Saturday, January 30, 2010

Step One: Acknowledgement

While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence - which, I believe, does make the woman.

-Mary Kay Ashe

In simple terms, I love clothes. There is however, one underlying issue that plagues me every time I go shopping, crack open a fashion magazine or even peek into my closet. Fashion doesn't seem to like me. In fact, I would go as far as to say that fashion summarily detests me, and if it could get away with it would pay large sums to build a secret island where people like me could be sent to be forgotten by the rest of society. Yes, fashion hates my kind and it's all because of one small yet significant fact. We are fat.
This past New Years Day was not only a day of realization for me but also the tipping point. I had planned to take full advantage of the New years day sales and skipped out of the house on what I thought would be an adventure in self rediscovery, only to return home empty handed with what was left of my appearance-self-esteem slightly bruised. The plus size sections and shops were tragically scary clones of one another! Irrelevance and mundanity abound. Fields of boring over-sized cotton tees, same old pants, and shiny cheap looking muu-muu like tops. That wrap dress we've seen for three years straight was there, hoping I'd be duped by the new old color. When I thought I'd found some gems, hopes were quickly dashed when I realized some missy racks had encroached into the designated plus section. "Bastards," I thought, "now they want our land...". Anything promising that was to be found was offered in unsophisticated color palettes (honestly, does neon green look good on anyone in real life?), or was nesting doll sized from a missy style (more on nesting doll sizing in a future post) making it unsuitable for any plus size woman's body. But being the eternal optimist, I continued my search, fighting through rack after rack of boring and blah, boring and blah until finally I had to exclaim, "Why are there no cool/flattering/high quality clothes for big girls?! Are there no fat girls in Paris?"

Now, while it should be said that I am working towards weight loss goals; the very popular "lose weight, fatty" reasoning is ridiculous with regards to fashion for two major reasons. First, it implies that fat people are unworthy of things of beauty, quality and value and therefore because of their size are and should be regarded as lesser people, and second, it makes it seem like losing weight is very easy and happens overnight, so there is no reason fatties can't put down the cupcakes, hit the treadmill for an hour and make a shopping trip tonight in time for (insert fun social activity here).

Because healthy weight loss takes time (years even), and I want to look fab NOW, I've decided to take action. I've made a pledge to myself (I refuse to call it a resolution) that I will honor my style and not buy anything that I don't love, or is irrevocably ill fitting. I'm even gonna get ballsy and go a step further in saying that this year, to fill the clothing gaps I will undoubtedly create due to my first non-resolution, I will design and MAKE clothing for myself. Honestly, that last part really isn't as out there as it sounds since I actually am a clothing designer and work in the technical design field for a living... BUT STILL. THIS IS HUGE.

I discussed with friends my decision to cast away the stigmas of fat girl fashion and heard lots of empathetic commiseration and positive feedback. Because of this I decided to blog about my experience. I'm doing this for myself, for them and for all the other style conscious plump ladies out there who share my grievances.
Perhaps together we can start a revolution.