Monday, May 23, 2011

Fat Is The New Bed Bug

Mom and I hosted our biennial yard sale spectacular this past weekend at Chez Louis and along with our butt load of exquisite valuables, priced at $4 or less, we stocked our exclusive lady’s salon (AKA the garage) with over 200 pieces of clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags, etc… Funny that even after this MAJOR purge my closets are still bursting – not sure how that happens – however I was really happy to offer up some fantastic fashions (and bargains) for my wide hipped sisters since my mountain of clothes ranged in sizes 16 to 22. Trousers, capris, skirts, blouses, sweaters, TONS of jeans and even a few gala dresses - good lord I could outfit every luscious booty east of The Shinnecock Canal! I couldn’t wait for the masses to arrive so I could play stylist for the chunksters of the east end, but what I got instead was an afternoon of fat shaming – WTF!!??

As shoppers approached the garage entrance I greeted them with a wide smile and announced “We have sizes from Large to Size 22 and shoes in sizes 10 and 11! To which I would receive either a laugh of disbelief or a look of horror. These traumatized women could not turn on their heels fast enough to scurry away from the garage of obesity. It was bizarre. Women would look at me, scrunch up their noses and shake their heads in disgust. Many asked “Size 22!? Who wears a 22? Oh my GOD, that's CRAZY!” Hmmmm.. let’s see… you are standing in MY driveway… with all of MY stuff for sale…. Hmmmm I WONDER whose clothes they may be? THEY ARE MINE you fuckin’ idiot!!! And those GIANT size 10 shoes are mine too, and by the way those size 11 shoes that you just lost your lunch over are my mother’s.

I was shocked by how easily the fat shame flowed off these women’s lips directly into my face. They were visually repulsed just by the thought of being in the
vicinity of THOSE clothes and they had no qualms about sharing their disgust with me. I guess now that I don't LOOK like a woman who wears a size 16 (whatever that means) these size bitches felt that I could be “in” on the secret that all women who wear a 16 or greater are to be mocked and shamed but only behind their backs - to their faces they should be pitied.

I’m not delusional; I know women despise lard asses, but I never experience
d such a self-righteous outward expression of revulsion pertaining to the physical existence of a clothing size …clothing that was manufactured to fit my body, my size, clothing that I wore, that I rocked.

Odd how so many women get attached to a number printed on a thin tab of cloth sewn into a garment, I just put clothes on my body and whatever fits I buy. The sizing numbers are totally random, my closet houses garments from a Large to a 2X, and they all fit.

Oh and by the way
peeps, a size 12 in 1985 is the same as a size 5 – 6 in 2011. I looked up the standard Misses sizing specifically for 1985 because it was a watershed year for me as a fatty; it was the moment at age 14 that I outgrew the Misses department and hence began my relationship with fashion fat shaming. My mother, hoping that she could embarrass and induce enough low self esteem in my obese brain that it would magically melt the fat off my body kept the existence of Lane Bryant a secret and since stores didn’t carry anything over a size 12, I was just shit out of luck. It’s so strange to look back now at the standard sizing measurements to discover that I would have only been a size 7-8 by today’s Misses sizing, but by 1985’s standards I was TOO HUGE for clothes, but perfect for moo-moos. The shame I felt because I was unable to fit into any clothes (besides stirrup pants and over sized sweatshirts) was overwhelming as was the harassment and bullying from my High School classmates (well not really “mates”). But I got through it and found my sass and discovered the world (though very hidden) of plus sized clothing – it does get better. But now here in my driveway 25+ years later I was still battling the perception that fat women should be ashamed of their clothing size and really wouldn’t the world just be a better place if all women over a size 14 be outfitted for a mandatory burka?

On a similar note – even after dropping 40 pounds over the past 4 years I am STILL too fat for the Jitney. Just this past Friday I was once again the LAST passenger to get a seat partner on a packed buss. FOUR passengers looked at the perfectly EMPTY seat next to me then turned and asked the women across the aisle to remove her bag so they could sit next to her, she refused, they moved on to the rear of the bus. Really… really?

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