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Zoning Out

Last week I Heart My Body, a Facebook page, posted a video showing 3 fat women, including Marcy Cruz from Fearlessly Just Me, as they faced their insecurities and fears to try on a 2-piece swimsuit. I loved Marcy’s double take when she looked at herself in the mirror and her declaration “I look amazing!”. Yes she does.

I mention Marcy specifically because our bodies are shaped similarly and I follow her blog to get style ideas. Also, she determined to make 2016 the year she steps out of her comfort zone… wearing clothes that show off her arms and legs and hug her body. About why she participated in the video, Marcy wrote:

“I have never worn a two-piece swimsuit before simply because of fear of judgment… from my friends, family and peers. I don’t really care what strangers think of me but people who know me… well, it’s terrifying to know what they would think. I know people mean well but sometimes the worst criticisms come from your loved ones. They think they mean well with their ‘advice’ and have no idea of the impact their words have. At the end of the day, I can wear whatever I want as long as I’m happy. My body, my rules.”

tumblr_m8l2zcTXbx1rtziyno1_500I thought about stepping out of my comfort zone as I waited this past Saturday to get my hair cut. Those who know me know that I love my long, curly hair. It matches my body. Without my voluminous hair, I’m a fat woman with a little head, like Beetlejuice after the witch doctor got done with him.

There’s one thing about voluminous hair though: It makes me feel HOT in the summer. And when those lovely menopausal hot flashes also hit, oh boy! I don’t feel fabulous even in the cutest sundress when I’m sporting sweaty, plastered-down hair.

So, although I had originally determined to go with a slightly shorter version of my usual layered look, I told Nely to crop my hair short. Even she was skeptical and snipped off only a couple of inches at first until I encouraged her to continue.

20160509_103039Because why should I care if anyone thinks my head does look smaller in proportion to the rest of me? I’ve worn sleeveless tops and shorts without giving a flying flip about who thinks I shouldn’t show off my fat arms and legs. I stepped out of my comfort zone for my comfort this summer. And, as it turns out, the cut looks great!

On another note, I want to mention the passing of an icon in the fat acceptance world, Candye Kane. As an unwed mother at the age of 17, Candye began making adult films and also worked as a phone sex operator, stripper and Hustler model. She later became a blues singer and spread the message of body love and self-acceptance…. “You’ve got to love what you’ve got, whether it’s a little or a lot, and love everybody else’s body too if you get the chance.” She was the first famous person I knew of who was unapologetically fat. She sang of the joys of loving a “Great Big Woman”. Listening to her was a revelation… singing and dancing along were like repeating positive affirmations while I emerged from my insecure shell.

My fiance, Ken, and I had tickets to see Candye at BB King’s Blues Club 2 years ago. Unfortunately a snowstorm shut down New Jersey Transit and we were unable to get into New York City. She was next scheduled to perform at BB King’s on May 25th and I hoped to attend but she lost her 8 year battle with pancreatic cancer on Friday, May 6th. Aptly, it was International No Diet Day.

I lost my chance to tell Candye personally but I thank her for helping me along the journey to loving my body as much as she loved hers. May she rest in peace and may her legacy help other women grow to love their bodies.

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