Why This Woman Won't Let Changing-Room Lighting Bother Her Anymore


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Shopping can be a pretty dreadful activity when it's time to step into the dressing room, with its notoriously bad lighting and mirror situation. The whole process of trying on clothes can leave you feeling down and out about your appearance, especially when a clothing item doesn't fit you well.

  • On Instagram, Brooke Spencer opened up about her own struggle with facing the changing room.

    "Ahhhh, changing room lighting, the lighting that can make you go from having a good day to 'wtf, my body looks like that?'" the body-positive activist wrote in the caption. "I've been there before countless times."

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  • "It's ruined full days for me, it's made me fall back into [eating disorder] behaviors, it's made me cry and leave the store," she continued.

    It feels like changing-room lighting (and trying on clothes that don't fit us, despite the fact that clothing size is totally arbitrary) can make us notice our "flaws" -- or what society tells us to be insecure about -- even more. Something about that lighting acts like a bad magnifying glass.

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    (Actually, people have discovered that dressing rooms' lighting setup really does play a role in changing how we look.)

  • "But that's all over now," Spencer wrote. It hasn't been easy, but she now sees herself in a new light, even if she's standing right in changing room light.

    Spencer realized that she's actually not full of those "flaws" that the diet industry and mainstream media has led her (and many others) to believe exist. "I'm not wasting any more of my limited heartbeats on hating myself," she wrote. "My body deserves way more love and respect than that ... My body is beautiful regardless of what lighting I'm in!"

  • Her outlook is inspired by the idea that "our lives are short," she continued. "How do YOU want to spend [it]?"

    "I only wish I could get back the years I spent at war with my body," Spencer wrote. Instead of the anxiety attacks, the suicidal feelings, and the crying in the bathroom, she wishes she enjoyed her time laughing with her loved ones and eating her nonna's Italian food. "And there's MANY more good times I missed out on due to hating myself and my body, but I don't want to focus anymore on the negative."

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    "I've had plenty of ups and downs but I keep pushing through, so change room lighting no longer bothers me," she said.

  • Lots of people related to Spencer's battle, and shared their own grief with trying on clothes in the dressing room.

    "Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!" another person wrote. "It literally would take me over a year to buy jeans because I hated going into fitting rooms SO much. Keep rocking that body! You bring light!" 

    "New goal: to leave a dressing room with as much self-love as I had walking inside it," someone else commented. "You are SUCH an inspiration, thank you for posting this!!"

    Take that, Forever 21's dressing room (oh, and mainstream media and the diet industry).

body positivity body image body self esteem