Goal jeans #3
I was going to start off this entry with some nice, staid sentences about how I'm rethinking my original plan to not do any sort of costuming for dragon*con 2004. Screw that. It's happy dance time.I tried on the size 16 jeans tonight. They're not what I call public-ready, but they button and they zip, which they most certainly didn't do when I originally bought them in late March. The size 18s, which I've been able button & zip since April 10, are now public-ready. (Translation: I don't find the squeezed-sausage look terribly attractive, and refuse to inflict it on others.)
Originally I said no costuming for dragon*con 2004; I'd make this the last year as the 'old,' uncostumed, me. Then, quietly, I started saying to myself, "Well, what if I'm able to wear size 12 jeans by 'con? Is that enough of a change to guarantee I won't look like a dumbass if I dress up?" Then today, I pulled on the 16s and realized that it's suddenly a damn sight more likely that I'm going to be a 12 by the end of August.
Of course, not knowing what size you're going to be in four more months is somewhat deleterious to one's plans to purchase clothing for that particular time frame. Sure, I can go out and buy a nifty, floaty little chemise-style nightgown, knowing that I'll be able to wear it 'eventually,' but how do I plan for the first week of September?
Heck if I know.
My solution: a costume that is easily assembled at the last minute, not extraordinarily expensive, and is available in a wide variety of sizes. Yep, assuming my courage doesn't fall off with the excess poundage, I think I might just have to go as an evil Catholic schoolgirl this year.
Except…something kinda funny happened along the way. I told my friends (admittedly, mostly male) about the idea, and drooling began.
Drooling, I say. These were my friends. About the only quicker way to get me to hide under my desk is to threaten to hit me. Drooling? The hell? Have they forgotten who they're thinking about? Yo, guys, it's me!
See, I've lived most of my adult life under the illusion that I was just one of the guys. I dress like the guys: comfortable t-shirts, baggy jeans, sneakers. If my hair's long, it's jammed up into a ponytail, tucked behind a bandana, or pulled through the back loop of a hat. I was always under the impression that everyone else bought into "just one of the guys" bit, too.
In our society, sexuality is equated with slenderness. We make jokes about the Token Fat Chick in a group of female friends, but it's true; I've spent my life living it. In college, I could go out with a group of friends in relative safety, knowing that I could go through an entire evening of dancing or socialization without being hit on, sized up, stared down, or really even considered for more than a moment as anything but "the one in the way of the girl I really want to hit on."
Lose the weight, and suddenly you're not wallpaper any more. People see you, and when you look in their eyes, you don't see judgment or pity, but instead just another person looking back at you.
Funnier: when random men start realizing that you have tits. Hello? I'm twenty-seven. They've been here a while, guys; they clocked in during sixth grade. (Would've been fifth grade except for that pesky double-promotion thing.) They've been around for a while; I haven't been hiding them or anything. Nice of you to finally notice!
Scariest: when your guy friends start having the same realization.
How do you survive the move away from invisibility? When your life has been built around the premise that nobody's looking and nobody gives a damn, how do you adjust to being perceived as female? Feminine, even?
How do you accept others' new-found perception of you as a being worthy of glances when, underneath, you're neither more nor less worthy than you were a few months ago - just thinner?
It's not a question of whether or not I can get the outfit. I have the name of a company that sells actual schoolgirl outfits for Atlanta kids.
It's a question of courage, really.