Where was I?
Oh, yes. Last year, I had a bit of an epiphany. Part of this is related to last week's Fat Tuesday post. My epiphany was this:
Even though I am fat, I can still look good.
I don't have to dress in jeans and sweaters and comfy tees all the time. I don't have to wear sensible slacks and blouses and cardigans to work. I am allowed to dress well. Even trendy. Even *gasp!* wear heels!
(But not at work. However, if you know some heels that are easy to wear and comfortable and can be worn all day on your feet, please feel free to let me know).
Anyway. I started dressing better. Cuter. And I felt better about myself. So much better!
One day, when it was cold and I went to put on a sweater I'd been wearing just months before, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, I can't go to work like this! I look so...slouchy. And I quickly pulled out something I looked much better in.
I had this new-found confidence that came just from changing what I wore. And people were noticing. I got compliments from students and others at work. And it was kind of nice.
Until I started realizing that some of those compliments from people I worked with didn't sound like compliments at all. They sounded more like, "Why do you get to have all of these new clothes? Who do you think you are? Fatso."
Maybe that's not really what was being said behind their kind words. Maybe I was imagining things, born out of my old insecurities which weren't really gone, but just hovering in the background, waiting to take over again.
I tried to not let it bother me, but it did. My inner fashion critic was having a hay day with it.
Until one morning as I was getting out of my car, ready to walk into work, and the words of Maya Angelou came from somewhere in my brain to lodge itself in my heart:
"Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?"
(from "Still I Rise")
And I realized: That's it. Those people who I felt like were giving me backhanded compliments were threatened that a girl who was fat dared to look good!
I upset the entire social order! Fat people should wear baggy clothes and thin people should show off their curves and that's it!
A couple of weeks ago, I was wearing a striped pencil skirt (my new favorite wardrobe must-have!) with an orange tank and matching cardi, and one of those people saw me and commented on my new outfit ("Oh, just so cute!"). And the words she said didn't smart like they had before. Perhaps I really HAD been imagining it. Or perhaps the words didn't have the power of me they had before because, honey, I knew it! I just said, "Yes," smiled, and sauntered on down the hall.
So, I hope--oh, I really, really do--that my little story has inspired you, to ditch the "comfy" clothes and wear something fun and maybe a little va-va-va-voom! for a day. Or maybe just an evening. Try it. See how it feels. And then share it! With a friend (I'm always taking pics of myself in the bathroom at work and sending them to my cousin so she can tell me how awesome I look). With Twitter. On Facebook. Maybe even on your blog and with a link to it in a comment below? :)
Show the world that your size doesn't mean that you can't look AMAZING.