Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Girlish notions.

I am changing my name to Satin. Or Cashmere. Or something as sumptuous because right now I'm feeling a powerful love for Velvet D'Amour, whom many of you might recognize from her doing the catwalk in a Jean-Paul Gaultier show not too too terribly long ago. POWERFUL love.

What kind of stunned me was that Jezebel.com, of all places, is running an article about Velvet today and, so far, the comments haven't devolved into a wanky crapfest about the obesity epidemic and how she must be screamingly unhealthy and OMG WTF ZOMG THE CHILDREN!!!!. And dammit, my much younger self wishes she knew how on earth Velvet managed to keep those thigh-highs up because I know I couldn't do it back when I was in my "I must buy enormous amounts of lingerie even though I'm the only one seeing it" period. It wasn't unusual for me to find one or both of my thigh-highs pooled around my ankles if I walked more than 40 feet. I don't remember if I ever wore them with skirts. There was a sad, sad moment in time where jumpsuits (I think they were called jumpsuits) made a semi-comeback in the early 90's, and...yeah, I had two of them. Looking back at pictures of me in them...ohhhhhhhh no. No, no, noooooooooo. Imagine the scene from the end of "Revenge of the Sith" when Vader does the NOOOOOOOOOOOOO and that's me looking back at photos of me on my 21st birthday, having dinner with the family at Rosebud. Hurtful.

But I digress. I run hot and cold with Jezebel. Sometimes, the articles and analysis is spot on, and other times...my teeth are practically worn down to nubs from all the gritting and gnashing I do. I feel like there's a lot of talking out of both sides of the Jezebel mouth on a variety of subjects. Whenever a fat-related article gets posted, Katie bar the door because nine times out of ten, the Internet Scientists come roaring in with their factoids about killer fat and diabetes and the same old song and dance within 10 posts. Some commenters do their best to provide an alternate view, but we all know how well that works out.

And there are other subjects where all I can do is scratch my head and kind of go "huh" because I can't relate to it at all. There are times where I feel downright alien when observing online conversations both in the Fatosphere and other woman-centric places. The Rotund wrote an amazing piece recently talking about a shopping trip she had in Brooklyn with other members of the FA community and while I dug it on the level where I love stories about women bonding hardcore, I was simultaneously kind of "whuh?" because clothes and shopping and that sort of thing hasn't been my bag in years. I can put together an Outfit with a capital O if I have to and every so often, I'll put on the dog, but in general...I will do whatever it takes to avoid it. It's kind of a drag because a part of me feels like I'm missing out in some way or I imagine myself in that situation and think, "oh jeez, I might have been a massive buzzkill because I'm not a shopper and not a dresser-upper anymore". Although, I have an odd knack for helping others put together outfits, so who knows. I flirt with the idea of trying out a life where I get snazzy every day and see what the reaction would be, and then I get very very tired at the thought of putting on make-up and arranging my hair and wearing clothes that I wouldn't be that comfortable in. But then I see pictures of Velvet or other Fatshionistas and think "fwaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr, they look so foxy"...and something in my head goes *ping* and I feel the itch to go back to the days where I would do it up every day in my own special way. And then I feel tired again and consider laying down for a quick snooze.

Perhaps my primary lack of interest in clothing and whatnot springs from feeling like even if I *did* engage in jazzin' it up, I'd look stupid and *not* cute. I had an odd moment of that a couple of months ago, where I wore a skirt. My main reason for wearing it was that I'd run out of clean clothes on a two-week-long overseas trip, but I do like to bust out a skirt every so often because I enjoy my gams. The person who picked me up at the airport is almost professionally sarcastic, and our relationship is one based on an odd combination of mutual admiration, true affection and a driving need to be almost brutally evil to each other. He smoked on up to me and said, "a SKIRT?!" in a tone that one part of my brain acknowledged was just him being himself and giving me guff*, but then the other part of my brain that we'll call The Paranoid and Insecure Sector completely went :( and immediately instructed the remainder of my brain that I, indeed, looked quite ridiculous in a skirt that dared to hit above the knee (and has adorable little faux mirrors stitched into the hem that I got at Lane Bryant a lifetime ago and I will never give up because I <3 it). Now, keep in mind I willingly wore jumpsuits with massive floral patterns on them for far too long, so clearly I'm not all that worried about what other people think of what I wear or how I look.

But I'm not quite the same person I was when I was trotting about town in floral jumpsuits or a half-shaved head or big-ass snake earrings. Years of the world screeching "NO BAD WRONG" at you will do that to a girl. Now the challenge is trying to reclaim that person. Just...without...the jumpsuits.

*Note: some two months later, my friend told me that I had, indeed, looked good in that skirt. And then when I explained to him how I felt and it was going into my blog for all the Fatosphere to see, he apologized profusely and begged forgiveness and sent me a present. OH WAIT HE HASN'T...YET.


spacedcowgirl said...

I was reading the thread at Jezebel on Wiscon/Rachel Moss, and (at least at the point I was reading it) it was pretty much free of fat hatred too. I don't visit Jezebel much, so I don't have too much context for seeing that as remarkable, but this tells me that it probably is. Maybe the times are changing.

Oh, and without even seeing you I can tell you that you DID rock that skirt, and should definitely wear it again soon. :)

Insane said...

You SHOULD change your name to Satin so that religious misspellers can get all offended.

The Rotund said...

I just can't read Jezebel. When it first came out, a couple of friends sent me the link and said I should try to blog there but now I'm really glad I never got around to sending them my resume because I would just die.

The amazing thing about shopping in a group like that - even for the people who don't usually like to shop and the people who don't shop in groups, generally - is that it was so different from a typical solo shopping endeavor. It was a bit of an antidote to the "YOUR BODY IS WRONG" messages that we get every day.

And, don't get me wrong, I absolutely do not do it up every single day or even nearly every day. But I love even my super comfy casual clothes and I like how I look in them. It just took a lot of work and a lot of consciously examining what I was buying and why to get to that point.

Mary said...

I can't keep thigh-highs up either unless I do something garter-like. But, perhaps toupee-tape or other double-sided tape, on the insides, would do the trick?

This is totally not responsive to most of the important bits of your post. But, it occurred to me.