… a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her." ~Wilhela Cushman
Remember last month when I mentioned I'm following a blog written by a fellow plus-size lady by the name of CeCe? Well, she wrote a blog last Tuesday entitled "Not All Fat People Are Slobs." I began leaving a comment on CeCe's blog when I realized I pretty much was writing a blog post of my own and decided, "Hey, great idea! I'll write this on my own blog instead."
To summarize CeCe's blog post, she attended a party during NYC's Full Figured Fashion Week where she observed that everyone in attendance was dressed to the nines in clothes that flattered their figures. Meanwhile, CeCe also wondered "So, why is it that whenever they talk about obesity in America, they use footage of people in cotton shorts, baggy t-shirts with their bellies jiggling as they hobble down the street?"
Most of the plus size women I know take pride in their appearance. They dress in figure-flattering clothes that they launder properly and iron. They get their hair and nails done, they use make up, and in short, the size of their clothes is just a number. Not to toot my own horn, I'm often complimented on my appearance as well (well, on my clothes at least).
What I always find amusing though is when certain people compliment me but there's always this undertone of surprise to their voice. It's as if they're in shock that a woman on the farther end of the plus size scale can find something that's *gasp* fashionable and attractive. Good heavens! What next?
Yet taking pride in ones appearance and putting yourself forward as a plus size lady to reckon with usually results in…. invisibility? Yes, invisibility. As physically large as a plus size woman may be, it seems that no matter how much pride she may take in her appearance, it doesn't make one iota of a difference because no one is going to take much notice anyways. It's as if we're in this little invisible bubble where we can see out but with the exception of the people we're interacting with, no one else can see in. Given the fact that we take up an above average amount of space, the invisibility phenomena is a bit ironic.
Odder still…. The prettier and more fashionable a plus size lady is, the more it seems as if she "invites" the same amount of ridicule her more "sloppy" sisters who wear sweats and t-shirts out in public get. How many of us have heard, "Oh, she's got such a pretty face. It's too bad she's fat" when out for a night on the town? My mom's line used to be, "You'd be so pretty if you just lost weight. Just run around the block and eat lettuce leaves." Because somehow the weight loss is going to result in my face being prettier? What?
I'm going to digress for a moment and write about CeCe's question regarding how the media always manages to find people in cotton shorts, baggy t-shirts, etc.
Above, I mentioned the more pride a full figured woman takes in her appearance, the more likely she is to become invisible. On the other hand, the less pride a full figured lady takes in her appearance, the more she (unfortunately) opens herself up to criticism and ridicule. For some reason, it's perfectly okay for the rest of the population to run around looking sloppy and unkempt, but the minute a larger person throws on sweats and a t-shirt, the whole damn world seems to have something to say about it. It won't matter if you're sicker than a dog standing in line at Walgreen's to buy Sudafed or if you ran into the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread and some milk on your way home from the gym. Suddenly, you now face the firing squad hitting you with, "Oh, look. She's too fat to buy clothes that don't have elastic in the waistband" or one of my favorites, "Hey, maybe if you got off your fat kiester you wouldn't be so fat!"
And maybe if your beer gut wasn't so large your penis wouldn't be so small. Oh wait, did I just write that out loud?
It does seem to be the case that the media goes out of their way to find the sloppy looking "obese" people when discussing the obesity epidemic. But think about it. If the media were to show plus-size men and women living it up and having a good time and leading normal lives (YES, we DO lead the same lives as skinny people!), would it really make obesity seem like such an epidemic? Probably not. But if society is shown pictures of larger people walking down the street dressed unattractively in sweats, it puts the obesity epidemic in front of everyone. Because the truth is, being larger is more unattractive, sinful if you will, than simply being… unattractive.
Another blog post for another time.
P.S. – If you haven't done so, or wish to do so again, voting on my next hair style is still open until noon on Thursday! Check the poll to the left. 😉