Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Accepting Body Changes

   Do you have a difficult to fit body?  Mine has morphed so much in the last few years that I'm a bit in denial, but learning to cope with change.  I suppose learning to make my own clothes is helping, but when I see the size tag, that's where my (initial) problems begin.
I used to be a 36 C, size 10 pant, size 12 dress, medium, medium, medium!  I liked it.  Granted that was in Jr. High and High School, so I've really nothing to complain about.  It has just been interesting getting to know my body and letting go of clothing that I really love.

   First major change was my bust.  I didn't think my bust would change that  much when I started birth control pills, but it did.  Plus getting pregnant compounded that problem.  The change: 34 DD and a 41" bust.  Uffda.  I've always had a larger torso because my ribcage is nice and roomy, add some shoulders on to that, and you've got problems with arm holes, sleeves being too short, etc.  The list was long to begin with.  Add 5" to the bust and then nothing fits.

   In the last year or so I have finally come to accept and truly embrace this new body.  Yes, there are days when I'm bloated or feeling heavy and I'm not such a great fan.  Despite the "off" days, I work to fill my closet with things that truly fit.  Not sort of fit, not almost fit, not it-really-doesn't-but-if-I-ignore-it-the-problem-will-go-away fit.  They. All. Fit.  It is so liberating.  Knowing that no matter what kind of day I'm having, no matter what, I can reach in and grab anything and it will fit.  I don't have to plan (much, anyway) on wearing one thing because I'm feeling larger or smaller.  I don't want to live my life like that.  "No lunch cause the jeans don't fit days"  I want to eat lunch and wear those jeans.  They might be a size 12 now and a grown-up brand (Lee versus Old Navy) but they all fit.  I also stop myself from buying things that almost fit.  Things that I could morph to fit me, but really?  Do I take the time to do that as often as I should?  Nope.  If it doesn't fit, don't buy it.  Best lesson of this year.

   I am working, sometimes unsuccessfully, at eating differently and exercising more.  It is so easy in the summer when I'm home all the time.  During school it's a little harder to carve out an hour for a walk.  I'm hoping for 30 minutes before I eat lunch, but we shall see.  I don't mind walking or being out in cold, wet, windy weather.  I grew up in Lincoln Park (in West Seattle) year round.  I love being outside in the Fall and Winter.

   Anyway, back to bodies.  I feel that mine is so unique (and, really, whose isn't?) that I dislike shopping for ready made clothes.  I don't want to feel bad for being an XXL at Old Navy nor do I want to shop at Torrid so I can feel better about being a smaller size.  I want to wear clothing and not care.  It's those darn little labels that make it difficult and easy not to care.  That make us think we're all supposed to be a certain size.

   New York photographer Bill Cunningham photographs street fashion as well as going to Paris Fashion Week to report for the NY Times.  He won't photograph clothing that wouldn't fit on a normal woman.  He doesn't care about brands or lines, he cares about how clothing fits.  He dislikes the mentality that some people have about needing to all be the same.  "Cookie-cutters are boring!" he says.  He would rather photograph personality and style than stick-figures with perfect pouts.

   As a woman who doesn't feel that she could ever "fit in" with the society of High Fashion, I appreciate it.  I dislike Fashion because it jumps to affix a label on me, on everyone.  You are skinny, you are fat.  Really?  Who put you in charge of how my label?  I am Anna.  That is my label.  I am Just  Right.  Some girls are naturally skinny, some are naturally larger, some are in between.  It's all OKAY! There are no "Fashion Police" who will plaster a label on your forehead.  No, we do that on our own, like drugged fashion acolytes who don't stop and think outside the box.  Who don't question the pill.  We close our eyes and stick out our tongues for the Wafer of Absolution from the High Priest of Fashion.

   If that is where you want to be, that is fine by me.  I just don't want the label.  I am not fat.  I am not anything but beautiful and myself.  I am Anna.  You are You.  I respect that.
  The greatest thing we can ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.  Learn to love yourself.  Challenge what you think and believe.  Put love out into the world and it will return to you.
Be Groovy.

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