Monday, March 16, 2009

Hot Pink with Hatred

A confession: I haven't been as hard-core with the No Buy as I maybe should have been. There has been the occasional tidbit making its way into the closet. These, for example, a little while ago:


Hot pink corduroy pants!! HAH!! J. Crew calls this color "bright fuchsia," but don't kid yourself -- they are Hot! Pink! When I stumbled across them, there was a sign in the sale section which said the sale goods were an additional 30% off, and so the $29.99 price tag on these cords -- already a bargain -- looked even better. But when I got to the check-out desk, turns out there was actually 50% off the sale stuff! This has happened to me before at J. Crew. I am not complaining. Woo-hoo! Style Spy loves her some $15 pants!

I had a party to attend on the Saturday night after I bought these and had already plotted out my ensemble, but what's more festive than hot pink pants? Nothing, that's what. And since the pants were actually petites, they didn't need hemming, provided I wore them with heels. Which is kinda crazy, but whatever. The sizing at J. Crew is large and long. There must be some very tall people working there.

At any rate, I wore them with these

(without the green tights, bien sur) and this


(I was a little less... unbuttoned.)

I even had long gloves, although mine are patent leather and once I got where I was going & removed my coat, the gloves came off as well. My friends are very tolerant of my fashion excesses, but not that tolerant. Besides, Pablo the Chef had contributed some very, very yummy empanadas to the proceedings, and there's no place for patent leather gloves when one is faced with yummy little empanadas.

(These are not Chef Pablo's yummy little empanadas. They probably aren't as good.)

It was an entirely silly outfit, but I was enjoying it. And it was a lovely party, filled with people I hadn't seen in quite a while & was very happy to catch up with. I was talking to two friends I haven't seen in ages, and they complimented my pants. I thanked them, and I mentioned that for years I didn't wear cords because the noise of them annoyed me. I hated that zip!zip!zip! sound when I walked. But, I joked, since my weight loss, my knees don't rub together so much when I walk, so I don't hear that sound so much! Hah, hah!

Hah, hah! my friends said. And we hate you for that! Hah-hah-hah!!


Um, okay.

Of course my friends don't hate me. I don't imagine that for a moment. But still. When someone says that it does kind of draw you up short, if only for a heartbeat. And here's the thing: you might be surprised at how many people have said it, or something like it, to me since my weight loss last year. It's been quite startling.

First of all, let's get something straight: The Skinny Fairy does not come in the middle of the night once a week and whack me across the ass with her Magic Weight Loss Wand.

I worked to get to this point. I continue to work. Every day I make choices about what goes into my mouth. Every day I remind myself that I like my size 4 pants more than I like pizza. I'm not complaining, believe me, I eat plenty and I'm rarely hungry; but the truth of the matter is that almost every single day of my life I make the choice at least once not to eat or drink something because it will be excess calories that I don't need. I also run about 4 - 5 miles nearly every day of my life. So hating me for my size is like hating someone who saved up her money for a year in order to take a vacation. It didn't just drop into her lap -- she earned it. And for all those people who have made resentful comments about how "people like me" can eat whatever we want, think again.

Second of all, when did it become taken for granted that if your hips do not exceed a certain circumference you are immune to bad manners? The things people have said to me! You would not believe! "You are too skinny!" people have told me. "You need to gain some weight!" (For the record, two different doctors have checked me out & told me that I'm just fine, thankyouverymuch. I am slim but I am solid -- I have more muscle mass than a lot of people who are heavier than me.) When people have said things like this to me, I've wanted to ask them if they would ever in a million years walk up to someone they didn't know very well and tell her they thought she was overweight? "My god, Annabelle! You are too fat! You really need to take off a few pounds!"

Somehow, we don't imagine they would, do we? So why, then, is it okay to tell me I need to put on a few?

Lastly, but most importantly. I am not, thank god, eating disordered. I have a relatively normal relationship with food (and I am profoundly grateful for that because that is a family of issues that are mighty serious and brutally difficult to overcome), but you can't know that from looking at me. You can't tell that looking at anyone. Not everyone with an eating disorder is either obese or anorectic -- you cannot necessarily tell by looking at someone if they are struggling with this. So "clever" quips to someone about her body shape/size/weight/eating habits/etc. may be affecting her in ways you cannot predict.

The simple fact of the matter is: it's none of your damn business. So shut up about it. It would be nice if we could all stop making assumptions about people based on their appearances, but that seems unlikely until the world turns into Shangri-La. So the least we can do is keep our opinions about it to ourselves. And I'm as guilty as the next person, I freely admit, and have been working hard to monitor myself.

I don't want to be politically correct to a fault -- I was truly grateful to the people who said supportive things to me while I was losing my weight; and no one doesn't appreciate a sincere compliment or expression of concern from a friend. But let's not say, even as a joke, that we "hate" anyone we care about, and that includes ourselves, my friends. You shouldn't weigh your friends (the idea!) and you don't have to weigh your portions or even yourself if that's not your thing, but please -- weigh your words.

