When I sit down to write a post, the topic usually dictates the form. It’s not a conscious thing like today I will write about such and such using a compare/contrast method. I feel grateful for a course called Writing Across the Disciplines for making me think about form, giving how I sometimes write a name. The rest of the time it’s the topic tries to write itself. I have about 19 topics in Drafts desperately trying to write themselves.
In my quest to chip away the block in my head, I turn to Plinky and the Daily Post Challenge on WordPress. A writer once told me if I feared something while I write it, it definitely needs to get written. While I tried to bust myself out of my mini-rut, a trip to the Addition-Elle Facebook page sparked a long-simmering peeve. It strutted in wearing these pants:
Alright, it doesn’t take a fashionista to know these pants require a certain guts, courage, plus a healthy dose of diva swagger to pull off. I have all those and these pants still are not for me. In my younger years-yes. I knew young women, especially young women with extra oomph will walk down the streets without a care. Of course, women will look and say ‘You Go Girl!’.
Forget Kenneth Krause’s E-mail to Jennifer Livingston for one moment. What I saw in the comments section of the Facebook page not only bugged me, it pushed me to think about weight, body image, and other women’s perceptions of fashion. Reaction ranged from ‘Yuck’, ‘not on this girl’, and all points in between. Fine.
The number of comments amounting to ‘fat girls should not wear this’, from plus-sized women themselves, just about floored me. One young woman had it up to here stating in her comments:
Please just STOP perpetuating hatred of fat bodies, oh my god. We get enough of it from the media, we DON’T need it coming from other plus size women.
After whirlwind media coverage of Jennifer Livingston’s response to Kenneth Krause’s E-mail about obesity and role models, I realized the last frontier in acceptance isn’t coming from ‘out there’. It needs to come from within every single woman. I know despite running and changing my eating habits, if I don’t feel happy with myself NOW then I will not even feel happy if I lose 5, 10, or even 50 percent of my body weight.
I learned this at 42. I wish this came a little sooner. When I was 16, a friend’s mom made me a mini-skirt. In my case it fell two inches above the knee. (It’s was the 80’s and even sexy back then looks conservative now.) My friends told me people laughed at me whenever I wore that skit to school, usually paired with a lovely, cashmere sweater in red. I stopped wearing the skirt.
I should have stopped listening to the ‘shoulds’.
We can bitch and moan about body image, about people’s perception about fat and beauty, and the moment fashion takes a chance…well, self-sabotage is nothing new. Would I wear the pants? As I said in my own comments they are not age appropriate for me. I made that decision based on stuff I like. To those who wanted to wear them, I said to ROCK THEM. I have worn stuff wondering what was I thinking? It happened and I moved on. To allow my body to scare me off, to not question my perceptions will do more damage than a hundred Kenneth Krause e-mails.
I feel tired of waiting for things to begin 50 pounds from now. My life is now. It’s the epiphany shaking me out of another rut to get me back to school, and into a career I have now. It’s the guiding principle I hang onto as the odd guy calls me ‘fat’ while learning out of his friend’s car while I walk down the street.
My life is now and it’s not in a size anything.
Stepping out to say stuff like this scares the bejesus out of me. The Daily Post Challenge lit a fire to burn off the cowardice just a little bit. Consider this a break from all the geeky things I usually write about on this blog. We now return to books, zombies, hobbits, and super-skilled archers.