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Tears in the Target Fitting Room

January 6th, 2017 by Rachel Graves

she said with a nervous laugh. Yep, she had been taught to believe the same story.

I wanted to knock on the door and hug you both. I wanted to cry with you and tell you that it was alright. Maybe say the things that women say - that this is a phase we all go through and that you'd come out on the other side. I wanted to scour the store for the little girl with puffy eyes and say something, anything....But I knew none of that was the answer that day. And so, I stayed frozen in my own fitting room, wiping my own tears.

It was another reminder of the shame that all women carry. The shame that's been reinforced so much in the news and media as of late. The shame I see and talk through with so many clients every week. The shame I'm doing my very best to fight day in and day out. It made me think about my own shame that I've worked so hard to reframe and replace with strength. The same shame that still creeps in from time to time, almost like a sick reminder to keep myself in check - whatever that means. It's universal. And it's stifling.

I talk to women for a living, about being and feeling powerful in their skin. Women ranging from their early twenties to their mid sixties STILL struggling with the same thing. The exact same thing as this little girl who couldn't have been more than 9 or 10 years old that day in the Target fitting room. Why had that message ALREADY gotten to her?  It's true that it takes years to unlearn the things that society has taught us is wrong with us as women. The things we should apologize for and fix at any cost. The list gets longer every day. But I can promise you this honey, I'll spend every day of the rest of my life working to change that.

So sweetie, I didn't see you, but I know you're strong. I know you're passionate, and smart and brave. I know you're loved. I'm sorry that the messages around body image and beauty, and what is "OK" for a woman to be that society shows you, and that most of the people in your life perpetuate has failed you miserably.

Please dry your tears, and know this sweet love, YOU are so powerful! You have so much potential inside of you waiting to be unleashed. You have so much more to offer this world than "pretty" or "skinny" or "small". You have nothing to be ashamed of, and every ounce of you to be proud of. There is a group of women working to change the messages you hear and see. A new message is coming. It's being crafted every single day.  It's getting louder and it's gaining a following. I'm happy to lend my voice. I can't wait for the day that it becomes the new norm, because I know it will. A message of empowerment over shame. Of unapologetic self love over self loathing. Of bigness (shout out to my girls Kourtney Thomas and Jen Sinkler) - YES, bigness, and freedom over that intended role of small, sweet and quiet.

I know the message will get to you! I hope you'll embrace it wholeheartedly and think back to that day in the Target fitting room as just a distant memory of the old way of thinking, knowing YOU are perfect and capable in every way just as you are.


Grit & Gratitude exists to help women shed their shame and step into their own power - mind, body and soul.  To provide a complete solution and roadmap to help guide them every step of the way.  Shame can't survive when it's brought to the light.  Join the sisterhood that believes in empowerment over shame, unapologetic self love over self loathing, and constant support for every member of the tribe on our worst days and our best.  Follow along?

Posted in the category Mindset.