“I’m a larger queer girl, and I’ve just started experimenting with clothes that I like to wear, and not the frumpy things that everyone tells me I should wear. I don’t want to cover myself up anymore, because so much of that is based in shame for me. But I still get weird looks from people if I wear something more revealing. Should I stop wearing these clothes, or stop caring what they think?”
- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Bethany Rutter as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions
Definitely the latter. One solution you propose is a short-term solution, the other could stay with you for life. You know you don’t want to cover yourself up anymore, and you’re ready to find out who you are. I know everyone likes to pretend they’re somehow above image, but clothing can be such a liberating way to express yourself—especially if you belong to a group whose image is policed and controlled as much as fat girls’ are. You rightly acknowledge that all the rhetoric that’s dictated your clothing choices up until now is “based in shame,” so I would say for you to stop wearing stuff because of how people look at you would be a step backwards.
I get it’s hard: puzzled or hostile stares from the general public will always wound you a little. But once you build your own armor against them, you’ll find it sort of rolls off you. Consume lots of media (probably all found on the internet, to be honest) of fat women wearing whatever the hell they want, or wearing nothing at all. This is a Tumblr featuring a lot of diverse fat bodies that is regularly updated, and this is a list by Bustle on a few online fat positive resources. Not to blow my own horn, but I blog at ArchedEyebrow.com and keep everything 100% fat-loving 100% of the time. I also love Nicolette Mason’s blog, and Jessica’s Tumblr makes my pulse race with joy.
Buy/make/trade clothes that make you feel amazing. Put them on at home, take 10000 selfies, and look at how empowered you’ve become by being yourself. Remind yourself it’s possible, and that you’re allowed to leave the house wearing what makes you happy. I 100% promise you that shaping your mind to be positive about your fat body is so much harder than dealing with patriarchal body-shaming normative bullshit – but it’s worth it. I can tell from your message that you already know what you need to do for yourself, and I have total faith that you can see this through and show the world just how amazing you feel about your fat self.