I just watched the first episode of Shrill – Hulu’s produced show based (loosely) on Lindy Wests’ book and I cried. Nothing was really that sad – although it all was – because just in the first episode it took almost every self-hating, loathing thing that I’ve been taught to feel towards myself and showed it to me.
So much of what women feel about themselves is influenced by commercialism. People make a lot money making fat people willing to buy products they believe will make them lose weight (but won’t). Models of cute clothes are only shown on skinny women when in actuality those same clothes would look just as cute on plus sized women. It pains me to type plus size. I’m a size. We are all a size. Plus this. Plus that. Fuck plus.
The costume designer for the show, Amanda Needham, had to make many of Aidy Bryant’s clothes from scratch because, “once you get to a certain size, people kidnof want you to disappear.” Needham had to make cute clothes for Bryant (who in real life is a size 18) because they simply did not exist. A pipe dream of mine has been to own a clothing store called “Finally” that specializes in cute and adorable plus-sized clothes. I no longer wish to own a retail store – but I wish there was a store that sold cute clothes for sizes about 14. Better yet – I wish that stores would just sell clothes and not separate sections into misses and plus (now they call it women’s). Just call them clothes!
The lesson here is to be comfortable with ourselves and who we are, and not what other people think of us. The only person that I have to please is me – I want to be a great mom who teachers her boys to love life and other people, I want to be a good partner to my husband and I want to be a positive member of my community who helps make it better. NONE of those things need to be within a certain dress size in order to happen. I know I am these things no matter what size my pants are.