Last night, I indulged in a little retail therapy. Descending on The Limited’s sale racks like the bargain hound I am, I filled my arms with loads of clearance-priced goodies. Sure, I wouldn’t normally go for a bright purple pinch-pleated skirt, but for $14.99, why not give it a try?
Arriving in the dressing room, I remembered why. Purple pinch pleats do bad things to my hips and butt.
I was staring into the mirror and sighing, thinking all kinds of unkind things about my body, when I heard something completely unexpected.
“Good lord, look at my thighs. I can’t wear this!” (that wasn’t the unexpected part).
“What are you talking about? You look great!”
“No. These jeans are too tight.”
“They are not. They’re perfect. You have curves. Embrace them!”
“You say curves, I say fat thighs.”
“We have thighs to protect our lady parts. They’re a good thing!”
“Maybe, but I just feel so self conscious…”
The other woman sighed.
“Look at me, then look at you. Do you think I look fat?”
“No, you look great!”
“And yet, I’m 80 pounds heavier than you. Do you know what the difference is?”
Silence (I assume she shrugged her shoulders or something).
“I love my curves. They make me look like a woman. Not some teenage boy. And you know what? Men like them, too.”
“But nothing. You girls don’t know how to appreciate what God gave you. I think I need to write a book…”
Her companion laughed. “Okay, okay, I get it.”
“So you’re going to get the jeans?”
“I’ll get the dang jeans. If you write that book.”
You know why that conversation was so awesome? The woman standing up for a woman’s right to be curvy actually believed what she was saying.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve stood in a dressing room issuing empty-mouthed assurances many a time. But I’ve never, in my heart of hearts, believed what I was saying.
Society – my society – has taught me that we’re all supposed to be a size 6. With the classic 36, 24, 36 measurements. And since, once upon a time, I actually had those measurements, it’s tough to believe I can be okay at any other size.
It’s refreshing to know it doesn’t have to be that way. That other women have already figured that out.
Maybe someday, the rest of us will too.