Today we have a post from my friend Dallas about fashion, style, and happiness at any size. I like her attitude very much and I think you will too. – RW
I have beef with “The Biggest Loser.” We’ve all seen crying fat people with no friends, no boyfriends, never been loved, never been able to chase their dreams…it’s what I call The Biggest Loser Syndrome (TBLS). The only thing that will fix this, they posit, is going on The Biggest Loser and losing hundreds of pounds. They can’t live the life they want until they’re thin. I cry shenanigans.
One of the most consistent ways I see TBLS play out, especially for women, is thinking they can’t dress the way they want to until they’ve lost 100/50/20/five pounds. That once they reach their goal weight, that’s when they can start being the person they want to be. I see friends pinning outfits on Pinterest with captions like “when I get skinny….”
Look, sisters: you do you. If you want to wait until you’re a certain size to wear that dress you’re dying over, feel free. If you think you have to lose another ten pounds before you can wear that sweater, alright. I just disagree.
For a long time, I’d fallen into a trap. You might call it a mild case of TBLS. “I just feel like I can’t wear what I want to, it doesn’t look as good at my size,” I whined to Rachel. I like classic lines, the all-american, slouchy, “Oh, I just got out of bed to go to the farmers market in Nantucket but I’m still polished and wearing pearl earrings” look. That doesn’t work for a fat girl! She shrugged (metaphorically, we were on the phone, so I can’t be sure) and said, “Yeah, but it’ll still look awesome and you’ll feel great.”
And damn if she wasn’t right. I’m fat. I’m a size 20/22. I love colors, polka dots, and gasp, horizontal stripes. I wear ankle pants and dresses that aren’t A-line and all sorts of things that people at my weight just “shouldn’t,” according to… well, Them. We all know Them — fashion magazines, bitchy girls from middle school, your grandma Estelle. Them. Screw ‘em. You’re awesome. You can wear whatever you want to. Is it going to look exactly like it looks in the magazine? Probably not. Can you still look amazing? Definitely.
And it’s okay to want to lose weight. Earlier in the week on my blog, I posted about the apparent paradox of loving one’s body and also wanting one’s body to be smaller. I wrote, “I’m strong and I take up space and I refuse to apologize for that.” I asserted that I can be both fat and valuable, contrary to the memos that the media and society seem to release on a regular basis. (Side eye to you, “The Biggest Loser.”) So yes, I want to be smaller in the future (come to me, my J.Crew precious), but I also want to feel great now. And that means wearing the things I want to wear, up to and including the shocking horizontal stripes. I mean, let’s be real: no amount of black is going to make me look like I’m 120 pounds. Might as well have some fun with it. Sometimes it means wearing bright lipstick and a brighter sweater. Other times it means throwing on yoga pants and going to yoga. Not because I think my life will only be valid once I’m thin. I may never be thin. But I am awesome.
Life is way too short to be miserable. It’s way too short to keep waiting until a certain moment arrives for you to start living it. You do you, friend. Life, fashion, feeling great…these aren’t things that are only there once you lose that last 100 or 5 pounds. Rachel picks a verb every year but this year I picked a phrase: “do the damn thing.” You can pin and tumblr and tweet and wait for the right conditions to come along, or you can go do the damn thing — in style.
Dallas Thompson is a 20-something Southern belle with a not-so-traditional outlook on life. She writes, volunteers, reads, and discusses her way through life. Her secret dream is to be a stylist like Stacy London on “What Not to Wear,” but she’ll settle for being Michelle Obama’s BFF. She blogs over at Pearl Clutching and would love if you’d stop by.