I know that I am not unique in this, but I am schlumpy. Slobbish. I do not take the time to do my hair and makeup before I leave the house. I do not wear pretty clothes. I do not put my best foot forward. Because I am Fat.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve made plans to buy a whole new wardrobe (or make one, since I love to sew and can rock it) when I was Not Fat Anymore. The last time I was Not Fat was in 2001. Before I was married or had children. It was a pretty short period of time, and even then I was not Not Fat enough for myself. I did buy a few smaller items that were necessary, like jeans (slow down, don’t get crazy!), but I didn’t go balls out like I planned on doing when I got to that elusive goal weight. (Back then it was 135 for 5’10” me. I chose that number because I read in an issue of People that that was what Tyra Banks weighed, and that was enough for me.)
And now I have decided that this is pretty ridiculous behavior. The whole thing, not just the Tyra Banks goal weight. I never understood why, on What Not to Wear, they would tell people who said they were going to lose weight that they should look good whatever weight they were at. Not that those fat people didn’t deserve to look good, but what was the point of buying a whole new wardrobe since you knew, for reals, that in mere weeks or months or whatever you were going to be hott with two Ts?
Even if I were still dieting religiously, I would be changing my tune. I’m not sure exactly what precipitated this, but I think it might have something to do with a certain habit of mine.
You see, I am a prodigious collector of tear sheets. Pages torn out of magazines for parenting, web sites, clothes, home décor, whatever I think looks cool. These are all filed in a white file box, which I get out every month when I receive a new magazine. I take the old magazine and go through it, tearing out whatever I’ve marked or whatever looks good to me. And I file it. Sometimes I go through the things I’ve filed and throw stuff away, but not very often.
My clothing folder was bulging, as it always is. So I went through it and picked out some pages that I liked. Then I separated those pages into what I would make now, what I would make when I was halfway to goal, and what I would make when I was at goal. Guess how many things were in the “now” pile. Five. And two of those were shoes. One of them was a pair of pants, and the other two were fairly innocuous shirts—with sleeves, of course.
I am in possession of literally hundreds of pictures of clothes that I like, and yet I can only give my fat self permission to wear three of the pieces? Why? People don’t point and laugh at me now; do I think that if I stop wearing giant T-shirts and track pants that they’re going to start?
Some time ago, when my favorite jeans were dirty, and maybe starting to get a little tight, I don’t really remember, I went out in public in pajama pants. I didn’t care what anyone thought of me! I was going to wear my damn pajama pants if I wanted to and everyone else could suck up their mortification! And no one pointed and laughed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I wore fluffy gorilla slippers out once or twice and if there was no pointing and laughing about that I am hard pressed to believe it’s coming due to anything else. So why is me wearing the clothes I want to wear—even dresses!—any different than my rebellious pajama wearing? It’s not, that’s how.
I don’t guarantee that I will be brave enough to post pictures of me wearing said clothes. But I can guarantee that I will be brave enough to wear them in public. And for me, that’s a huge step.