Posted Monday, March 25th, 2013
Polka Dot Gloves
As a little girl I loved clothes. I loved dressing up. I loved shopping for new things. I loved putting outfits together. But I grew up and my body changed. I found that the clothes I liked and wanted didnít fit me. I started blaming my body. I tried to learn how not to care about my looks or what I wore. Itís whatís on the inside, thatís what counts - right? Hiding away my body in shapeless clothes wasnít hard when nearly everything and everyone around me was a reminder that a body that isnít perfect must be disguised as to not offend. I chose to become invisible. If I ever lost weight I could have pretty things then.
I struggled with this for years. Every now and then I would find something pretty that fit and I would wear it, but not often. When I did wear it, I would lie and say it was laundry day as an excuse to put on a dress I loved but had been taught was too ďniceĒ for everyday wear.
Then I started reading vintage fashion blogs. I was shocked that there were people out there who played dress up every day. People who put on white gloves and veils and bright and beautiful dresses. People who eschewed the notion that pants with a high waist are somehow ugly or unsexy. Some part of my brain screamed at me that I couldnít do that. Then I found a cute hat and a pair of polka dotted white gloves at a thrift shop and the next day I did that.
After that I was no longer content to only wear a pretty dress on fake laundry days. I didnít care anymore if my body wasnít what I was told it should be. I wasnít going to wait to lose ten pounds to buy or make something pretty for myself. It didnít matter that when I walked into a room or a store everyone stared - in fact I kind of liked it. I wasnít going to be invisible or uncomfortable or have my closet be a source of unhappiness anymore. Finally I was going to walk tall and be proud of how I looked and who I was.
And you know what? There were stares but nobody ever told me off or said a hurtful word to my face for my clothes. I had complete strangers come up to me just to pay me a compliment or even strike up a conversation.
I still get sad when clothes donít fit, but now I lay the blame on the clothes and not my body. I still believe the inside counts more than the outside, but that doesnít mean itís wrong to dress up when I feel like it. In fact thereís a great lot of good to it because a nice outfit can boost my mood on an awful day.
And itís not just my clothes that changed after the day I put on those polka dot gloves. Finally giving in to something I realize Iíve wanted ever since I was a little girl has made me take note of things Iíve denied myself or put aside for another day. Since then Iíve gone on a tour of Europe with complete strangers. Iíve always spoken up for the students I work with, but now Iíve started speaking up for myself as well. I not only believe people when they tell me Iím good at my job, but I can see it myself. I decided to go back to school to become what I always wanted to be: a professional writer. When I was unable to find enough people willing to write letters of support for me, I spent a day being sad and angry before I started sending out my work again. I honestly feel better about who I am inside as well as what I see reflected in a mirror.
I think those gloves were a reminder that not only do I deserve to be seen - I deserve to be heard as well. That I deserve to have the things I want or at to least go after them.
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Donna Levy [ firstname.lastname@example.org
] on Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 9:17 PM
Right on! You go, girl!