So many of my friends and acquaintances have complained to me about their “fatness.” A couple of college girlfriends of mine (who each weighed at least 50 pounds less than I did at the time) would grab their imaginary fat rolls and whine about their “obese” bodies. Worse, other friends I know who are similarly built have told me that they aren’t comfortable being naked around the men in their lives because they feel too fat.
Still other friends, these ones with a little more meat on their bones, say similar things. They squeeze into clothing that is too tight because they can’t possibly be a larger size, or swim in clothing too large because they can’t possibly show off their curves. Ill-fitting clothing of any variety is simply not flattering.
Why do we feel so ruled by our body size? Girls with skinny bodies want to be skinnier. Girls with less skinny bodies beat themselves up about it. Where is there written that a woman can’t be a desirable, sexy, beautiful woman if she’s bigger than a toothpick? Where is it written that we have to all look like Courtney Cox? Before the 1920s, desirable female bodies were rounded, curvy, soft. A little more padding on those bones was a sign of prosperity, womanhood, and fertility. Our bodies were made to have a little fat on them, girls!
This isn’t to say that I haven’t experienced the frustration of going into a store and not being able to find something that fits. Attempting to zip up a pair of pants in one’s size and having the zipper stick on a particularly stubborn fat roll instead of gliding up smoothly, or actually getting that pair of pants zipped only to turn around and find every crease in your underwear and dimple in your bottom on display, or buttoning the top button on a blouse only to have it pop open? Not a fun experience. Having to buy a wedding dress two sizes bigger than you usually wear makes you feel very strange. Sometimes it’s easier to wear your old pair of jeans – even if your tummy tumbles out over the top – or a caftan with enough material to make a teepee.
Girls, stop being in denial! Too-tight clothes are just as unflattering as too-huge clothes. Neither one shows off your assets very well, and in neither are you very comfortable. Buying outfits made for your size – whether it’s a size 2 or a size 20 – and your shape (this is a very important point that a lot of people ignore, but not everything is made for every shape) is the most important thing. If you wear clothing that makes you feel great, you will feel great. If you obsess over losing those last five – or fifty – pounds, and wear clothing you don’t like wearing, you will feel yucky. “Fatness” should be a banned word.