• Kerry McCloskey

Dressing Beyond Body Image

by Kerry McCloskey

Therese Fisher

Can you describe your journey with body image and how it has affected the way you dressed?

My weight has fluctuated a lot since forever. When I was a kid, I gained 20 pounds a year and nobody else was like that. I even heard stuff growing up from other kids shaming themselves if they gained 5 pounds and I would think, “Ahh sh*t, I gained 20 pounds this year.” I would always beat myself up about it. I got bullied a lot when I was young. I gained a lot of weight until junior year of high school and honestly, my body image was better then than it was after I lost weight. Because I lost 50 pounds last year, I said to myself, “Oh, now it’s an addiction,” like you gotta keep losing weight. So, my body image really got down but since this last year, I’ve gotten a lot better because everyone is accepting. Even though I was a bigger kid, I never really held back from wearing what I wanted to wear. It wasn’t until these past few years after I lost weight, that I am more conscious of what I look like with what I’m wearing. It’s actually interesting, as I lost weight, I became more self-concious with my fashion. But now, I try my hardest to just wear what I want even if it’s not the most flattering.

What is the inspiration behind your style?

I get a lot of inspiration from my older sister because she had a different style when I was growing up and I wanted to follow that. And I’ve always just felt different. When I was young, like 5th grade, I cut my hair really short and I think that was the change for me. After that, people would view me differently. They’d be like, “That’s weird. Why would you do that?” Ever since then, I’ve never been afraid to step outside of my comfort zone with style, because I always want to wear different things or just try out whatever I feel like wearing.

Guinevere Servis

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Can you describe your journey with body image and how it has affected the way you dressed?

I’ve always been small. I’ve hung out with high schoolers since I’ve been in elementary school, so not only have I been small because of my age, but I’ve also been physically small. I really felt like I had to counter that with building muscle. So, in 10th grade, I was really insecure and started coping in an unhealthy way. I’d go to the gym two to three times a day and eat one salad. I believed if I had a six pack then a girl would stay. If I had something on my body that was ideal, then they would think of me as ideal. Because, that’s just what society has taught me. And I played football which was weird because I was the only girl, obviously. I’d have to go weight lifting with the guys and they always treated me weirdly. So, I felt like I had to dress masculine and athletic because for what I lacked in height, I needed to overcompensate with my eye-catching clothes. As I’ve gotten older, I understand that someone’s purpose should not be solely through their body. I gained the perspective to look beyond standards and focus more on my mental health.

What is the inspiration behind your style?

Well first off, there’s a negative aspect to it, which is lots of stereotypes for butch lesbians to dress masculine. I’m always at this constant pull between dressing feminine and dressing masculine because my personality is so feminine. The way I dress doesn’t represent how my personality is. I look a little bit more hard and mean, but you get to know me and I’m like, “Hey girl, wassup?! How you doin?” And I kind of go through a constant battle of like, “I want to wear a crop top today. Like that’d be so cute.” But then, I think people are going to look at me and be like, “No, that’s not who you’re supposed to be.” On the good side, I represent a lot of what I like in what I wear- 90’s nostalgia and modern streetwear. I also show the artists I like. I have lots of Frank Ocean, Queen and Green Day. I’ve always felt different and I like to represent that in the way that I dress.


A version of this originally appeared in “Healing” The Teller December 2019 Issue #9


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