It’s Autumn, time to think about buying new clothes. And–unfortunately–time for confronting the challenging issue of Body Image for more than a few of us!

Usually, the term “sticker shock” refers to the kind of unpleasant surprise you get from checking out the unexpectedly high  price of something you really want to buy. But we all know there are other kinds of sticker shock too. For example, there is the kind of unpleasant surprise you get from checking out the sizing labels on that pair of jeans that just caught your eye.

There is something tyranical about about the sizing of clothing, especially women’s clothing. Not only is there something arbitrary about the letters and numbers used–the numbers used can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer and style to style–the size designations can actually influence our individual self-esteem, and too often not for the better.

So here is something that is important to always keep in mind: We are more than the numbers used to identify our body shape. (And, for that matter, we are  more than the other numbers detailing different aspects of ourselves like age or height or weight or IQ !) No set of numbers can begin to adequately describe the deepest, most essential facts about who we are… our hearts, our joys, our capacity to love, our comittment to our friends and  family …so why let a set of numbers limit or define us?

And when it comes to clothes, I think the ideal strategy is pretty clear: let’s just buy what we like and feel comfortable in, no matter what numbers or sizes are printed on the label..

Because even though clothes may come with labels, we do not need to label ourselves!