When I was at my heaviest, Lane Bryant was my favorite shop. I wore oversize styles that would hang in straight lines, not hug my body or wrinkle around my rolls of fat. I dressed like the cartoon character "Cathy". I avoided photos like the plague.
Then I went to Brazil fo a year. My Brazilian friends LOVE their cameras, and take group photos and "selfies" anytime, anywhere. No group outing, however large or small, is complete without photos.
When I saw myself in the photos, I was forced to see how my clothing compared to theirs. With so MANY photos, I could no longer write it off as "a bad shot".
Not only did my oversize clothing utterly fail to hide the fact that I was fat, it make me look even bigger. And to add insult to injury, it made me look unfeminine. despite embroidery, prints. and nicely matched outfits.
Brazilians are extremely fashion and body conscious, but even an overweight Brazilian woman would wear stylish, feminine, form fitting clothes. She would not be caught dead in the tent-inspired fashions that are thrown at large women in the USA. (Think Queen Latifah instead of Roseanne.)
Skinny jeans? Check.
Form hugging tops? Check.
Short skirts? Check.
Tight dresses? Check.
My Brazilian friends could not understand why I preferred my one-piece swimsuit and didn't want to buy a bikini! I eventually did buy one, even though finding one in my size was a special kind of shopping hell there. And I learned to wear it without (as much) shame - at least sunbathing on the lawn behind my house.
This week, to my surprise, I discovered that my bikini top is too big. Good thing I no longer dread swimsuit shopping!
Since coming home, I have been gradually shifting from my old "fat style". In sorting through clothes as I lose weight, I see that baggy clothes don't look good on me now that I'm thinner, either. Even my T-shirts were huge - they have now been designated as workout clothes only.
And I leave you with this fabulous and fun video of sassy, sexy, feminine women:
Don't tell me they are not HOT!!!!!
And so are WE.