June 11, 2024
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The Importance of Body Positivity

Tips from a fashion designer to treat yourself more kindly during the chagim.

The High Holiday season is a special and auspicious time, but let’s be honest—it can also be very stressful. We’re outside of our regular schedules, spending a lot (maybe too much?) time with our families, and all that cooking can get pretty exhausting pretty fast. Specifically, when it comes to how we feel about ourselves and our bodies, this season is ripe for damaging thoughts and messages to creep in.

I’ve certainly had the experience of sitting with family around the table and surveying the delicious offerings, only to start counting calories in my head and feeling less than perfect if I touched an extra piece of challah. It’s been a long journey since those days, but we all have our moments sometimes.

All of this can affect how we see ourselves and dress this time of year. However, I’m here to stress how important it is to treat yourself kindly and wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful inside and out during this time.

Here are a few points to keep in mind as you build your holiday wardrobe and go into the chagim:

Buy Items That Fit the Body You Have Right Now

Buying new clothes for the chagim makes the holidays that much more special. But you need to make sure to purchase clothes that fit. Buying clothes a size or two too small as “motivation” to lose weight is not only unlikely to work – it’s also punishing yourself every single time you get dressed. No one has ever opened up a closet filled with garments that are too small and felt good about themselves. If you have items that no longer fit, move them to a different closet or storage if you’re not ready to give them up. When the clothes in your closet actually fit, you get to start your day with an instant confidence boost. Look for comfortable items that don’t pinch, pull, or squeeze, in silhouettes that flatter your body type.

Plan Your Outfits in Advance

Think about where you’re going to be and what you’d like to wear. Doing this in advance allows you to relax and takes the pressure off of you in the morning, which is already hectic if you’re trying to get to shul or meals on time. It also gives you time to realize that you should not walk 30 minutes to lunch in heels. Bonus points if you have 2-3 errands outfits ready to grab and go to help you during yontif prep.

Remember That the Numbers Inside Your Clothes Are Meaningless

Every brand makes up their size chart – there is no standard – and the result is that all brands run differently. I currently have about three different size numbers in my closet right now. Stop basing your worth on the data from something as made up and inconsistent as your clothing size.

Limit Interactions With Those Who Bring You Down

If a family member brings up your weight, it’s perfectly fine to tell her “I’m not comfortable discussing this with you,” changing the subject, or leaving the room. You don’t need to tolerate insensitive comments about your body, or anything else for that matter.

Keep in Mind That You’re Making Memories

It’s OK if you eat more than you’re used to (aka indulging). The people around you who love you the most couldn’t care less what you look like, and just want to enjoy their time with you. Let them! Time together is harder and harder to come by these days with everyone’s fast-paced lives and schedules. Even if you’re out of your element now, remember that the chagim are temporary and you’ll be back to your regular routine soon.

The chagim can be a beautiful and uplifting time to connect with Hashem, family, and ourselves. By implementing just one of these strategies for looking and feeling better, we can more easily access the power of this joyful season.


Rivky Itzkowitz is the founder of Impact Fashion, a modest clothing line in sizes 2-28. She’s also the host of Be Impactful, a podcast about the women making a difference in their own corners of the world.

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