TikTok Star Mikayla Nogueira Is Done Trying to Fit into Old Clothes
Before the 1940s, clothing sizes didn't really exist. Some people asked others to create clothes to custom-fit their bodies, while others sewed their own; again, in accordance with their personal measurements. No numbers assigned or required.
We mention this in full acknowledgement that it still doesn't make it 1 ounce easier to come to terms with the fact that our bodies sometimes change throughout the lifespan, and even throughout the year or month. Been there, felt that!
Mikayla Nogueira, a 23-year-old makeup-savvy TikTok star with nearly 12 million followers, hopped on the social media app this week with a very relatable, raw, emotional and important reminder of why this conversation matters.
"What's poppin'? My name is Mikayla Nogueira, and I recently gained 60 pounds. At first it was really difficult to accept that I have a new body. I'm 4'11 and 200 pounds. At first that was really scary to me," she says in the post that has already garnered more than 21,000 comments and 463,000 "❤️"s.
As the three-minute clip continues, Nogueira says that it's out with the old and in with the new "because none of my clothes fit me. So I got rid of my entire wardrobe and here's my brand-new one," she explains, as she holds a big cardboard box full of colorful new apparel up to the camera.
Nogueira begins to get teary-eyed (as we did in tandem) as she embarks on a try-on "to show you what I look like as a size 14, and to show you that you can wear whatever you want at a size 2 or a size 20. Wear what makes you happy. If I cry and I get emotional, it's because I struggle with an eating disorder. I'm really working to overcome it, but this is really difficult for me," she adds.
Related: When "Healthy Eating" Isn't Healthy: How One Dietitian Overcame Her Unhealthy Obsession and Disordered Eating
All of the outfits were from Lulus and Pink Lily, and were rich in one shade in particular: "You're going to see a lot of green because I absolutely love green!"
During the try-on, which Nogueira describes as a #realistictryonhaul in the caption, she also discovers (and we wholeheartedly agree, BTW!) that she looks "freakin' bomb!" in royal blue.
It's a delightfully empowering, vulnerable post that is all too relatable for many of us. Luckily, we need not feel alone on this journey to body rediscovery through fashion. People like Dacy Gillespie, owner of Mindful Closet, have created whole businesses around helping us feel whole no matter whether the size says 2 or 22. She uses principles of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size (HAES) to inform her one-on-one coaching to help her clients feel empowered to "define your own authentic style, releasing patriarchal conditioning and building an authentic wardrobe."
We can also channel similar body-positive vibes by curating our social media feeds to include more diverse shapes, sizes and colors of humans living life in technicolor, including Nogueira, musician Lizzo and Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan.
Plus, it's important to keep in mind that physical activity, not weight loss, is key to reducing health risks, and body mass index (BMI) is not a totally accurate measure of individual health. You can be healthy and the size that works for you—not that society imposes upon you. At the same time, yes, it's possible to love your body and want to change it. Let's keep the conversation going: 3 easy ways to practice body positivity right now.