A lot of brou-ha-ha has been made about the inevitable weight gain and general out of shape-ness that is a result of covid and its by- products of quarantine and social distancing. I am not disputing any of that. I understand that the gym rats of the world have been thwarted in their ongoing love affair with free weights and have had to turn to Peloton and video screens to get them through it. I myself have bought a monthly subscription to an exercise website, which I have used exactly once. Early days, yet.
There have also been the memes and Instagram admissions of not really being all that anxious to go back to wearing real clothes, with waistbands and expectations. Those of us living in larger bodies have been playing this game for literally years. We have learned that we plus-size individuals are the red-headed bastard children of the fashion family. We have been relegated to bland styles and hideous prints since the dawn of polyester blends. In recent years (thank you, Lane Bryant and Torrid) more companies seem to be acknowledging that much of the population they are trying to sell clothing to is over a size 14. There is a statistic attached to that, but I have to look it up. But it is a real thing.
So I wear a uniform of jeans and a nice-ish shirt to work each day, with socks and teacher shoes. I wear earrings, but none of the cool, long necklaces I love because I wear a school lanyard with my badge. Due to masking, I have given up wearing much makeup. So I am not setting myself up as any kind of a fashion icon. It is not practical right now. However, I have been on a lifetime search for leggings. I am not sure why this has been so problematic. They are legit simply pants with an elastic band. And yet.
I am averse to paying more than $30 for said leggings. So I found some online from Old Navy (not necessarily a friend to the fat girl) and ordered them. They came and I tried them on and they fit okay. But they did not feel like my daily work jeans. I have had much the same problem with a functional sports bra. I buy one that is supposedly my size and it fits in such a way as to call to mind those poor ladies who wanted to fight in the Civil War so very badly that they bound their chests and went in disguise. It is literally painful to put on and nearly lethal to get off. And I am afraid of it. And I am afraid of those stupid leggings. A little bit funny but really not, because its true.
Since when did our clothing get to have such a vote in our self-image? Well, if I am being honest, since always. I grew up in the 70\’s and 80\’s and suffered many indignities in the form of flared jeans and t-shirts with unforgiving silhouettes. I did not fit into the cool jeans, so mine were knock offs from the husky girl section of Sears. The cute shirts with the cool sayings were always too tight for me so I was relegated to less interesting options. And yet, I survived. So doesn\’t it seem like getting what I need and not being afraid of putting it on should be a little easier? Apparently not.
So instead of waiting for my body to be different and getting interested in my bra impersonating a sausage casing, I am going to throw that shit out. I am going to clear out the drawer of all clothing that is either painful and/or terrifying. I am going to relax about it , take a comfortable seat, calm down and have a nice glass of limeade instead.
I read something online somewhere that before I dive deep into body hatred and insecurity, ask myself who benefits from my choice to do so? Do I want them to have my money, my self-esteem, my sanity? If not, pause before purchase. Don\’t let my attire tell me what to do, and if I am scared of my leggings, put them down the garbage disposal in stretchy little pieces.