Dressing rooms can be treacherous places, especially for people who have struggled with body-image issues. Urbanfitco, a Sewickley-based clothing store, sells a variety of products, but specializes in activewear. Recently, owner KC Kaluhiokalani decided to give the store's dressing room a makeover to create a more positive and welcoming environment for customers.
"You go into a dressing room, you're alone, you're vulnerable, and things might come popping in," says Kaluhiokalani. "Who knows what you've already looked at on social media that day. It's probably one of the most vulnerable places you can be."
Previously, the store's dressing room looked like any other, with plain gray walls, but for the update, Kaluhiokalani teamed up with local artist Erin Liposky to paint a floral mural inside the dressing room, along with words framing the mirror that read, "Like flowers we are all designed to be different shapes and sizes ... each one is beautiful."
"Owning the store, I always hear a lot of women make self-deprecating comments about their bodies,” says Kaluhiokalani. "I just wanted to instill in them that what you think about yourself isn't true."
While most dressing rooms still have harsh lighting and no positive reinforcement, that dynamic might be changing. Aerie, for example, has added a basket of sticky notes outside their dressing rooms, which people can write positive comments on for the next person who tries on clothing.
"You can always have bad body-image days no matter how far along you are on your journey, which is another reason I did this," she says. "You could be in the best headspace, but you're still gonna have those bad days."