By: Micaela Shambee, Editor, MickeyStyle
“Eliminate what doesn’t help you evolve.”
Throwing Everything Away (by throwing up)
I hate throwing up. Think about the taxing act of purging; I don’t know how I was able to keep up with it for so many years. However, thinking about how much I was struggling with my body image at the time, I knew purging was the fuel to the bonfire of my plus size adolescent life.[/caption]Before the Plus Size blogs (Thank you Gabi Fresh), Project Runway, and Full Figured Fashion Week (Celebrating 10 years this week, Congrats Ms. Devoe, you are a legend), plus size girls had few role models (if any), and fewer clothing options.
Plus Size Clothes…Kill me now
Let’s take it waaaay back to the late 90’s/early 2000’s, when Lane Bryant, and Ashley Stewart ran the plus size clothing game. I was between the ages of 10-17 at that time.[/caption]
“In the span of seven years, the most fashion forward print a plus size woman could wear was still Cheetah print. Except this time, with a hint of Zebra.”
Take a look at the Queen. Aside from her full on head-to-toe red leather outfit, animal prints dominated plus size fashion during this time. In the span of seven years, the most fashion forward print a plus size woman could wear was still Cheetah print. Except this time, with a hint of Zebra.
Shopping While Plus Size
Imagine going shopping with your mother. She is already stressed because the budget is tight (I had three other siblings at the time), and you fit nothing in the “girls/teens” section, though you are only 12 years old. You look at all the beautiful Lisa Frank embroidered t-shirts, and flared jeans (skinny jeans were not a thing yet) and you realize none of it fit you.
Your mother loudly screams, “Get over here, you know you too fat to fit that. We’re going to the second hand store,” in front of the thin girls shopping near you on the same rack.
That was the first day I began purging.
Thrifting for the First Time
After leaving Sears empty-handed, my mother took us to a Thrift shop on 63rd and Kedzie. I can still remember the stench of clothes hung too long, mixed with dank, humid-hot air that Chicago Summers are made of. I couldn’t fit anything in the teens section there either. That’s when my mother pulled that Cheetah print blazer right off Queen Latifah’s
back, I mean rack.
My mother gushed over the fabric.
“OOOH, Cheetah print!” She snatched up the garment.
It was a boxy blazer with the shoulder pads attached (not in a cool David Bowie way either). She draped it over me. It was equally too big, and too small at the same time.
“You still need to lose weight. Remember when you lost all that weight when you were on the Cheerleading Team?” She continued padding me down in the blazer.
“Yeah Ma, remember me standing off to the side, learning the cheers and practicing, even though I wasn’t on the team.” I turned around in a circle, with my arms outstretched.
“Yeah, that’s the only reason you made it, because you didn’t give up.” She stopped me and grabbed the front button, struggling to close it pass my round, protruding belly.
“But if you would’ve just voted for me to be on the team…” Losing breath from holding my stomach in.
“Then you wouldn’t have worked for it…” The button popped.
Relieved, she gave up her feeble attempt at buttoning this atrocity of a blazer. Her words, hung in the air like the dusty clothes hanging on the rack next to us.
The Next Seven Years of My Life: Purged
After getting home, I remember going in the bathroom and sitting on the toilet for a long time. I ran water in the sink and the tub so no one would hear me purge.
I even remember purging the day before senior pictures. Look, you can see the anguish on my 17 year-old Cheetah Print wearing face:[/caption]
Working for “it”
If I didn’t feel like I was working for “it” (weight-loss, good grades, getting a boyfriend, whatever I wanted in life), I wasn’t “measuring up” in some way. These were the thoughts that clouded my mind every time I went to purge. I internalized this thought and let it torture me for years…leading up to the biggest failure of my life…
This is my story…
Follow me on Instagram, and Twitter @mickeystyled and Facebook at facebook.com/mickeystyled for updates about my #33on3 challenge. Also, sign up with your e-mail to see the next chapter of my story, and get updates on new posts in the sidebar on the right first!
Coming up next…
Day 4: Failure
If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost…
Thank you all so much for reading! These topics have not been easy to write about but your encouragement and kind words keep me going.
Please feel free to leave me a comment here.
If you’ve experienced anything similar to my story, please let me know. Plus size women need to tell our stories, it humanizes us!
Now for your bonus,
If you didn’t believe me about the Cheetah Print, check this one out with Giraffes on it: I felt like a mammal on the verge of extinction.[/caption]
Here’s hoping you all keep reading!