So, somewhat inspired by this post over at Joy Nash's blog, I have been thinking about me as a teenager and my attitude about clothes. See, I had this thing about being perceived as fat. I consider this thing gotten over because I really don't care anymore. Whether or not other people see me as being fat is something I can't control, and I have better things to do with my time.
However, when I was younger I thought about it. A lot. I never ever wore horizontal stripes or bright colors or did any of the other clothing-related things fat people aren't supposed to do. When I would go shopping, if I was in the dressing room and the saleswoman asked me if I needed a different size I would always say no, even if I really did. My thought was that if I didn't tell her my size she wouldn't know I was fat. Which is stupid because a) she could probably tell I was a big girl whether or not she knew my size, and b) she was probably more concerned with me buying something and giving her a commission than what my size was and if that made me fat or not.
Usually in those situations I left empty-handed. Actually, most of the time when I shopped I left empty-handed. The clothes making me look fat was usually my reason why. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that while, yes, I do have long monkey arms and a long torso and long legs that are certainly not conducive to finding clothes that fit easily and hit me at a flattering point, it wasn't the clothes making me look fat. I was heavy--fat, if you prefer--and probably always would be to some extent. My whole family is large, and even when we're thin we still look...thick, if that makes sense. We're German. What can I say?
I'm trying to get better at ignoring sizes and buying clothes that I like and that look good on me instead of wearing my old T-shirts and track pants to rags. (I just threw away a shirt my dad bought me a decade ago. It was almost transparent. I'm still sad about it.) I'm glad I've finally realized that “looks good on me” is not synonymous with “make me look like a size six.” And I just might buy a trapeze jacket or a spaghetti-strap tank top or an empire-waisted dress one of these days.