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“I Loved Myself, But I Couldn’t Stop Worrying About My Size.”

Christina, M.M.’s E-commerce and Sales Strategy Manager, opens up about her struggles with body image—and the women and clothes that help her feel her best.

By Christina Beebe

Growing up in Ohio, I knew I was lucky to have a loving family and friends I had known my whole life. My mother was the breadwinner, and my father took care of me and my three siblings at home. I had a strong female figure in my mother (and the women she surrounded herself with, including many other women in my family) who taught me early on that my mind, spirit, and deep need to be a good person were my true strengths. I knew that we had privileges others didn’t have and that it was my responsibility to help others. We didn’t talk about our bodies or self esteem; we just focused on being good people. 

But when I started working in the fashion industry after college, I had put on weight, and pretty quickly I started to feel confused about who I was and what actually mattered to me. I wanted to be doing good in the world—I wanted to be like the women I grew up admiring, and I wanted to feel happy every day in mind, spirit, and my body—but I didn’t feel that way at all. 

Instead, I had days where I just felt so self-conscious at work. Getting dressed was impossible, because I was constantly wondering what others would see when I walked in the room or when I was speaking in front of them in meetings. I still don’t know why I thought that way. Maybe it was because society portrays successful women as looking a certain way, or that my average size 10 wasn’t what I normally saw on TV or in fashion magazines. But I hated feeling this way, and every morning, I’d wonder why I kept beating myself up. People are dealing with so many harder things in their lives; why was I fixating on my size?

I didn’t talk to anyone about my self-consciousness. I made comments about my weight or something not fitting, but I felt like that’s just what all women say about themselves. When I hesitantly went to a therapist to deal with a few life tragedies, I kept bringing up the idea that I was self-conscious and that I was worried people would think I wasn’t good-looking enough—or a good enough person. Over time, my therapist helped me come to the realization that I can’t fix my problems by saying others have it worse. I needed to start believing in myself again as a step to helping fix everything else I was struggling with. 

My first brush with relief came with the Foster pant. They were my first purchase after I started working at M.M.LaFleur, and they haven’t let me down in the 4+ years I have known them. No joke, I was wearing the Foster pant three out of five days a week during my first year at M.M., because it was so easy to put them on with Didion top when I was feeling a little insecure. And on days when I was feeling okay, I would wear a top that complimented my hourglass figure, like the Walker top. 

But the Foster, as great as they are, didn’t solve everything. Every day, I walked into the office, determined to work as hard as I could for a company that I loved and a mission I believed in (empowering women and helping them be successful at work), but in the back of my mind, I was still wondering if my size and shape were what people were noticing instead of my hard work.

Then I had an epiphany, thanks to an amazing M.M. customer I met at a focus group we held when we were extending our sizes. This woman was a badass. She had a great career, was a great friend and mother, and treated everyone with love and respect. She came out of the dressing room after trying on a piece that we had recently added in her size, and with slight tears in her eyes, she told me that she had never felt like this before. Her outfit made her feel so good. It complemented her amazing skills, and it couldn’t possibly take the focus off of her mind and spirit at work. I realized in that moment that I’m going to have some days where I am comfortable in my own skin and other days when I’m going to struggle, but it’s okay—I’m still a good person. I’m amazing at what I do, and I’m loved by the people I care about most. Since then, I have worked to find pieces that make me feel as confident as that customer felt that day.

The VIP of my feel-good arsenal is the Peggy top, which quickly became a constant in my wardrobe, next to my Foster pant. Around the office, everyone knows how much I love the Peggy, and I truly believe that every woman needs a Peggy in her life. The Peggy is beautiful, reliable, and so good that I own multiples in various colors. I wore the Peggy with my Zhou culottes on a long walk on vacation in London while I was trying to get through a bad bout of anxiety and depression. I wore the Peggy with the Briar earrings after my bridal shower, which was the first time I was able to see friends and family after being separated during the pandemic. I wear the Peggy with the Angelou shawl or Para for a cozy feeling any time I am having a tough day. I say that every woman needs a Peggy in her life because it makes me feel like me—like I can conquer each and every day—and I want others to feel that way as well.

Ultimately, what I have come to terms with over the last few years is that the number on the tag of my clothes, which only I see, doesn’t matter. What does matter is being happy, kind, and strong—someone who other women call a badass. A woman who cares deeply for others and helps the women she works with feel supported, so they can go out and be badasses themselves. You know—the woman I was raised to be. 


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Christina Beebe

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