We all know the emotional impact of an image of a girl in a dressing room. She’s devastated when the clothes don’t fit. Devastated is probably the wrong word. ‘Chipped away at’ might be better. She is slowly, that part of her that is most her – call it soul, call it whatever you want – is slowly chipped away. The waistband is cutting into something much more than just flesh. It’s a chisel, a drill, a hammer, designed to strip away, demolish whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe this is all a little overdramatic.
You don’t ever forget trying on the biggest size in the store and having it feel much too snug. Although with this ‘obesity epidemic’, the biggest size has gotten much bigger than when I was in high school – there is now a whole sedentary army of too-tight waistbands, proper fit absolutely impossible to achieve, fighting a battle that isn’t really supposed to be won, like Vietnam. Just inflict the maximum amount of damage with that cheesecake and call it a day.
And you can’t forget that your pants are uncomfortable when you sit at a desk all day long – that constant cutting feeling. Back to the cuts. The deep ridges, the gashes, the deep red lines that look like scars. Indents. Indentations that look like they might bleed.
I know a lot about fit because I’ve been every size there is. Alright, an exaggeration, perhaps. There is a whole world of plus sized clothing that I am flirting with and just barely rejecting. It’s a fine line, I guess. A fine line, or a bunch of creases, and angry red marks on a sore stomach. It doesn’t fucking fit. The size 12 pants don’t fit, but it doesn’t fit in my brain that I am no longer a size 12 and must go up a size. It doesn’t fit at all, does not compute. It doesn’t fit when I have a piece of cake because I pretend it isn’t me that just ate it, and this is so easy. It doesn’t have to fit together in my mind until it catches up with me in the dressing room, when tears spring to my eyes, when my cheeks glow with shame, when the pants won’t fit.
It’s just a thing about shapes. If I could get the geometry down, I’d probably be all right, or at least less embarrassed.
It’s a lazy, sloppy kind of math.