Monday, January 27, 2014

New Body. New Style...Eventually.

     As a fat kid in the 90's I didn't have many options in fashion and style.  I shopped at two stores; Lane Bryant and the XXL department of JcPenney. I didn't have the luxury to think about my personal style or what image I wanted to project - I just walked in and grabbed what I could tolerate and what would fit. When the time came for me to start caring about my style, my style had been already chosen for me - outdated grandma look. 
5th and 6th grade. Not my fondest years. 

     Thankfully as I got older the clothing options for the overweight expanded and I no longer had to sport flowers and cats. High school was a battle to dress myself.  I hated shopping with my friends because I couldn't fit into even the largest size in the store. Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe where not stretching over any part of me.  I learned to cry at home and show my big girl pride face in public.  I tried several different styles to disguise my lack of personal style. I tried goth but my mom just about killed me. Hippie worked. Long skirts and flip flops, easy enough. By the time I graduated high school I had no style as my style. I wore anything including a sparkly red cowboy hat with matching red fringe boots (thankfully there is no photographic evidence).  In college it evolved into a punk look, black hair and piercings. By the time I was 21 I didn't like my look. I didn't like standing out because I looked hard, angry, AND fat.

     I started over. Gone where the days of chains on my pants and a bolt in my tongue.  Now I had glamorized myself.  My hair got bigger and my make-up got thicker. Lane Bryant kept me fashionable AND in debt. The make-up girls at Macy's knew they could sell me just about anything because someday I was going to find the magic powder that, when applied to my face, would make my butt look smaller. 

     This is the "look" that evolved with me as my weight dropped down until I was no longer able to shop at Lane Bryant and Torrid. Now I could shop ANYWHERE!! This was a dream come true for me, the ability to walk into any store and know something is going to fit. About this time is also when I had my very own life crisis. I wanted to live the glory days I never had as the cute high school girl. I wanted the cute dresses, the adorable shirts, and graphic tee's that, as a fat girl, I couldn't wear.  At 27 I probably should have just let that dream go but I walked into Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe and I bought those cute (way too short for me) dresses, and those adorable (look like I'm in denial about my age) shirts, and I rocked the graphic tee (with a blazer, it really was cute). With my make-up caked on and the most uncomfortable shoes I could find, I was ready to make memories. 

     I dressed like I was 16 until I hit 30 and I suddenly felt out of place in my Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirt. Recapturing youth and too much makeup was not talked about in Weight Watchers meetings. I wasn't prepared to not know how to dress myself. I  looked to women in my life that inspired me and realized none of these ladies where shopping in the juniors department and it might be time to embrace the 30 year old woman I had become. I struggle to make fashion choices that compliment me, I fight my inner fat teenager who wants the short low cut dress. 

To help combat these choices I have a set of rules I follow when I'm shopping:    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm learning to love my body and showcase it as it is.  I dress my best now because that super model body I keep waiting for isn't going to get here and in the meantime I need to rock what I have with style and class.  I may not have been able to be the teenager I wanted to be but I will be the woman I hoped I'd grow up to be. 


  1. This is pretty much my story. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it and leave a comment!