Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Do I look like a potato in this?

Apparently, according to facebook, thin is no longer “in”. Instead society has once again embraced the curvaceous beauty of Marilyn Monroe, for example. This is especially good news for me because I wasn’t about to trade in my curves for protruding clavicles and bony arms. I’ve always maintained this notion in spite of the magazines constantly reinforcing, via anorexic looking models, that everyone should look like they need a sandwich. I know, I know; there's a difference between skinny and fit. "Skinny", for the record, applies to those who eat barely enough to stay alive. Hence the apparent need for a sandwich.

 The problem is while people are saying one thing, and Marilyn’s picture is being posted and re-posted all over the internet; those who are designing the clothes I’m buying don’t seem to be in agreement.

After spending an eternity shopping for a summer wardrobe, it was obvious that the majority of my options were designed with the ‘stick insect’ body type in mind. Hence most things I tried on looked horrifying in the mirror, causing me to leave the store feeling somewhat defeated. Though it sounds like a sad situation (relatively speaking), it could have been worse. Like when I’m tricked with flattering lights and tilted mirrors (sneaky bastards), and buy said items only to realize much too late that the pale, lumpy stranger in the pictures uploaded to my laptop, is me. Yes, time and again, I experience buyer’s remorse when I’ve already worn an article of clothing long enough to be photographed in. Oh the camera adds ten pounds, you say? Please someone explain that philosophy to me because I think it was actually the Costco size box of drumsticks I bought on sale (they’re bastards too) which might instead be responsible. Trust me, blaming the camera is my first instinct as well; but let’s be real.

Back to the clothing options for "normal" (we'll call them) looking women. On a brief tangent I just have to point out that by normal I don't mean curvy, thin, tall or short; I just mean those who don't look like they walked off the cover of Vogue. Regarding the small percentage of women who actually fit the description of 'supermodel' it has to be said, in their defence, that they can't help that they were born insanely gorgeous. My issue is the fact that unless women fit into the aformentioned mould, they don't consider themselves beautiful and instead spend their lives trying to be something different. It's not fair or realistic.  

Anyway, back to what I was saying earlier. I happen to love dresses and tend to be girly at every opportunity. Maybe it’s because I wear steel toe boots and a frumpy black uniform to work; who knows. Finding a dress to compliment my curvy self (with the extra ten pounds I’m not trying hard enough to get rid of) in my postpartum state has become an issue.

So what have sparked this entry are the photos I’ve deleted of myself from yesterday’s outing on our beautiful city’s lakeshore. Mike stepped out of his comfort zone and took a few pictures of me holding Sam. Later that evening as I perused the pictures, he found himself in the hot-seat, so to speak, as to how he could possibly have let me out of the house in horizontal stripes. Everyone knows horizontal stripes are a huge no-no. Poor Mike, standing there like a deer in the headlights, didn't know what to say when faced with my questions. After all, if he’s not going to tell me something looks awful, who will?

 I’m sure this happens all the time to unsuspecting husbands, and also that it’s not just Mike who stammers through an explanation of how “it looked good” or, more commonly, just assumes a blank stare until the subject changes. In their defence, I have absolutely no idea what I would do if the situation were reversed. It’s a lose-lose trap that husbands everywhere are falling into and, I can’t believe I’m admitting this, it’s really not fair to them. If Mike had told me prior to leaving the house that maybe horizontal stripes weren’t the best wardrobe option, I might have had a different reaction than the rational one which took place in my imagination. It’s likely that I would have suffered some type of pathetic, self-loathing, extremely exaggerated meltdown about how my husband thinks I’m fat.

So instead we had a lovely day as I unassumingly frumped around in my stripy sundress. Do I regret wearing it? A bit. But why??? Was it really ten stupid pounds that ruined the dress, or was I worried about what people would have thought about me? So many questions as I try to unlock the mysteries of self esteem and women. It forces me to remember a time when I was in the best shape of my life and still somehow felt self conscious about my hip-bones, or my sausage-fingers, or my squirrel-tail eyebrows, or something completely and utterly ridiculous. The real question is why do women do this to themselves? Is it society that puts pressure on us, or is it ourselves? Did Marilyn think she was fat when the rest of the world worshipped the ground she walked on? It’s a shame we can’t ask her.

Regardless, I feel like I’m over it. I do not, and will not, diet. I eat real food like butter, and the non-light yogurt. I eat food not only to stay alive but because it’s delicious (Sooooo delicious). I do not subscribe to “challenges” of weight loss and tend to stay away from marketed products. Though, as a disclaimer, it must be said that the people who do are absolutely fine in my books. To each their own. I exercise, but not obsessively. In fact I started lunging with the stroller on a little trail behind my house. I now take advantage of the seclusion the trail offers since lunging down an empty soccer field and being made fun of by a group A-hole kids. I'm ashamed to admit this caused a tad bit of lady-rage and made me to want to fight them (hormones?). It was like high school all over again, except with a twin-stroller.

I think, at the risk of getting too deep, the world sees you how you see yourself. If you find yourself with a particularly stubborn brand of crazy; consider therapy (no shame in that). If you want to lose that ten pounds, hop on the old treadmill and you’ll feel better. Basically, if you don’t like something; change it. Sounds easy right? I’ll let you know in 6 weeks if my lunging, and 20 minutes a night on the exercise bike, paid off and that stripy devil-dress actually looks good on me. No more brow-beating of the husband though; it’s not his job to crush my self-esteem each day as I go out into public and face the world potentially resembling a potato. Some people like potatoes. Love them, actually.

So at least there’s that.

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