I often see overweight women ill-dressed in tight clothing that doesn’t flatter their curves or over-bright prints that were bought with the best of intentions but fell short of expectations. Sometimes I cringe because I know, as an overweight woman myself, that shopping in the plus-size department can be a challenge.
Females with curves can either shop at high-end department stores and pay loads of money for their clothes, or they can lump along at places like Old Navy and Target with clothes that aren’t really tailored to their needs.
As I fight to lose weight (zero pounds this week, I know, I'm bummed.), I am beginning to understand the connection between body image and confidence. HOWEVER, it’s difficult to cultivate confidence when the world is just flooded with anti-fat messages! Rather than working to understand plus-sized women, products like diet pills and tummy control pantyhose only make us feel worse about ourselves. And this is true of clothes, too, which are the armor we can potentially use to camouflage those bumps and rolls that so displease us.
On Saturday, March 24, I went shopping for a new shirt just to lift my spirits a little. The weather was warm, and although money is tight, I thought I might be able to find an affordable shirt to wear with jeans. And indeed I did find one, on sale, and took it home with a spring in my step. I bought my usual size, XL, but when I tried it on at home the cute, sparkly cardigan looked more like a doll’s shirt I had somehow squeezed my body into. I returned it later that same day, crushed because my shopping trip was fruitless and, somehow, my curves had failed me yet again.
We're Not Meant For Skinny Jeans
What are voluptuous women to do when clothing boutiques obviously cater to size 10 and under? I’m not sure, but this is an obstacle I believe many females must face. Tiny tees, skinny jeans and fitted sweaters just aren’t made for us. Although the majority of department stores carry these very items in a plethora of colors and styles, what’s lacking are the sizes!
When I was younger, I LOVED shopping... of course I was about 60 pounds lighter then, so I didn’t have any worries. Now, shopping is a chore that demands all of my strength and attention. And usually, the clothes I buy are just as ill-fitting as those I see on other women of size.
It’s upsetting, because most of us simply want to feel pretty and feminine in the apparel we wear. That’s impossible, though, with the limited choices available to us. Poor clothing not only accentuates curves, it also reminds us we’re not the “ideal” size according to clothing manufacturers’ standards.
Forget The Clothes!
Perhaps, then, the solution is to focus on our other attributes rather than worrying about style.
Pretty hair and bright eyes can be played up just as easily as a perky bust or small waist! More importantly, however, a warm and caring personality can outshine any physical appearance. Intelligent questions, thoughtful responses and witty comments can also make longer impressions than well-cut outfits. So maybe overweight women have a duty to make the world forget about what they see and care more passionately about what they find when willing to delve deeper (rather than skim the surface) into a female’s personality. And there is where true beauty can be found.