March Fashion: Skinny Jeans and Self-Love



In the spirit of exploration, pictured are some of Chloe’s favorite outfits from the past year. (PC Chloe Mendoza)

Chloe Mendoza, Co-Editor in Chief

For two years of elementary school I distinctly remember wearing baggy jeans–not as a fashion statement or with any cool underlying reason in mind, but simply because I didn’t think much of it. I felt comfortable in loose clothing, and that’s what I valued the most at ten years old. Until, one of my friends told me to stop wearing “fat pants” because they looked weird.  


I knew my friend hadn’t meant to hurt my feelings. She said she wanted to help me. My heart was bruised nonetheless, and I wondered what was wrong with the way I looked. But as I looked around at the world, I realized that “skinny” infiltrated all aspects of life. It was in the intentions of non-fat food at the Walmart, in the actresses on television, around the mannequins at the mall. I was handed a terrifying revelation: skinny was the standard. 


That was my first truly negative experience with clothing, and somehow it ended up plunging me into the world of fashion. As a child I was privileged enough to buy new outfits every few months, and I’d always seen fashion as fun and sometimes pesky to maneuver but never as the source of sadness or anxiety. I began to understand that the clothes we wear can determine how we feel, how others perceive us, and what we want to say. But I learned this for the wrong reasons. 


Soon I converted to the dominant doctrine of skinny jeans. My fashion sense continued to evolve as I began to experiment with long skirts, ripped pants, layers, and cardigans. I most notably remember the year I only wore “Toms” shoes. But as my style grew and matured, that standard of beauty continued to haunt me each time I looked in the mirror. 


I have never been perfectly skinny. My body is strong, muscly, and curvy. It is the thing that walks me through life and protects my soul from the wind. But growing up in a world that values skinniness is challenging and has worn me down. 


My journey with self-love has been aided by my appreciation for fashion. In the past few years, I’ve begun to see more people like me—brown and curvy— in the fashion industry and in the media. I’ve discovered new styles and trends that make me feel confident and bold, and have even learned to embrace other things that previously brought me down. 


When the Mom Jeans trend surfaced about a year ago I was hesitant and nervous about it. It brought back so many feelings of uneasiness and reminded me of those tough years I spent learning to dress my body. I decided to finally face my fears, and in 2019 I bought my first pair of Mom Jeans from American Eagle. In an unexpected turn of events, that light wash pair of pants became my favorite article of clothing for the next two years (until a tragic paint can accident). The new style proved to be the perfect mixture of relaxed and fitted, flattering my body wonderfully, and my reservations quickly dissolved. 


My biggest fear was once baggy pants. I spent so many years fearful of overstepping my body type’s expectations that I missed out on experiences of joy and expression. I am still learning to embrace the beauty of my existence, and I hope that others learn to do so too. I know my style and taste is far from extraordinary, but I hope my words resonate with others. 


Fashion is what you make it once you reject expectations (even the smallest ones, like wearing skinny jeans)!