Today I finally get rid of you. I have kept you around like some sort of dysfunctional relationship. In the back of my closet you hung, sticking around while other clothes came and went. For 3 years you have been there. Every once in a while I would pull you out and try you on. Many times you almost fit but the cost of this small task was profound. Sucking it in, buttoning, only to look sadly at myself in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I’m fat! But I can get these to fit again.” I don’t know why you mean so much to me. You’re just fabric. Threads. With a tiny label that has a number: Zero.

I remember the day that I bought you. In the dressing room I stood in a size 2, pulling the waist away from my skin and thinking that I had made it. I poked my head out of the door and proudly asked the sales girl to get me a size zero. I wondered what she thought. If she was jealous. The power and euphoria I felt as I zipped up and buttoned you was unlike any other. I had done it.

Why did I love you so much? You’re just a pair of jeans. You never loved me back. Why did you matter so much? Make me feel so happy, even if it was false? And why, why have I kept you?

Well, today I say goodbye and good riddance. You don’t matter anymore. You used to represent what I thought was happiness and beauty. But even when I wore you, you didn’t make me happy. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s my fault. My fault I let you determine my worth and happiness. But I’m glad we met. I’m glad you were in my life because I’ve realized you don’t matter. No one cares what number you are now I don’t either.

Goodbye forever,

Photo courtesy of Ro/wererabbit


Lucy said...

Hi. My Roommate sent me this link. and truly you post made me tear up. I was that girl so excited to finally make it to a zero. Now I am still on sure how I feel about not fitting into my "perfect" size, but It's good to know there are other women out there who had the same crazy thoughts about me. thanks.

Andrea said...

Thanks Lucy! It's comments like yours that keep me writing- keep pouring my soul out to reach others to know that we're not at all alone.

Julie said...

Andrea - This is such a great post, in fact, I think it may be my favourite of all you have written. May you be liberated from those jeans forever!

Elizabeth Patch said...

hooray for this brave step! goodbye and good riddance. I remember how proud I felt when I first slipped into a teeny tiny size, nevermind that I was sick and tired and weak...oddly enough my blog post this week was all about jeans too! I'm linking this post to mine.

Jenny B said...

I loved this post Andrea - you are so amazing, always an inspiration. Thank you, and CONGRATS on finally throwing out your skinny jeans! I loved the letter you wrote to them - very touching. HUGS!

Rachel said...

Great post!

I lost a lot of weight during my eating disorder and gained some of it back after entering into recovery. Despite the fact that I am at least 4-6 sizes larger now than my skinniest clothes, I always found it difficult to toss them out. I've taken them with me now on three moves -- two from apartments on the second and third floors! For the longest time I kept them because I hoped I would eventually be able to wear them again, but when I moved in with my now-husband five years ago, I stored them in our basement and they've been more out of sight, out of mind for the past few years. I'm now in the process of organizing our basement and have resolved to finally get rid of them. Even if I should lose weight, I know that I will never be that size again because the lifestyle required for me to maintain that size is simply too unrealistic.

I used to look at my old clothes and the feelings of body-loathing were so overwhelming that it made me cry, but now I only feel a twinge of remorse simply because I had some really cute pieces that I wish I could find in my current size. Hopefully some other woman will be able to wear them and think only good thoughts about herself.

Anonymous said...

Awesome awesome awesome!!! I did a few posts a while back on my blog (www.projectbareblog) about destroying my skinniest jeans(you can find them in my archives) This prompted other girls to do the same, including my best friend, Lindsay, who struggled with an eating disorder herself. I've never heard of this campaign, but I'm so glad to see that I can point other women to this great cause when cleansing their wardrobes! I have about 8 pairs of too-skinny jeans sitting in my closet right now that I'd love to donate!!!

Eric said...

Congrats! That's a really big step, and it's great that you have made it. Consider yourself fortunate to be rid of your "skinny jeans" because there are a lot of women out there who have not reached that level yet.