Wednesday, July 16, 2014

General Musings...

First off, a grand HELLO to all of you and please know that I feel blessed you have taken time out of your day to hear my musings.  So, let's get started!

I know this isn't new, but it is a self-esteem buster if ever I knew one.  Plus size.  You know the term.  It's the size given to those clothes that are just too big to don mannequins.  It's a term whose definition has changed over the years.  It's a size I've worn for a long time (read: decades).  When I got married at 135 lbs on my 5'5" frame I was wearing "those" clothes.  There's something humiliating about the term.  It indicates that you have "plus" what society says you ought to.  Should it affect self-esteem or be humiliating?  Of course not.  If you're totally confident with your body, then no, you should have absolutely no problem walking into Lane Bryant and coming out with a bag - not responding to the looks and comments by telling others you are buying something "for a friend" or "as a gift."

I've been shopping the "fat" stores for... well... pretty much my entire life.  Years and years ago, I plumped up to a size larger than what they have in stores.  An aside: don't you love the terms people use to be PC about someone who's fat?  Plump.  Heavy.  Overweight.  Put on a few extra pounds.  Big girl.  There are too many of them to count.  Ok, back to my original thought.  A couple of days ago, I was talking with a very dear friend of mine.  She lives several hours away from me so she sent a picture of herself to me wearing an outfit she needed for an event.  She's a stay-at-home-Mom of a toddler (she has a wonderful blog) and has no clothes for professional meetings.  We got into a discussion about how absurd it is for these stores touting themselves as being for a "Woman" (I think of one store with this as part of their name) start their sizes at 12.  12!

Not to beat a dead horse, but I was a 12/14 at 135 lbs.  You had to know that I'd add a wedding picture!  I felt the most beautiful at our wedding!  It also gives a touch of my Disney side - we entered our reception with these guys on our heads.  Hubby's is a bit hard to see but it's a top hap with ears.  The picture on the right is from our honeymoon (in Disney, specifically the Yacht Club) and gives a slightly better view of my bod back in 1995.

I have probably said (a zillion times) how I've struggled with weight my entire life.  Doctors said needed to lose weight.  The famous "charts" showed me as overweight.  Has anyone ever actually seen these charts?  I did Weight Watchers and Nutri-System with my Mom.  She was doing what she thought best from what the doctors had told her.  She is a smart woman, an RN, but weight issues aren't her area of expertise.  The term "childhood obesity" wasn't used back then.  I was "heavier" than most people/girls in my grade, so I was automatically labeled "the fat kid."  I look at pictures from my childhood and would just about kill for that body (even if I could go back to that age and look the same).  I was no Kate Moss, I was no model, I had a burger and milkshake sometimes  Gosh, do you think everyone and their uncle calling me overweight affected my self-esteem?  It couldn't possibly be contributing to my food and weight issues today, could it?  I get angry every time I think about it!

Whoa, I am getting distracted more than usual today.  Now back to my friend.  She is in between the "regular" stores and the "fat" ones.  How is it that the size 12 girl (to be clear I do not know what size my friend is) can't just walk into any store she desires to find clothes?  Is it necessary to send her into the abyss that is the "fat" store?  Fortunately my friend isn't embarrassed by this.  Fortunately my friend found something to wear.  Gone are the days of "fatties" wearing a muumuu, thankfully.  That doesn't make it ok to force a size 12 to enter a store that caters to size 26...  Yes, I do realize that stores have "plus size" areas, some stores do carry size 12 as well as a size 2, and that I'm making generalizations.  Before anyone reams me about this, I'm trying to make a point!

The entire population of the world has, no doubt, heard the stats about Marilyn Monroe being what is considered certainly what today's standards consider "Hollywood" worthy.  See this article from the files of  Conversely we have the beloved Barbie.  I found multiple sites I'd like to link to.  The first is titled "Barbie as a real woman is anatomically impossible and would have to walk on all fours, chart shows "  The second, The 'average' doll v Barbie (from BBC NEWS MAGAZINE MONITOR), shows what "real life" dolls would appear with Barbie's measurements.  The final link I want to share is this one, which I find impressive, dare I saw inspiring.  You'll have to click on it to see what I'm talking about.

While it is discussed in most references to these stats, I would be remiss if forgetting to mention the way Barbie affects women, specifically as it relates to eating disorders.  The articles above will touch on this and I think it would be wise to take heed to this and apply the positive implications it offers to the girls in your life.  Start early!

Shockingly I got side-tracked... again...  Maybe the best thing for me to do is to let you ponder all of this.  How does the term "plus size" affect you?  Do you find it embarrassing to buy clothes at stores advertising that they sell "fat" clothes, if you do fall into that category?  What are your feelings about using "fat" and "fatty?"  Do you stare at people who are obese, maybe thinking that you're better than... that at least you aren't "that" size?  How do you feel about women, such as myself, who have to shop via catalog, no longer fitting into the "Woman" stores?

Please, share your opinions.  Start discussions.  Think!

As an added after-comment: I have no idea whatsoever how to get rid of the few lines with a white background.  I've spent a ton of time working on it.  Rather than let it drive me even more insane, I'm going to (try to) go with it.  Apologies.

No comments:

Post a Comment