Images: Style Spy,,,

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Robo said...

Can we extend that manners thing to skinny girls who can hula hoop through cheerios and wear size 00? I'm so sick and tired of hearing their constant "OMG I'm so fat!!" whining. It's especially insensitive to say that around people, e.g., me, who really are trying to lose weight for a myriad of reasons, primarily health. They probably don't realise the weight of their comments (no pun intended), but still it's just irritating to no end to feel obliged to reassure the skinny girls that they are, indeed, not fat.

Well done on you for working hard to be healthy, btw. There are the ones who can eat whatever they want, but they're usually desperately trying to gain weight and/or may be "skinny fat."

StyleSpy said...

Robo -- I want to say something insightful, but I can't stop laughing at "hula hoop through cheerios." HAH!

Sian said...

Great piece. I have always wondered why it's somehow appropriate to comment on the size of the thin, but not the plumper. It's right up there with the friend who can cheerfully say to me, about her toddler "So does he make you want one?" without me being able to reply, as honesty would dictate "No, he makes me realise how bored I would be."

Anita said...

I just love your blog, SS. And I've been at all points of the spectrum - healthy weight, very overweight, lots of hard work resulting in massive weightloss, then the fast re-gaining of the weight. I've heard *I hate you*, *I hope you can keep it off*; I've seen the smugness at the sight of the re-gained weight me, the whispered conversations that break up suddenly as I walk into a room. I do, in fact, have an eating disorder, which I'm working very hard on, but oy, sometimes I wish I could just be a secret drinker or something. Weight issues are right there for all the world to see, and comment on. I'm really ok with where I am because I'm alive and basically healthy. My heart goes out to you because those thin comments are shocking and just as hurtful as fat comments. How nice it would be if we could all just tell each other how great we look, regardless of the reason!

Jo said...

First, congratulations on your hard work and discipline. I'm hoping that if I re-read your post enough, some of that will rub off on me. I've got the hard work part down, but the discipline-with-food thing is eluding me still.

Second, anybody who makes any sort of negative comment about your body deserves an icy stare and the words "I beg your pardon?" and nothing more. It's none of their damn business, as you say, and you don't have to be nice about reminding them.

Finally, some folks *do* make comments to those of us who are heavier. Rude people are rude to everybody, skinny or muscular or wheelchair-using or blind or funny-lookin'. The one advantage I have in being big and muscley is that people usually only say rude things to me once rather than repeatedly. Even in baggy clothes, my "I beg your pardon?" is that much more effective when I flex my back.

StyleSpy said...

Sian -- lord, yes, the baby thing. That's a whole other entry (for a whole other blog).

Anita -- all good wishes to you. You're right -- we should all work harder to focus on the good, in ourselves and others.

Jo -- I don't know if I'm the examplar of will power, but I do try. And you're also right: rude is rude, no matter the circs.

r r s said...

I think you look great, and I know how hard you worked.
I've had to deal with anorexic comments my entire life; they usually come from patronizing older men or women who are being catty and jealous.
I was blessed with an amazing metabolism, so it's hard for me to relate to people with weight issues. But, if I just ate everything in sight, or quit working out, I would be terribly skinny-fat (think Mischa Barton.) As I don't make comments about people's weight, I expect the same courtesy from them. And my retort to "you need to eat a cheeseburger" is typically, "Mind your own f*cking business, fatty."

Claudia said...

late to the party on this one, but my two cents: I've lost a stone in the last year, and the thing that weirds me out the most is this - people who know i've lost weight say 'ooooh, were you.... HUNGRY?' Yes, of course I was hungry! I was eating fewer ccalories than my body required - that was the whole freaking idea! And sometimes, it's okay to be hungry. I survived. So while I'm definitely not thin enough to make anyone jealous, I am one hundred percent WITH YOU on the whole thing about it taking discipline. Some people ARE naturally skinny, but for most of us, as you say, it's about deciding which one you want more of the cheeseburger and the skinny jeans. You've chosen the skinnies and you look GREAT! Flaunt it, baby :)

Duchesse said...

I am always shocked by how casually people use the word hate: "I hate pink lipstick"- really? How do you feel about child labor, then?

Your weight loss stimulates feelings of envy and frustration in your friend. That's how she expresses it- not skillfully, but the way she knows how.

I wish women would just shut up about their weight unless talking to their doctor or therapist. It is usually a boring, narcissistic, futile, self-loathing topic that makes food, or their bodies, the enemy.

elke said...

YEAY! Love this post!

Princess Poochie said...

People make comments to you no matter what size you are. That way it deflects from THEIR issues with how they are.

They also tend to be hateful about things like choosing to be vegan. You wouldn't believe the things people say to me, pointedly in front of me and behind my back.