Thank You, Christina Hendricks!
By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Diary of a Fat Woman Blog Series
I have a “business casual” function to attend in a few weeks, so I purchased a dress that, on the hanger, appeared perfect. It was black with white flowers, a thin yellow belt, and a simple, straight cut. It looked elegant but comfortable, an easy garment to wear for an evening event in the summer.
So, I brought the dress home and eagerly tried it on. My excitement, however, quickly turned to serious dismay when I saw that it easily added 25 pounds to my already hefty body. I twisted and turned every which way in the mirror, wishing desperately to somehow change my appearance by altering my stance or posture. But it was no use, the dress looked horrible. My arms bulged, my stomach protruded, and my bosom heaved beneath the clingy fabric.
I yanked the dress off with a sigh and sought out my boyfriend, who knew from the look on my face that I was upset.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, setting aside the book he’d been reading.
“I need you to help me find something to wear to that dinner,” I replied.
“What about the dress you bought?”
I glared at him. “That dress is the worst thing I’ve ever put on. I wouldn’t wear it to walk the dog, much less to an important event.” With that, I turned and walked back into my bedroom, hearing my boyfriend's footsteps behind me.
Full-Figured & Desirable?
For almost 30 minutes, I tried on t-shirts, long skirts, short skirts, and dresses. I sucked in my stomach, tugged on my clothes, and did everything else I could think of to make myself appear thinner. Of course none of it helped, and by the end of the clothing session, I was almost in tears. My boyfriend saw this and asked me to talk to him. It all came out in a rush: “I’m so unhappy with my body. I feel huge, and now summer is here. I’m afraid all of my clothes are going to make me look enormous.”
As our conversation progressed, he asked if I’ve ever watched Mad Men. When I replied no, he asked if I was familiar with Christina Hendricks, the actress who plays Joan Holloway on the series. Again, I said no, and he went on to describe the actress' appearance. “She’s a full-figured woman, like you,” he said. “But she doesn’t hide her body or try to camouflage it with ill-fitting clothes. She flaunts what she’s got, and she looks great every single time she’s in front of the camera.” He paused and finished with, “You should look to her as a role model, rather than those women whose bodies you can’t emulate. She’s big, beautiful, and proud. And her confidence is a reminder that beauty can come in all shapes and sizes.”
When he finished, I stood there and stared at him. I didn’t know how to respond because I’d never before heard such a thing from a man. Sure, women say things like that, sometimes halfheartedly just to make ourselves feel better. But he really meant what he said; I could tell by the passionate way he spoke. It was truly an eye-opening moment for me.
After that, I had to see Christina Hendricks for myself, so I typed her name into Google. I immediately saw what my boyfriend was talking about. She is beautiful… and full-figured… and obviously very comfortable with her body. In other words, she’s the perfect role model. I wish, truly wish, I could be more like this woman. Yes, of course I wish I could be as beautiful and stylish as she, but more importantly, I wish I could be as confident. That alone might finally put this ceaselessly heartbreaking quest I’m on to change myself to rest.