SELF – This Woman’s Incredible Photos Show Why Clothing Size Is Just A Number

It isn’t hard to let clothing sizes define how you feel about your body, and Deena Shoemaker took to Facebook to show why clothing size is just a number, and how arbitrary a number sizing can be. Wearing a range of sizes from size 6 to size 12 in pictures, she demonstrates that size is simply a number and shouldn’t define you, or how you feel about yourself.

SELF asked me to weigh in on how prevalent body consciousness was around sizing, and what people could do to maintain healthy body consciousness. I was very pleased to weigh in for this great article by Korin Miller for SELF.

And it’s a slippery slope. “It’s easy to let clothing size define who we are and how we feel about ourselves—especially for adolescents who rely so much on their peers or outside influences to define them,” licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF.

Of course, changing that mentality takes time. Instead of focusing on a number, Clark recommends zeroing in on how clothes look on your body, sure, but most importantly, how they feel to you—not how they’re labeled. Clothing should make you feel like your best self, she says, not like you have to change to fit a certain standard.

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD