Face it. We all have what we call around here, “fat, ugly days.” You wake up and for no logical reason suddenly the exact same pair of pants that you wore last week that you swore made your butt look fabulous now make you feel totally insecure. These are the days when you put on 15 different outfits when you’re already running behind schedule and no matter what you try on nothing works.
Fat, ugly days.
Now from a pyschological standpoint, we at Ruby, Inc. have no clue what causes them to happen. We just know they’re common to women so you’re not alone.
But here’s what we do know. According to “The Spotlight Effect Revisited: Overestimating the Manifest Variability of Our Actions and Appearance” by Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University, Justin Kruger University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and Victoria Husted Medvec of Northwestern University, days when you don’t feel you look good contribute to social anxiety and gnawing regrets of inaction.
What bothers you is that you’re afraid others will notice and that’s what impacts your life. Why? Because your concerns are exaggerated.
According to the thesis:
It’s called the “spotlight effect,” or the tendency for people to believe that their actions and appearance are more likely to be noticed, judged, and remembered by others than is actually the case (Gilovich, Medvec, & Savitsky, 2000; Gilovich & Savitsky, 1999; Savitsky, Epley, & Gilovich, in press).
In one set of studies, for example, participants who were dressed in an embarrassing T-shirt walked in on a group of people who were filling out questionnaires. When later asked to estimate how many of those present noticed their shirt, they wildly overestimated.
This means it doesn’t exactly matter if people are looking at you and thinking that you’re not looking as gorgeous as ususual but the idea that you think they do leads to your anxiety and inaction.
So what workarounds can we offer for days when you just don’t feel your best?
Try leggings, aviators which are universally flattering, colorblocking to distract the eye from the parts that you’re already fixating on in your mind, maxi skirts, nude shoes to make your legs appear longer, peplums to give you an hour glass figure, a forgiving, loose fitting blouse, structured jackets and scarves to draw your eye upward.