What A Pair of Overalls Taught Me About Equal Representation

I thought I couldn’t wear an outfit because I didn’t look like the other girls who wore it.
01/11/2017 11:23 pm ET Updated Jan 13, 2017

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across a photo of a girl holding a basket of fresh vegetables.

“Sunday morning at the Farmer’s Market!” she said in the caption.

“Cute overalls,” I mumbled to myself as I admired her outfit.

When I was little I had a pair of overalls that I wore over and over until they were covered in rips and paint stains. So when they went back in style my senior year of high school, I shopped around for a pair, filled with nostalgia. As I looked however, I was reminded that in the years since I had my first pair, puberty had given me thick thighs and round hips, making a number of the pairs I tried on fit differently than I’d hoped. As the trend grew, I began seeing the outfit in magazines and television shows, though all worn by the same body: tall, thin, long legs, flat stomach. I would never look like that and so I started thinking, maybe…maybe overalls just aren’t for people like me.

How silly was it for me to think that I couldn’t wear an outfit because I didn’t look like the other girls who wore it? How silly is it for anyone to think they can’t do something because of the way they look?

 That day however, when I came across the image of the girl at the farmer’s market, I noticed that she was curvy, just like me, but she wasn’t allowing herself to be restricted by her body or wishing to be showcasing a different one. She was just standing there, confident and proud in the skin she was in, sharing with the world her own unique beauty.

“I wonder if I could pull those off,” I mumbled aloud.

And there it was: the seed. The notion that inspires someone to believe they can do or be something they thought they never could.

How silly was it for me to think that I couldn’t wear an outfit because I didn’t look like the other girls who wore it? How silly is it for anyone to think they can’t do something because of the way they look?

We are all made differently and brilliantly and each and every design should be celebrated, so we must continue to plant these seeds. For even the smallest one has the power to sprout within us a belief that we are more than we think and greater than the surrounding stereotypes make us out to be. Because at the end of the day we are all beautiful, and we can all wear overalls.

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