I saw a NutriSystem ad today and realized that I look like the “before” pictures. That doesn’t really bother me too much. I feel good and my health is great. Netflix binges aside, I live a pretty active lifestyle. I have a husband and two kids, I exercise regularly at the gym, I’m learning how to play golf, I walk the dog, I do all kinds of things. However, the retail industry thinks I and other women like me (meaning fat women; let’s dispense with euphemisms, shall we?) should just sit around all day. Okay, I know the retail clothing industry doesn’t really think that. In fact, they don’t think about me at all. And that is what has me incensed today.
It is no secret that I am not a clothes horse nor am I a slave to fashion. But, I really, really would like some attractive active clothing. I want a cute golf skort. I want a collared shirt that fits me and does not look like it was made for a man. And, here’s the real kick in the ample ass…. I want to buy it at a regular store where regular people shop. I am tired of paying the exorbitant prices charged by “specialty” websites dedicated to other freaks like me: fat women who have actual lives.
Buying clothes when you live large is something that average sized women just don’t understand. Look for the “Women’s Sizes” at a retailer, and you will note that the clothes are tucked away in a corner in a very small department. The selection is meager and the styles are often designed by the famed Omar, Tent Maker and Mumu Purveyor. I have grown accustomed to the typical humiliation of a fat woman shopper and usually only frequent the few stores where I know I can find something that will work for me. It is just too disheartening to visit new stores and clothes shopping is never fun. It is often an exercise in ferreting out the best of the worst. But sport specific or even generic active clothes are my undoing. Don’t bother looking in a golf store for women’s sized golf clothes because there is never anything larger than a size 14 (and there’s only one of those, and it’s ugly). Don’t go to the sports superstores, because the pickings are ironically slim. There are a few websites catering to “plus sizes” (I hate that phrase), but I have to hope I ordered the right size, can’t get what I need on short notice, don’t get to enjoy the process of browsing and trying things on to find something I like because the only concern is “will it fit?!”, and invariably have to deal with returns and trips to the post office. And, of course, it is all far more expensive than anything purchased in a regular store. I get it; it will take some extra material to cover my expanse. But, really, it cannot possibly be twice the cost.
So where does this leave a woman who actually moves and grooves, who lives and loves, who tries new things and enjoys being outside? It leaves me with one ugly khaki skort, a “man shirt”, and even fiercer determination to give golf another go, because I’ll be damned if clothing or the lack thereof stands in my way. But it also leaves me in tears sometimes. So, the next time you see a woman who likely wears a size 14 or larger out there doing her thing, shaking her money maker, swinging a club, strutting her stuff or just walking her pup, please give her a smile. Her spirit and flesh are both willing, but her closet is weak.