Saturday, June 02, 2012
Today, I went to my favorite store to buy some summer casual clothes. With 28 pounds gone, I had no idea what size I am. I tried on a few 1x's in the women's department but they didn't look right. I realized with smug satisfaction that I would need to go downstairs and shop in the misses' department. At the same time, I realized something else. The women's clothing department is on the second floor in the back of the store behind the cookware. BEHIND THE COOKWARE?! Seriously?
In other words, when you walk into the store, the misses, juniors and petite departments are near the door. But, if you are over a size 16, you must walk to the back of the store, go up an escalator, pass the lingerie and cookware before you see the women's clothing department. I had been so accustomed to heading for the escalator, that I hadn't noticed. It made me feel like the store wants to hide fat women because our appearance doesn't jive with the store's image. This might not register on a conscious level, but rest assured our minds are receiving this subliminal message. All these years I've shopped there and didn't notice what they were doing until today.
Okay, so the entire time I'm shopping in the misses' section, I felt out of place. I was waiting for one of the clerks to follow me around or remind me that the women's section was upstairs, you know, behind the cookware. None of that happened. I tried on dozens of items and settled on a size 14 pair of Capri's, and two XL tops.
Anyone who wears these sizes knows they are straddling the women's and misses departments. It's kind of awkward to be somewhere between a size XL and 1x. Size 0X, exists, but they are as hard to find as a Chico's store size 3.5 or a Junior size 17.
The only answer for me is to drop a few more pounds and leave behind the department that's been so familiar to me for the last four years. Goodbye women's department, hello misses. Hopefully, one day your collections will be moved to the first floor, next to the misses, juniors and petite clothing, because your customers, too, are just as worthy.