Mom Jeans are a Lie 👖
There I was...huffing and puffing, trying to squeeze my big butt into the third pair of mom jeans I ordered online that month. I could feel the tears begin to swell up in my hopeful eyes. I ordered a size up...two sizes up...what is wrong with me?! Those were just some of the thoughts that began to suffocate what was earlier an eager and excited chica.
They don’t hide our baby bulge, they enhance it. The wedgie is REAL. Have you tried sitting in them?! And, no, I am NOT talking to those who rock them pre-baby. They are called “mom jeans” after all. I thought they were made for me?! LIES.
But I was determined... I wanted them. So I hunted. I tried on pair after pair of every brand that carried my size and larger (because you have to size up in them). I finally found a few and decided to rock them. Mom jeans weren’t going to defeat me. I wanted to show what a mom bod of 3 looked like in those bad boys. I wanted to strut them up and down shopping aisles, wear them out on date nights, take photos in them and PIN baby! I was on a mission to give Pinterest what I have been searching for... I was ablaze with confidence.
But before I go any further...let’s talk about that word:
Confidence and Erica were never two words used in the same sentence. I have dealt with body image issues my entire life. I have been called fat, shamu, huge, big...you name it. To the boy who poked my belly in elementary school and called me flubber, and the boy who pulled up my shirt sleeve in middle school during gym for everyone to see my big arm and large mole that I had to have surgically removed later on due to health reasons, and to the dance instructor in high school who yanked at my skirt in front of my peers and told me I needed to run an extra mile at the next practice...you are forever etched in my mind. For years, negatively so. But now, you PUSH me. What caused the change? If you know me, you should know the answer... 😉
"For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made." - Psalms 139:13-14, CSB
Just like a pair of jeans, God has knit each and every single one of us, stitch by stitch. He took His time creating us in our mother’s womb. He formed us—all with such intention and with greater love and care than any of us could ever fathom. For me, something finally clicked one day as I was spending time with God after yet another health battle—I realized that every time I put myself down, let the shame settle in, it was insulting and degrading what my Creator, the God of the universe, designed with His very hands. He thought the world needed an Erica. No, He knew the world needed a spicy, fun, joyful, kind, big-hearted Latina who would help others. My body was on purpose. I came out, all 10lbs of me, ready to take on the world because HE FORMED ME THAT WAY.
Now, am I saying I don’t need to work on my health and get down a few sizes? NO WAY. I have many health goals. Although my doctor did say I was healthy as a horse after my recent wellness check (just fyi 😉). But what I am saying is that I will probably never be a size 2. I wasn’t created that way. I have large bones and when I workout, I get MUSCULAR. I have the “Rodriguez” booty. That thing ain’t going no where (nor does the hubby want it to 😂).
I am currently a waist size 14 and hip/booty size 16. It is incredibly hard to find clothing that hugs my curves. I have also undergone two back surgeries, had my gallbladder removed, laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis (which is an ongoing battle), been diagnosed with many GI issues; and not to mention, I have carried and birthed 3 healthy and beautiful babies. My body is a sign of strength, of a warrior who has been to war many times. Just imagine if I walked like that warrior?! I am slowly learning how to...
Now, let’s sprinkle in the fact that I LOVE fashion and trends. It’s a struggle! Which leads me to posit the following question:
Why do I have to work so hard to find trendy clothing that fits me?!
I took this question to the masses on Instagram and some of the things I heard from other babes who struggle was nothing short of enlightening:
...it’s hard to find cute and trendy styles for “middle aged” ladies
I have giant boobs and so finding any shirt that isn’t plain and boring is impossible
COST! These clothes are available but they aren’t AFFORDABLE
...the fashion industry doesn’t know how to size clothes. I’m a size 8 in one brand and a 14 in another...
For me, I struggle to find clothes that fit muscular thighs and arms...
These are just a FEW of the responses. I also received countless private messages with story-after-story of struggle and defeat. And I am here to tell the hundreds of you who replied and the thousands more that deal with this on a daily basis, you are not alone. We are many. And the more we talk about it, the more the fashion industry hears us and, hopefully, the more they will design with us in mind. Like recently, Bebe Rexha who spoke up about designers who wouldn’t dress her for the GRAMMYs because she was a size 6/8?! I’m so glad Bebe and many others have spoken up! The average size of the American woman is a 16, not a 2, not a 4, not a 6, a 16! Do you hear that, designers and retailers?! There is no reason why we shouldn’t see that and every size EVERYWHERE and sized CORRECTLY.
Will I ever stop crying when I try on a 14 or 16 at one store but it doesn’t fit me so I have to size up to an 18 or larger? Nope, probably not. Will I stop sighing when I see the perfect graphic tee on one of my favorite designer’s shop and it stops at a size large? Nope, probably not. But I can find places that carry my size in fashionable pieces for a good price. I have been on this hunt for years and here are some of my favorite places and a few links to mom jeans that come in my size and up:
Old Navy - a store that has had my back for YEARS and now offers plus-sizes at most stores, not just online. I can count on finding trendier and cheaper tops, jackets, denim jackets, and especially jeans at the good ‘ol Old Navy!
H&M - they have recently made a HUGE change in their sizing, making their items fit U.S. sizes better. I ordered a size up on a pair of mom jeans and they were too big for me! I could have ordered my true size and they would’ve been perfect! I LOVE the changes they have made. You can even get up to a size 26 on many of their jeans! Here’s a similar pair to the one’s I got:
Target - this retail giant has made recent LEAPS in not only making larger sizes in trendier clothing, but also making manequins that look the part, too! I absolutely love what I see when I step into Target these days. My only complaint, I do have to size up to an 18, so the sizes are not true YET. I have hope that will change. But I have found CHEAP mom jeans that are great quality! Here are some of the recent jeans I have purchased:
In the end, I make it work for my style, my pocketbook, and just...for me. There is [for the most part] something out there for every woman, every age, every body. You will have to roll up your sleeves to find it but it is worth it! I have also narrowed my shopping down to only a few trusted brands. Others I love include Zara (for tops, not bottoms), ASOS (they carry many sizes), and Forever21 (specifically for graphic tees and tops).
I have SO much more to share on this topic and will in my upcoming book. Suffering in this body is a gift if I choose to look at it that way. And no matter the state of your body, it is also a gift if you choose to look at it that way. You are beautiful, knitted together by the Creator of the universe with intent and purpose. What if instead of dwelling over the size and differences of our bodies, we spoke positively about them and walked in confidence? There are seasons where I’m healthier and seasons when I’m more on the “larger” size. I’m learning to embrace and love both. This is our one life to live, and I want to wear the mom jeans, I want to strut the scars and stretch marks. I am beautiful no matter what society and the scale says. Are you with me?!
Okay, now I want to hear from you! I would love to hear about brands you have found and love, your thoughts and struggles, and what you do daily to boost your confidence. Comment below!
Lastly, want some more fashion inspiration? Follow me RIGHT HERE on Pinterest. I update my fashion board daily with my latest finds and favs. The girls I pin might not look like me, but we are changing that, one pin at a time! 🤘🏽