There’s something about the lighting inside fitting rooms around Toronto these days – it finds all your cellulite faster than a canine can sniff out drugs in your crotch at the border, coming home from Mexico. Yesterday I spent a good hour and a half inside Zara’s stark white fitting rooms hating what I saw in the mirror but also, unable to look away. As the tears streamed down my pale face – I thought I had a bit of colour but, nope, turns out the fitting room revealed that was also a lie – I contorted my body in weird angles to see just how good – or bad – things could get.

It’s like stepping into a warp zone when you enclose yourself in that little white box. All of a sudden my blemishes and dark circles have become resistant to my $50 concealer; the hours spent boxing my brains out have apparently afforded me the muscle definition of a couch potato; and for the first time in my life I have spider veins and gulp, cellulite. Even my hair looked bad and I just had it did. What the fuck. Clearly I needed to find some new clothes in order to make me feel better about my current situation because I could NOT walk out of that store in the state that I, unknowingly, walked in.

Girls are masochists. We grab clothes off the hanger in what we know is at least one size too big so we can feel good about ourselves, in theory, when sliding into them like ripping through a luge course, ass first. Am I the only one who relies on this mental picture when sucking it in? But I said masochist, right, which would entail us feeling really, really bad, and on purpose. That’s what happens when the crutch size (one size bigger) fits tight. That’s when you can only go up. That’s what happened to me yesterday.

I used to be part of the “oh no, they don’t have my size” club when shopping at these fast fashion HQs. Try finding an S in this season’s hottest digs at H&M. I’ll give you a million bucks. But Mediums and Larges? They are for the taking! The only thing is, nobody wants them. I tried to console myself when the only size left in the cutest pair of eyelet, white cut-off shorts was M and they fit like a glove but in the back of my mind I knew all too well that finding my size was no longer a rare occurrence.

So, it’s no big deal. The bright side is I can have all the clothes I want now because my size will always be available. The dark side is also bright, a different kind of bright. The alien-glow of the fitting rooms is just not the lighting under which I wanna be trying on clothes. From now on I think I’ll scoop up all the Mediums and Larges in my favourite items, cash out, and try them on at home. I bet every girl has one mirror in particular that always, always, always, makes her look like Giselle. I certainly do – my bathroom mirror to this day has me flourishing like a spring blossom as I apply my make-up. If I could, I’d walk around with my bathroom mirror image adjacent to me (I’m joking). That’s what bbm poses are for.


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  • Seanna kerr

    Too funny. I have had a few tearful change room experiences!

  • Alexis

    Great article Justine. I have to say this is one of my favourites you’ve done so far!