I’ve decided that I need to cultivate a “look” for myself.
I’ve never been terribly interested in clothes or fashion. My criteria for whether or not to purchase an article of clothing are as follows:
1. Does it fit comfortably, if not correctly?
2. Can I afford it?
That’s pretty much it. I’m not saying that I don’t have preferences or taste towards certain styles, because I do. There are patterns, fashions, styles that I both love and loathe. But shopping for clothes – properly shopping for clothes – requires a lot of work and is often such a soul-shattering experience for me, that rather than putting the thought and effort into finding clothes that both suit my tastes and suit my body, I just buy the first thing that do a reasonable job of disguising the parts of me that I find to be unsightly.
But the more I think about it, and the more I happen upon body-positive blogs written by beautiful and amazingly fashionable plus-size chicks (Skinny Emmie and Jes, The Militant Baker are my current blog-loves) I realize that I’m truly doing myself a disservice.
I’m a big girl – there’s no hiding that fact, no matter how many baggy shirts I wear. I always have been, and even if I lose weight (which I am working on) I will never be truly thin. I’m stocky and muscular, and I can’t change that. And to compensate for my large body, I’ve cultivated an even larger personality (it’s hard to be humble when you’re this awesome…), which stands in perfect opposition to my desire to hide my body. I WANT to be noticed. But just the inside. I’m afraid that if I dress well, I’ll be judged based on my size (which, given the growing prevalence of fat-shaming and fat-hate these days, isn’t an unfounded fear) rather than the content of my character. But the clothes I wear, if I really think about it, make it obvious that that’s what I’m afraid of. Baggy pants, loose fitting tops, no skirts or dresses to speak of…I’m so worried about being judged on my size but the clothes I wear make me look bigger and frumpy, and could conceivably give more ammo to those who seek to mock or shame. And I think it also does me a disservice from the standpoint of pushing away people who might otherwise be drawn to me. My personality says “C’mon, let’s hang out and have a laugh!” while my clothes and lack of style say “Stay away, I’m boring, introverted, and trying to hide”. And now I think about it, it’s amazing how much work I put into selecting clothes that do nothing for me, when with the same or maybe just a bit more work, I could be dressing so much better, looking so much better, and feeling so much better about myself.
So I need to start. I need to really start putting in the right effort, and start cultivating a style. Will I dress in vintage pin-up style and maybe even try red lipstick? Will I go for a more hipster-chic look with over-sized glasses and mismatched knitwear? Not a clue. I don’t even know where to start. But I will start, and I will look as awesome as I am.