You know what really burns my butt?
I know, I know, I’m not a normal woman, and I’ll probably lose my girl-card permanently for saying it, but I hate to shop. Before you lynch me, hear me out… I have a damn good reason.
Shopping is not fun for a woman who isn’t a stick figure. Case in point: Me.
Anyone who has met me knows that while I’d be placed at the lower-to-mid end of the plus-size scale, I’m still on the Rubenesque side. I wear a size 18 in most things… a 16 in some. I wear a bra that carries a triple-letter score. I have a sizable ass. Even at my smallest, I wore a size 12 due to my generous feminine attributes.
Look at these women. Is there anything wrong with them?
HELL NO. They’re all beautiful, and none of them are stick figures.
When you aren’t a size 8 or smaller, clothes shopping is an absolute nightmare. Each brand is cut differently, which means that a size 18 in one is going to be a size 14 in another.
And that doesn’t work.
Retailers don’t seem to understand that plus-size women are built differently. Adding a bit of extra fabric to the waist of a pair of pants does not mean it will fit a full-figured woman. It means that said pair of pants will be too big in the waist for a size 10 woman, and won’t fit its intended target AT ALL. We have broader hips, larger thighs. We require non-clingy material that curves the way our bodies do.
Don’t give us those stupid “slimming” materials – it all bunches up and makes us look awful. Give us soft, breathable materials in cuts and patterns that aren’t hideous. If I wanted to wear a moo-moo, I’d buy a damn moo-moo, okay?
Giant flowers and stripes are not good choices either. Give me solid colors that don’t involve beads and sequins and crap tatted to the neckline to weigh me down. Don’t cut the material to curve around my breasts – chances are you’re going to cut it wrong and I’ll end up with seams that cut across my nipples and not only look stupid, but hurt because you’ve put elastic in it to make it “lift”.
BUT…As much as that annoys me, I can one-up it. To add insult to injury, I’m also six months pregnant. What does that mean? It means that in addition to already being full-figured, I have to watch out for seams, buttons and zippers across my abdomen.
Yesterday, my husband and I went in search of a decent pair of black maternity pants that I can wear to work and still be comfortable. You know what we learned?
We learned that there is not a single store in the greater Charlotte Metro area that sells decent maternity clothes for woman above a size 10. Just because you stick bits of elastic on the sides of the waistband does not mean I can wear it. We tried five different mall department stores, two thrift stores and a Target. NONE of the stores carried maternity clothing above a size 10 that didn’t involve either hideous neon colors, sweats, or camel-toe special shorts.
And the one store we went into that DID have clothes that might work were so expensive that I can’t afford them. I’m sorry, Lane Bryant, but I can’t afford $80-$100 PER ITEM. Yeah, I’m an author, but my steady salary plus royalties aren’t good enough to pay my bills, make payments on my upcoming hospital stay, AND buy your clothes in a size large enough to fit my expanding belly. Even if I could afford that, the rational portion of my mind won’t justifiably let me buy them. And you know why?
Because in four months or so, I won’t be able to wear them anymore. I will have to donate them, because after my daughter is born, there won’t be anything to fill out the waist.
And the big, new fad – the Be-Band… that strip of elastic that goes around your waist and holds your pants up so you don’t have to button them? Guess what…you can’t get one large enough to go around me and the baby without getting online and paying $35 PLUS SHIPPING.
What amazes me is that in an increasingly obese nation, those of us who are somewhere between extremes are left out in the cold. You get a choice of tent, or tent carrier.
Cuts are becoming slimmer and more fitted to promote the concept of a “smaller, sexier you”, prices are rising exponentially, yet we’re trapped in the vicious cycle of not finding anything and not being able to afford the few things we do find.
It’s all HORSE SHIT.
I exercise. I don’t eat constantly. My family, historically, is of the larger variety. I’m also tall, which presents problems – most plus-size clothing comes in petite only. How the hell is that fair?
I’m not ashamed of myself. I’m intelligent, fairly successful, and married to a man that loves me regardless of whether I’m a beanpole or a bean. I am who I am. Would I like to be smaller? Sure. Am I going to let that obsession with the media’s portrayal of beauty rule my life? Definitely not.
So again, no, I am not ashamed of me. I’m ashamed of retail stores everywhere for their apparent lack of attention. There isn’t a thing wrong with me or any other voluptuous woman out there. We’re all beautiful, and it’s about time all of you assholes out there in search of the almighty dollar wised up and realized it.