Monday, June 05, 2006

Stop Letting It All Hang Out!

Oh boy! Summer is coming. Know how I can tell? The flesh is coming out. Ready or not, fit or not, tan or not, here it comes! I went to look for a pair of shoes today. I like to make slow transitions because I simply cannot afford an entire wardrobe for each season. I like things I can wear in most seasons so I can mix and match and not have to buy a ton of stuff all at once as the heat bears down. Now, if you're asking why I have to do this year in and year out, then you are probably not female or you are not a Luther Vandross body double, i.e. your weight is consistent from year to year and your taste never changes. For many of us, it's just a matter of fact: We must shop. How much and how often depends on your circumstances. For me, my children are first and I have other things that are more important so I try to go as long as I can before I buy a few pieces to tide me over until the next time I can spare some change to get a few more. I've got a business trip coming up so I decided I couldn't wait any longer. I had to see about a few pairs of shoes to suit the hotter weather I'll be in.

As I looked about and mulled over my wardrobe in my head, I had to steer myself around a few ladies who were equally enraptured by the thought of new shoes. I go back and forth between a 9 1/2 and a 10 (I'm tall and not small, so no comments, please!) and they were across the aisle from each other so I meandered back and forth.

I thought to myself, "I like these green ones but a 10 is a tad too big. They don't have it in a 9 1/2. Oh shoot! What to do. Maybe I can try the store near home or.......whoa! That is one brave sistah! How did she find a pair of jeans to go over ALL THAT? And how come I can't find a pair to fit like that?"

What's "All That" you ask? Flesh, dear readers! Waaaaayyyy too much of it and I can talk! Last night I saw two TLC documentaries in a row on people who were over 600 pounds and I must admit, excessive weight is a concern of mine. Now this woman in the store was no where near that but she would certainly give anyone pause because her thighs alone were simply huge. Then I noticed her friend and then another one came in and I noticed her. The friends were much smaller but one of them was wearing a form fitting cotton dress and her stomach was hanging like a beer gut. It made me ask the question: What kind of bravery does it take to wear clothes that show your every curve or reveal more of your skin than is unrevealed, no matter how unflattering any of it may be?

Why do women do this? I can ignore the men. I know a lot of men just don't have those kinds of concerns and bully for them. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to be a little more delicate when it comes to these matters. I mean, if you are very heavy, wouldn't it look better to wear the right shapes and sizes for your figure than skin-tight-reveal-every-lump-and-bump jeans? I have my days where I don't care either. When I go on vacation or somewhere I don't know people, I'm a little more risky. I might even let my arms out. But see I also battle eczema, so I'm really more concerned about showing scars than rolls. But man, do I wish I had whatever DNA it takes to just not care. It's the same DNA that blinds you to the fact that you may be wearing too many colors at once or the two simple colors you are wearing are clashing like Titans. I may not look like a model but in my head, as queen of Monicaland, I am a Fashion DIVA! I am high maintenance and can't afford my own tastes but I still aspire to and try my best to do what I can with what I have. And part of that is trying not to give people a view of me that no one but my husband and gyno should see - and shoot, even gynos cover you up!

If you know you are clothing challenged (as in you don't really know how to dress yourself, and plenty of people don't), PLEASE, do us all a favor and start with TLC's What Not to Wear. (I told you I love this channel.) Take a chance and actually wear the size you are and not the size you used to be B.C. (before children or before current chronology). You may like it! No, you'll LOVE it! You know you're top heavy but you figure you can't help them popping out like that? Did you know, small, medium or large, one breast is usually larger than the other and you are not the same size in every manufacturer's bra? That's right, ladies. You've been wearing one size for 20 years but you may STILL need to go get fitted. It is so liberating! Try it! I found out that I could get my girls in non-underwire sports bras and they will still sit up and take notice. And so does Husband! :-) I LOVE those bras!

Now, I know many people will continue to flaunt their flesh and that, as Bobby Brown croons, is your prerogative. But clothes that flatter you are way sexier. You can still show some leg, some arm. I don't hide my cleavage - mainly because I can't unless I wear shirts that button up to my chin - but I'm not overly exposed either!

I'm not trying to beat up on people. Honest. Like I said, I ain't got it all together either. But please do us all a favor this summer. Think about whether or not you want you child to dress the same way and if it's cool, then cool. But if not, let's class it up a little, shall we?

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