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Clothes Through the Eyes of an Athlete Student in a Private School.

Let’s talk about self impressions for a moment. Kayla Marion ( Intern, Affinity Patient Advocacy )

When you picture yourself, what do you see? An idealistic version of yourself, or a haunting image? There are so many ways people can look at themselves, and it's important to consider that people will usually see a flaw, whether it's actually a flaw, or not.

As a student athlete, specifically a swimmer (for this example), the insecurity can be real. After all, the kid next to you is slipping into a size 18 racing suit while you struggle to get your own suit over your thighs. When that kid is done she might even tell her friends quite loudly what she just did with relative ease, making you look at your red face in the mirror as you now try to get your own swimsuit over your legs.

As a Catholic school student, everyone’s wearing the same outfit, or you would think. Unfortunately, people create differences where there are none. Since the only difference to create in a Catholic school is skirt size, kids make little judgements on whose skirt is shorter and how small the skirt waistband can be. Some kids might say your skirt is too long, because that’s not cool. Then, when you roll it up they might say it’s too short because now they can see your thighs rubbing together. You get fitted for skirts at the store and one of the kids you know asks what size you’re getting for next year, and of course, the first thing they reveal is that they’re a smaller size. This will be the height of conversation on the first entire week of school, as everyone small reveals their size, leaving you to question why your skirt is bigger.

This might not be everyone’s experience, but if it is, I have some good news. The size of her clothes (or his, if you’re a guy) has nothing to do with your clothes, your accomplishments, or your worth. They bought an article of clothing that works for them. But everyone’s different. Her clothes weren’t bought to fit you. They were bought to fit her. You bought your own clothes to fit you, right? And, in the end, think of the amazing things you’ve done without needing to wear that other suit/skirt, the smaller one, the “better” one (as many people consider it). It can be hard to think, but your “flaw” probably isn’t a flaw at all. In fact, it’s part of your story. It’s woven into the work you put in to get where you are.

So, where have you gotten yourself with how you are right now. You’ve worked so hard and sure, you might not be the skinniest on the team, or at school, or in the changing rooms. But you’re you, and that’s the best part. What got you to this meet, prepared you for the race, swam all those yards in practices - what got you into this school, and sat through the studying, and worked through the test taking, is getting dressed for whatever you’re about to do. So rock it, because your suit size and skirt size is not a full reflection of who you are and how hard you’ve worked. Period.

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