Saturday, January 10, 2015

Playing with fashion...

I remember as a young girl hating to go shopping.  I was a fat kid and a relatively small town.  Mind you, this was long before Lane Bryant, Torrid, The Avenue or anything like them existed on the West coast, if at all.  There was no hopping on the internet and having the latest fashions shipped to you in two days time.  In fact, it often took several weeks when ordering from a catalog, assuming there was anything that I liked.

Shopping was a chore.  It was a time that I was reminded that my body was broken and that I must be immoral, lazy, and cheating on my diet, because if I wasn't then I should have been able to shop in the "right" section.

But I couldn't.

When I was a little kid, I was wearing teen sizes.  When I was a teen, I was wearing larger women's sizes.  In 1989, when Guess jeans, Vuarnet tank tops and Keds were in style, I was wearing Sears women's jeans, men's cut Vuarnet shirts and knock-off Keds from the K-mart.  It was fine.  I survived, however I never truly understood what it was like to go shopping with friends, pouring over the latest fashions and figuring out what I liked.

There was one time a year that life came close to that.  It was when I would get a giant box of clothes and accessories in the mail! My mom's parents lived in a suburb of Washington DC.  Their neighbor's granddaughter was a few years older than me and plus sized too.  Every year around the holiday's, she would pack up a box of hand-me-downs and ship them to me.  I WAS IN HEAVEN!  Fashionable, fun, young-looking and like nothing I could find in Springfield, Oregon.  I would pour through every item, trying to figure out how I would put outfits together. For those first few days, it always felt so amazing.  I felt trendy and chic.

Finally in the early 90's we got Petries Plus and Lane Bryant.  I was able to purchase items that were a bit more reflective of who I was, and still, I felt so far behind my peers.  I had two options and they were stores that catered to my size, so it wasn't as if I could even shop with my peers.

I've come a long way since 1990.  I have slowly but surely grown into my fashion skin.  With the help of many fashionable friends, I feel like I have honed my skills and on occasion have been able to help others "love the skin they're in." Clothes are funny that way.  It's so amazing how a comfortable and well fitting bra can change the way my clothes hang and then that influences how I accessorize.  Next I am exploring funky hair and maybe throwing on some make-up.  All this can completely change the way I feel about myself and how I walk through the world.  It helps me feel empowered and when I feel more able to empower others.  When we are all empowered, we change the world.  Fashion certainly changed my world...

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