I’m too fat for Old Navy.
I thought I was okay. I can go to Old Navy and try on a top, and sometimes it’s too big. Sun dresses? Nice price. Pretty, and they fit. Jeans? I live in them. Shorts?
Now hang on, just a minute!
Apparently, that’s stepping over the line. Shorts on a fat girl. Fat woman. Fat person. Fat chick. Shorts on me.
Not at Old Navy. Shorts at the Old Navy store only go as high as a size 16. I am a size 18. Every other clothing item I’ve looked for comes in size 18. I asked. So there it is. Is it that Old Navy doesn’t want to see me in shorts? In fairness to Old Navy, they have plus size shorts online.
Maybe it’s not Old Navy’s judgement. Maybe shorts above size 16 don’t sell in store. That sucks the fun out of my rant. However, it does raise another issue, if it’s true…
Why wouldn’t plus size women wear shorts (and therefore justify stocking them in store)?
When I was in my early twenties, I had a room-mate. She was, by just about every standard, stunningly beautiful. She was twenty-five, and a bit of a local celebrity. She was the weather girl on the local cable channel. Blonde, tall, poised, confident. Thin.
In the dead heat of July, she wore short shorts.
You read that right. Thirty degrees Celsius in the shade, and she wore shorts and nylons. I don’t own nylons. Not then (thin and fit), not now (not so thin and fit), fingers crossed – not ever. She would not be seen without them.
I noticed my spider veins when I was thirteen years old. I had them laser treated back in the 1980’s, at age nineteen. Maybe things have changed, but I counted that a waste of time. And guess what?
I wear shorts.
I had kids. Your body changes when you have kids. My spider veins got worse. Now, when I wear a dress or shorts, people ask me how I bruised my leg. Not bruised. Those are spider veins. They are pregnancy battle scars I wear without shame or embarrassment. They are just like the stretch marks on my belly, or the blotches my skin forms in lieu of a tan since I was pregnant with my second of three.
Oh, and I got fat.
Know what else?
I wear shorts.
Well, if I can find them, that is. If they fit me and they are comfortable. And they must not fit the category of what I call “I give up” clothes. These are clothes that defeat us. They capitulate to a world that apparently thinks fat women are fat because they are stupid or lazy, or without style. In my world, “I give up” clothes include yoga pants in public, even if they fit (I’m of the camp that says this should go for any size). Swim suits with a skirt are “I give up” clothes. Shapeless t-shirts and dresses. No, no, no.
Got curves? Get ’em out there!
Just do it with style. Poise. Confidence.
Here are some examples of non-fat people in shorts. They seem happy enough…
Okay, relax. I’ve never been a Daisy Duke kind of girl, or woman. It’s not that I think anything goes. There are ways to boldly wear shorts. And there are ways to not wear shorts. No Daisy Dukes for me, right now. Gramma Daisy Duke woman? You go, girl. And the Dude there looks rather pleased about life, shorts and everything. Good on ‘im!
But what if I were into Daisy Dukes?? What if I am? So what?
Does this look better for you?
Gentlemen, if I haven’t lost you with the last pic, try this one. But only if you promise to read the paragraph underneath it. Okay? Promise? Here we go:
Okay, now imagine that’s your teenage daughter, chillin’ before she runs out to catch the school bus. Gotcha! Hopefully you just sent her back to her room to, um, adjust her outfit – maybe put on some nylons.
It’s not the shorts that are in bad taste. Give fat girls the chance to work with clothes everyone loves, and we can do it up with style too. It takes some searching, but you can find online stores (including Old Navy) with tonnes of great looking, properly fitting shorts for plus sizes. But I’m not kidding you – it’s an effort to find truly stylish plus size stores at all, never mind online stores that provide shorts.
Now I sound like an ad. Not my intent.
Oh for Pete’s sake!! I’ve been looking online for a picture of a stylish, beautiful plus sized woman in shorts to insert here. Lots of pictures of beautiful plus sized women. They don short skirts, lingerie, and all kinds of cool stuff. No shorts!
How am I supposed to ride my trendy vintage-style cruiser bicycle to the market and fill its wicker handlebar basket with delicious looking artisan bread and fresh organic produce from the farmer’s market for a romantic picnic in the river valley if I can’t even find stylish fat chick shorts? I’m not wearing a dress on my bike.
I don’t have a bike, vintage cruiser or otherwise.
No matter. Looks like I couldn’t ride it and look stylish anyway. Damn the shorts industry!! That does it. I’m squeezing into the next pair of short shorts I find and driving to join the cultural scene at Wal-Mart. Society has driven me to it.
It doesn’t have to end this way. We could really do so much better.
Puts me in mind to get into my swim suit and do some lengths at the leisure centre. Or, to finish this oversized bag of Chicago Mix popcorn. Why not? Even at my fittest (which rocked), I never had “the gap” in my thighs. I’m not built that way. I’ll have to wait for the trends to change again, so that society will consider me beautiful. But wait! I’m not 20 something anymore! I could DIE first!
To hell with it! I’ll decide for myself what makes me beautiful, shorts or no shorts!