(note to reader: read the Bikini shopping in this font and the RP style in this font)
(RP) (Bikini Shopping) is a tricky business at the best of times, but the already daunting task of just (practicing RP) (“trying to find something half-decent to wear”) becomes exponentially more terrible if we’re stuck in a funk. Often people stuck in the cycle of (self) (body) bashing, can be traced to the roots of inadequate self-care, poor sleep, stress or otherwise being off-kilter in some aspect of their life.
Sometimes (conflict) (shopping) can be the event that triggers the funk – by its very nature, (conflict) (shopping) requires an unnatural degree of scrutiny. Nobody looks good under (microscope of scrutiny) (fluorescent lighting) and because we only really look at ourselves head-on in the mirror, we forget we exist in three dimensions.
Whichever way our self-image hang-ups creep in, we need tools in our arsenal to help us navigate (being Restorative) (dressing our bodies). By now, we’re all aware of the importance of positivity, but we may be less familiar with its cousin, neutrality. This is what we can work towards. It’s the idea that we are going to have bad (RP) (body-image) days, but when we do, can we learn to be compassionate towards ourselves? Instead of taking it out on our (selves) (bodies), can we still nurture and respect ourselves? Can we treat ourselves with kindness, even if we can’t totally embrace our (inadequacies) (belly rolls) quite yet?
Here’s how to go (RP)( body-neutral) shopping
1. Enlist an (RP buddy) (personal shopper/ a good friend). Many department stores offer this service for free where you can set your budget, and it is someone’s job to do the legwork, fuss over you and help you feel good. Many organisations that have RP embedded will support you to be restorative by highlighting the good work you are doing and support with where you need support.
2. When you’re in the changing room, before you look at whatever you’re trying on in the mirror, keep your eyes closed and feel how the clothes fit on your body. Think about how they feel, do they pinch or dig? Do they pull across your back when you stretch out your arms. Can you breathe and sit comfortably in them? When clothes are poorly fitting, they draw more attention to our bodies, taking us out of our flow state and forcing us to self-objectify. When you’re in the RP changing room, try to observe what’s going on for you, connect in with your own feelings and needs and make a do-able request of yourself.
3. Last, notice how you talk to yourself when you’re (practicing) (shopping). Think about making a note in your phone of every time you say something mean about yourself. Notice how frequent these thoughts are and if you’re telling yourself the same story over and over. Is the story helpful or even true? Raising awareness of how badly we speak to ourselves offers us the opportunity to intercept with some self-compassion.
Enjoy your summer – happy shopping and I hope your RP costume feels good on you!
(Courtesy of Annie Barry, Ceim ar Cheim. Annie would also like to reference this is based on an article by Laura Thomas in the Sunday Times 26.5.19 "How To Shop For Summer Without Hating On Your Body")
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.