Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I might be big, but I think it's hot...

I was in Macy’s the other day, shopping in the “women’s” section (because “plus size” is so low class) and I overheard these two girls talking. They were both about my age and one of them was, well, um, on the large size of plus size. The other looked like she could still fit comfortably in youth sized clothes. Anyway, Plus Size keeps picking things up and making a face and putting them back while Size -3 picks up stuff and says, “This would be so cute on you!” and Plus Size makes a face so Size -3 puts it back. Finally, Plus Size finds a great electric blue wrap dress, that would, in my opinion, look fantastic with her blonde hair and fair skin, and she asks Size -3, “Do you think I would look fat in this?” I snorted so loudly to keep myself from laughing that they both looked up.

Her friend, ignoring me, replies, “I think it would look great on you. The color is great and you could wear it with a pair of tights and pumps or boots. I say try it on.”

Plus Size looks at it one more time, puts it back on the rack, and says, “I’ll think about it. Let’s go walk around a little bit.” I just shake my head and walk over to see if they had that dress in my size. (They didn't, I was a little sad, especially because it was marked down from $250 to $60!)

Now, I know it was mean of me to laugh when a fat girl asks if something will make her look fat, but come on. The dress won’t make you look fat, honey. The fact that you’re fat will make you look fat, no matter what you put on. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. I would have told her that if she had asked me. (Although, props to Size -3 for her tact and encouragement.) Here’s the thing. If you aren’t willing to embrace your body, no matter what size it is, then you will never be able to shop happily, which means you’re missing out on one of the most enjoyable activities of our society.

I see this a lot with plus size women. They are so hung up with making themselves look thinner that they miss out on looking good. They will wear over sized shirts, baggy pants, shapeless dresses, or, on the other end of the spectrum, tops 3 sizes too small, skirts let their ass hang out, and jeans that create the ultimate faux pas, the muffin top. All of these “styles” are worn with the intention of looking thinner, which makes them not only look larger, but sloppy also.

The problem is the idea that is burned into our brains everyday: thinner equals better. I’m not saying that being thin is bad, but why am I going to judge what I think about myself based on someone else’s standards? I can wear clothes just as well, if not better, than every other woman on the planet, so I refuse to look in the mirror and think of ways I could look thinner. I am never going to be small. If I spent my whole life obsessing over that, I would never be happy. So, instead, I shop at stores that carry plus sizes, buy things that fit, and accessorize accordingly. I love the way I look and if other people don’t, then they can just look somewhere else. And if all women embraced this, maybe Queen Latifah wouldn't be the only Über successful plus size woman in the media.