Phew! Let’s start with a little housekeeping before I get my teeth into this blog. I have had some trouble with the comment function on here, but thanks to some folks who helped me test some tweaks I have made, it looks like I’ve ironed the bugs out. Please let me know if you have any further problems.
Now, back to the subject at hand hmmm?
Tonight I think I’ll talk about clothing and fashion for the fatty about town.
Now we all know how hard it is to find clothes for the plus sized figure. Either they’re frumpy and matronly, they don’t go to a big enough size, they’re huge tent-like sacks, they have ludicrous clown print fabric, or if they’re any good, they’re so expensive that you’d have to sell a kidney to be able to afford them.
But somehow, we find clothes that we like and we wear ’em, cos that’s what you do with clothes. This is where we fatties find a whole new bunch of complications. It’s the CLOTHING/FASHION POLICE! Yes, those fabulous people who LOVE to cast their judgement over what you are wearing, and make comments either to you, or behind your back, or worse, in a room full of people that causes you vast embarrassment.
You know the ones. They tug on your clothing as if to cover your “unsightly bits” without being asked to. They say in a concerned tone “Oh you know if that skirt was just a little bit longer, it would be perfect on you.” Or “You’re so brave wearing so much colour, I find black very slimming.” “You really like that top, don’t you?” I could go on, but you’re probably all used to it. All those passive-aggressive ways of passing judgement.
To start with, the world thinks it owns women’s bodies and the right to judge them and comment on them. But make those bodies FAT bodies, and it’s really open season. These are the people who love to tell us what is “flattering”. Which usually translates to what hides your body from their view, because they find it offensive.
Here’s a tip to all those people who like to make negative or judgemental comments about the clothing fat people wear:
Mind your own business. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. If you genuinely want to compliment something, feel free, that’s lovely and respectful, and it’s likely to get the person wearing that outfit again. But if you want to criticise and cast judgement, keep it to yourself. Think about how you feel when someone does that to you. Does it make you feel good? Does it achieve anything positive? I don’t think so.
For the fatties out there, there are some simple ways to disarm the clothing/fashion police, without stooping to their level. Here are some that I have learnt to use:
- Thank you but I have/am my own stylist.
- Does my wearing clothes that show the shape of my body bother you?
- My muu-muu is in the wash, sorry.
- Why should I wear black? Did someone die? (this one is best said in slightly hushed, worried tones)
- Nanna doesn’t like it when I wear her clothes.
Here’s the thing. Criticism rarely works when it comes to style. It either inspires shame, or if you’re like me, I get stubborn and wear it twice as much. But when someone compliments you and says “You look nice today.” or “Oh wow, I love those shoes!” the truth is, you’re much more likely to wear whatever is being complimented again, because you feel good. When you feel good, you look good. It shines through you. Yes, even we fatties look great when we feel great.
Looking great doesn’t necessarily mean looking thin either. Look at Queen Latifah.
She’s a big girl, but she always looks AMAZING. She shows off those curves and those thighs and that butt. She doesn’t hide her arms because they’re not all toned like Madonna (who takes it a bit far probably!)
She glows with confidence and glamour, because it’s very clear she feels good about herself.
It’s not about how thin she looks, it’s about how she carries herself and feels.
In the not too distant future I’ll share some shopping options for we fatties (in the mean time, if you know any please leave info in the comments) but before we even get to shopping, we need to remember that our bodies are not hideous and ugly, they are not something to be ashamed of. And that when we’re confident and value ourselves, we look great as well as feel great.
Queen Latifah is an absolute goddess, and you're so right. I find I carry myself in a way to try and hide the lumps and bumps, but it's not just what you wear, but HOW you wear it.
… "we need to remember that our bodies are not hideous and ugly, they are not something to be ashamed of. And that when we're confident and value ourselves, we look great as well as feel great."
Thanks for that reminder. Only now in my early 40's am I giving myself permission to see my body in a positive light. I also love what you pointed out about Queen Latifa. It is about how she carried herself.
Last night I went out in NYC to meet some friends and a very trendy Sushi spot. The weather was crazy humid so I wore cargo shorts and a white polo shirt. I was going to meet some new friends and was looking forward to a good time.
Because I was in a good head, when the camera came out, I was able to smile and be in the photos without the internal chatter about how the camera angles made me look. I looked like I was having a good time which was the reason I went there in the first place.
Another little victory in my path towards a loving self image.
Yay I can comment! Queen Latifah rocks, she is elegant, majestic and has fabulous attitude! One of my role models. I have two family members who struggle with their self image about their weight, I love them dearly and feel sad they don't see themselves as I see them – fabulous women with heaps going on for them! Yay I can comment
Thank you all for your comments, it's so good to be able to receive comments again. Ahh technology, you are such a fickle friend.
nycivan – I must do a post on being photographed at some point, because that's another issue for the fatties of the world.
You know when people refer to someone as being able to wear a sack and look good? That's not necessarily because the person has a thin body. Because Queen Latifah is definitely one of those people who could wear anything and still look great – it's all in how she carries herself and her confidence. I have a friend here whom is also a member of the fatosphere and she's the same. Man I want to have that glow myself one day.