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So I’m a woman. And?

January 21st, 2015

imageOn Friday, we went to an office party. I freaked the fuck out about what I was going to wear.

Since Master’s back surgery, we haven’t done a whole lot of exercising, and I’ve gained back all the weight I lost when we were trying to escape the oppression of our old house, plus about thirty pounds.

This doesn’t matter to him. He’s regained a lot of the weight (but not as much as I have), too, and he’s got a thing for fat chicks (which goes really well with my thing for fat dudes) so it literally doesn’t matter. Except that I have very few clothes, even less that fit me, and very few of those are fancy enough for corporate business affairs. Hence the freakout.

If I was a man, I wouldn’t have to do this. If I was a man, I would be able to throw on the same tired button-down/tie combo I’ve worn to every fancy thing I’ve attended since I stopped growing, and not think twice about it. Maybe I’ll mix it up a little, and wear a different tie, but ultimately, the only thing that matters is that I’m clean, well groomed, and have fucking clothes on. No one notices what guys wear.

I mean, isn’t that just the ultimate comment on our current society, right there? Women have to look pretty, be trendy, stand out, while men just have to show up.

This year, we couldn’t afford to buy a new outfit. Even if we could, the one day we had time to go shopping, the car decided not to start, and we ended up having to ask the neighbor to jump us. Yay for three days of subzero temperatures and forgetting to start the car. So I started trying on my old outfits to see if any of them fit.

The only one that did was the one I wore last year, and have worn to at least one other company function since, and countless non-company functions. I’m long overdue for an upgrade, but I hate shopping, and I hate trying on clothes, and I hate trying to figure out what styles fit my body in stores that are supposed to be made for my body but totally aren’t, so I will do anything (up to and including wearing the same outfit until it falls apart) to avoid it.

In an interview with TimeOut, Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, Lydia in The Falling, Ellie in The Last of Us which I cannot WAIT to see) said, “I wore a dress last night to a TV awards, which I’ve worn before. And that’s a no-no. You don’t wear the same dress twice. Why? I like it. It’s a nice dress. All that stuff is bullshit.”

She was discussing the things that are expected of celebrities (and in particular, female celebrities), but the whole wearing the same outfit twice thing isn’t just a no-no at TV awards shows. I wore the same sweatshirt to school all the time as a jacket, of sorts, and got “called out” for it pretty regularly. I alternated between three shirts and two pairs of pants when I worked at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and my coworkers often made comments about me not having many clothes. When M and I got married, my coworkers bought me shoes as a wedding present because I only had two pairs, and told them more than once that I wasn’t interested in a third.

If you show up at a corporate dinner party in the same thing you wore the year before, you’re committing social suicide. If you then show up to another corporate function in that same outfit, people will start to talk.

Then my period started.

For some reason, my fashion freakouts always happen on or around my period. Most of the time, I literally could not give less fucks about what is in my dresser. Is it comfortable? Yes! Then put it on, and let’s go.

When I realized I was on my period, I pulled my favorite lime green turtleneck sweater out of the closet and threw on some tights that have pockets so I can pretend they’re pants. I’m ready, let’s go. Fuck all this freaking out about looking pregnant in everything, and wearing the same thing I’ve worn two years in a row, and the six or eight inches of roots that are showing in my I’m-not-even-sure-what-color-it’s-turned-at-this-point hair.

I straightened my hair (because heaven forbid I leave it in its natural, limp wave state), swiped on some eyeshadow and mascara (because we wouldn’t want to show up without face paint and make people wonder if we’re sick, or smoking crack, or something), and we were out the door.

There’s a guy M works with who lives in Alabama who always comes up for company functions. At the dinner, he asked us to meet him for lunch today. I had another minor freakout about what to wear.

The place isn’t fancy, but it’s not sweatpants and a t-shirt casual, either. My clothing choices were the outfit I looked pregnant in, or the same thing I wore on Friday.

And then the cramps kicked in. Fuck fashion. Lime sweater and tights it is. This time, I didn’t bother with makeup. I barely even combed my hair. It was hanging limp and wet, fresh out of the shower.

At least I showered.

When I was a kid, fashion was this super giant thing. In middle school, all the girls I knew had Guess jeans, and Hypercolor t-shirts, and Jordans (or LA Gear, depending on the girl). In high school, it was Abercrombie, and American Eagle, and Uggs. They all got their hair dyed blonde, and had spiral perms, and went to get manicures every two weeks or so. They ate salads, if they ate at all, and they all weighed no more than 115 lbs, no matter how tall or short they were.

And then there was me. The fat girl with weird hair, almost never any makeup, and clothes from Walmart. And what’s worse? I didn’t care! In a world where everyone was caught up in what the pop stars were wearing, I was still wearing generic baggy jeans, combat boots, and No Fear t-shirts with a flannel button down or teddy bear sweatshirt if it was cold. How weird was I?

I got the impression that I was failing at being female. Guys certainly didn’t treat me like a girl. One of the first things people mentioned about me, when describing me to someone else, was my lack of interest in fashion and beauty standards. I was often called “one of the guys.” Girls told me if I was a guy, I’d be perfect. Guys told me if I wore more dresses and makeup, and maybe smiled occasionally, I’d be perfect.

I batted around the idea of calling myself butch. At least then I’d fit into a box, even if it wasn’t the most pleasant box (because of how people often treat lesbians). But I’m not a lesbian. I’m pansexual (though back then, I’d never heard of pansexual, and was still calling myself bisexual). And I don’t always dress butchy. My lime green sweater and tights are not, at all, butchy. So I finally decided that wouldn’t work.

“Women should never leave the house in sweats.”

“Women should always smell good.”

“Women should always lead with their best face.”

“Women should wear dresses.”

“Women should wear makeup.”

“Women should make sure their clothes are in fashion.”

So I’m a woman, so I should do all these things I couldn’t give two fucks about just to please a society that pisses me off on the regular?


Fuck. You.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.


  1. RynJ21
    February 8th, 2015 at 22:21 | #1

    Hear hear!

    I donated 90% of my wardrobe last year and I did not realize how much I’d internalized all that crap until I found myself panicking because I was invited to a party and I didn’t have an evening dress. Because, y’know, I need a dress that is made specifically for wearing at night. *rolls eyes*

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