Never let it be said that just because you are middle aged, your life is merely a banal repetition of experiences that make for zero excitement quotient. I for one, am going to age with a bang, kicking and screaming all the way. What I’m talking about now is no exception. At 52, I’m too excited to sleep. I’m so full of tomorrow I can’t get today out of the way fast enough. Like a kid at Christmas, I’m so stoked.
Tomorrow is my Graduation. I’ve managed to gather enough credits over the past six years to be able to share this achievement with my alma mater and family tomorrow. I managed to hobble along with a Grade 9 education until I turned mid 40 and suddenly avenues of academia opened up to me. Six years later, I’m plotting my accomplishments in a blog made possible by what I garnered from those rigorous years of schooling.
It’s all coming together perfectly. So what if I’m not a delicate Size 14. So what if the clothes on the 3x racks are a bit snug on me as a result of these days of eating well, healing and being loved better than ever.
Am I going to put life on hold and wear rags until some nebulous day when I finally feel that I am worthy of adornment among the rest of society?
I don’t THINK so.
This article is about coping with the pressures of being of size and visible in a high profile situation. Its not easy being the big girl in public. This is preaching to the choir for some of us, I suspect, and I apologize if you just cringed, but as I was hunting through the limited commercial options that pass as style for the big girl, trying to find something special to wear that didn’t look like a sack or dressing for a giant 2 year old, I had a thought that I should blog about the situation that a person of size finds themselves in, which is rarely acknowledged.
How does a person who has fragile self esteem, issues about their body image, is thinking on it 24/7 because you are either not losing weight, or not losing weight fast enough, or are dealing with learning how to muzzle that negative loop in your mind, and then you have to be thrust out into the average John Q Public world. You do what I do, you prepare for it. Anticipate how your needs will be dealt with and look good doing it as a result of a tiny bit of previous planning.
I once had a prof who was an absolute goddess. She was 6 feet tall and had to weigh well over 250. She wore clothes that flattered her curves, that skimmed her body, that was made in classic designs, augmented with accessories that really made her look like an elegant, poised contemporary woman. You forgot she was that big in about two seconds. I remember telling her jokingly that I wanted to be like her when I grew up, and her reply was, ‘Well, I believe in representing the large woman to our culture, we owe it to the other plusses out there to “represent”.’ She had an ‘eye’ and you could tell, she planned her wardrobe with the care she deserved. What an exceptional role model that woman continues to be for me to this day.
When I am seeking a bit of spine so I can go out among what I lovingly refer to as ‘the Lilliputians’, I summon up Roberta’s insightful inspiration and then I’m able to get out there in the fray, and truly represent the Amazons, usually without a hitch.
Ever since I initially pondered Roberta’s statement, I have chosen what I wear according to where I anticipate being, with that question in mind. Is this outfit representing the big woman? Am I making Amazons look good?
Or ‘do I just look like a hot mess just off my meds?’ the Drill Sergeant tries to interject in its humourless monotone. So unimaginative. So NOT stylish.
It IS possible to carry extra weight and be beautiful.
Repeat after me until you believe it. It IS possible to be beautiful no matter what size or shape you are. If you pay attention to what suits your dimensions, if you are willing to put in the little bit of additional effort it takes to manifest things in plus size consignment stores (ask me where to shop in Victoria by clicking HERE), you can find awesome outfits and components of a wardrobe that will work for you, work with your body, not cost an arm and a leg AND represent the big gals.
As my fridge warbles and makes wierd noises, the wee early hours are otherwise silent. Cats are off to bed, the gibbous moon hangs low enough to shine in on me as I type. I’m up late because tomorrow, I’m slipping into that beautiful full black gauze skirt, the foundation garments from Kryptonite (ask me about them, too!) , the saucy tank top that says ‘forever love’ on it in gold that no one will know because I’m wearing it backwards. I have a stunning little jacket made from laces, crepe de chine, satin and some other awesome combinations of fabric, all cut on the bias that I found for a pittance at one of my favourite shops. Its predominantly black with paisley patterns, a bit of pink and burgundy, but muted and elegant. Some low black suede pointy toed slingbacks that will hang out under the gown I am gradding in will decorate my swollen, edema ridden feet, but they too flatter the line of full ankles and just make me look all that much more curvier. My hair cost a fortune today, but I’m worth it. I worked HARD for this achievement and you don’t get a lot of chances in life to grab this kind of gusto so I’m milking it for all its worth.
I was too excited to sleep so I thought I would share my thoughts about dealing with the physical aspects and issues of having to be an anomaly in a size conscious world and some insight on how to overcome the burden of critical gazes with savoir faire. Just keep your chin up, your eye on the prize, remember who loves you and why and don’t let the haters (who have NO idea who you are) affect you.
And as for the Big Guys out there, or the Guys who have special issues that make them feel that the only way they will keep their manhood secure is to comfort themselves with some inebriant, be it food or whatever, I didn’t mean to leave you out of the blog rant. You should know that you too can have carriage, poise, grace, confidence; that combined with selecting clothes that actually suit you and not some stick thin mannequin, would have you representing for the Elegant man no matter what his dimensions. I believe I have an insight for both genders. Michelle’s brilliant article on ‘Integrity’ says a lot about what it takes to be elegant and confident in no time.
And don’t forget to take some risks. I do, and the lower half of my freshly coifed hair is brilliant, shockingly tourmaline purple, as colourful proof.
I’m representing Amazons and I’m too excited to sleep.
Tina Budeweit-Weeks is a member of the CEDRIC Success Team in the role of staff writer and executive assistant for Michelle Morand. Her philosophy has always been one of self-nurturance and dignity. In support of the complex difficulties clients may experience around regaining a healthy balance, Tina’s writing is designed to sympathize, support, encourage and inform. Although there are many similarities in Tina’s process, she is not a client, but a hard working, behind-the-scenes member of the team, dedicated to helping the CEDRIC Centre stay current and effective.