Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Moo. And it's got nothing to do with breastfeeding.

In case I haven't told you fine internets, many moons ago I agreed to be a bridesmaid for my brother's wedding. I'm one of three. There's me, and there are the bride's two best friends, neither of which I particularly like. And now I'm beating myself up for having agreed to do this. Why, you ask?

I just came home from dress shopping.

For those who don't know, bridesmaid dress shopping is a special kind of torture for anyone who is larger than a size 8 in real life. There is only one dress of each style to try on, and the samples generally fit somewhere between sizes 6-10. For reference, I believe that I'm probably somewhere around a size 16 right now - although I don't know, because I'm still wearing my comfy maternity pants and skirts.

Anyway, the bride has chosen a colour that is only available from one designer, and only in a select few styles. None of the styles is what I would choose if I had a free hand in this - I look much better, for the record, in empire-waist styles in some kind of flowing fabric, like chiffon. Stiff taffeta is not, I repeat, NOT my friend.

So there I was in the store, trying on dresses that I knew wouldn't flatter me, in sizes that were way too small - to the point where in the two-piece styles, the two sides of the bodice were about 8 inches away from meeting, so instead of clamping the dress together at the back I had to hold it up to my chest and pray that my huge boobs didn't make a surprise appearance.

The sales ladies tried. They really did. "Don't be grumpy, this dress will be gorgeous on you in your size." Doesn't matter. I get the message that these designers, this industry, and this world are sending me: I'm Fat.

I get it. I'm fat. Apparently that means that I don't deserve to feel or look good while I'm trying on dresses so that I can help and support some of my favourite people on the most important day of their lives to date. I'm fat, and I'm unworthy. I feel like a cow. Moo.

It's sick, isn't it, that our society puts way more emphasis on looking good than on doing good. Let me preface this by saying that I actually think I'm quite pretty. I have a gorgeous face. Leaving that alone for a minute, I know that I do a lot of helpful, good things for a lot of people. I contribute to my community. I welcome guests into my home. I work with students that nobody else likes. I'm raising my baby to be a loving, giving, happy person. I'm a good wife and a good daughter. But I'm fat, and any time I go shopping for clothes I get slapped in the face with that reality. That I don't deserve to look as beautiful on the outside as I know I am on the inside. And that somehow I must be lazy and self-indulgent because of my size.

A year ago, my biggest problem was that I couldn't get pregnant, I felt I might never get pregnant, never have children to raise and love. Today I'm in a much better place than I was back then. And if fatness and lack of clothing options is my biggest problem, I can count myself lucky in a world where millions are being oppressed. But would it be so bad, would it spoil some vast eternal plan, if I could go dress shopping and not feel like a failure?

If anybody needs me, I'll be in the fridge. I'm fat anyway, what's another piece of cake?


Dagny said...

Oh yeah. I can only imagine how much fun you had. I am glad I only had to be one once ever.

And you are right. What is wrong with the world. It IS what is inside that is important...I have met some very attractive people that turned out to be vapid and shallow....nothing worth knowing on the inside.

But they want us to be unhappy. They want us to think we need work. That we need diet food. that we need programs, all which cost money. Piss on them.

You are beautiful inside and out.

Enjoy the cake. ;)


Heather said...

You HAVE to eat cake, it is Mel's birthday month - she insists.

I HATE being in weddings. In theory they are sunshine and kittens but in real life you always end up with some catty bitches and a horrible overpriced gown.

As a big girl, I feel your pain. It is horrible that we always leave stores feeling like ass. And the dresses they pick are NEVER flattering. EVER. That is why I didn't have bridesmaids.

Lisa b said...

Gah I am sorry. These dress shopping events are hell.
When I was fitting my wedding dress a girl I knew from highschool was there trying on dresses and she seemed so upset because they would not do up.
I think hardly any did up on me and the ones that did were size ten or twelve. I had to laugh because one more size and they would have been trying to charge me for plus sizes. I think I am a pretty average sized gal and I think the wedding industry is sick for making us all feel fat.
pass me some cake ok?

Rachel said...

I'm sorry.

Don't beat yourself up though. You are a mom, who cares if you aren't a size 6? Your daughter certainly doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I relate to this post. We should get together and commiserate over cake, or cookies, or brownies, or stuffed French toast. Or all of the above.

ms. c said...

Oy. I'm sorry that you were feeling this way.
Any consolation if I say I feel exactly the same? (Nah, didn't think so...)

jennyquarx said...

I feel that way too, and like you said, it sucks, because I usually feel pretty darn good about myself until I try some clothes on. But there is consolation that these added pounds came with a present, and that guy doesn't give a hoot if I'm fat or not. Cake is good, and you are gorgeous. :)