Friday, July 6, 2007

Do Clothes make the man (or woman)?

Tuesday I spent the afternoon at a very popular outdoor mall near my husband's office. He'd decided to go in late to the office and spent the morning with me and after a lovely brunch I was dropped at the mall while he headed to work for a few hours. Normally I head immediately for Barnes and Noble, fill my little shopping basket full of books and find a cozy chair to read in for several hours. Tuesday was different though. I knew that the next day (Independence Day) we'd be heading to Disneyland to get our photo taken in front of the Castle as is our tradition to mark the day we got engaged. It's basically our yearly family photo and I had NOTHING to wear. Not a single thing that isn't worn out, ugly and shapeless. Nothing that made me feel cute or perky or even pleasant looking. Being by nature a pretty vain person (so how did I allow myslef to get this big??!!) I want to look decent in photos and so I was feeling pretty down about the upcoming photo. I decided to look for something, ANYTHING, to wear. I headed to Torrid because it's the only shop at that mall that carries plus sizes above (a tiny) 22.  Two hours later I emerged triumphant with a hot pink bag containing two pairs of fairly cute capri style jeans, a red & white polka dot shirt, a fun tshirt covered in stars, a pink hoodie with hearts and a bright lime green hoodie appropriately decorated with lime appliques. Granted this is not high fashion stuff but it SOOOO beats the plain, neutral colored 4 year old sack clothes currently in my closet. At least they have a bit of personality. On the fourth of july I happily dressed myself up in my cute dark denim cuffed capri jeans and star patterned shirt, actually put on some makeup, and I felt (dare I admit it) CUTE. I felt, for once, that my clothes reflected a little bit of my personality. Sure, they didn't make me look any smaller but they also didn't make me blend completely into the background. I felt better about myself than I have in months. It reminded me of various posts I've seen in others blogs about how much better they felt after a manicure or massage or hair cut. Obviously, the way we present ourselves to the world really does affect how we perceive ourselves. Perhaps that's why being overweight  is so devastating to our self esteem. We start to believe that because we don't look good that we aren't good people or aren't worth taking care of.  We hide. We stop doing nice things for ourselves. Or at least many of us do. I certainly fall into that category. I'm tired of not feeling good about myself. I'm tired of not doing nice things for myself. Even if my weight never changes and I'm always huge, I want to at least feel like I'm presentable. I need to start taking more pride in how I present myself. When your clothes and general grooming express your personality you feel more confident and more energetic. You feel like you can handle anything that comes your way. You feel more confident and sure of yourself. That's what I want. I've always admired full figured women who dress beautifully and have their own sense of style but I've never been willing to invest in that myself. Good clothes are expensive, particularly if you are overweight.  I always tell myself that I'll buy clothes, get my hair & nails done when I'm thin but aren't these things even more important now when I need the extra boost of self esteem? A person who is well groomed says to the world "I value myself" and when you value yourself others around you usually seem to follow suit. Maybe by putting more effort into my clothing & personal style it will help me to improve my diet and exercising routines as well. After all, we tend to take better care of anything we value and put effort into. As I take better care of my appearance on the outside, hopefully I'll start to be more motivated to take care of myself internally through exercising and healthful eating. Even if it doesn't, at least I'll have prettier clothes, nicer hair, better nails, etc. I won't feel so drab and uninteresting.  So, that's a new goal I'm adding. I'm going to start dressing/grooming myself better everyday. No more wearing clothes I don't like and feeling sloppy, boring, and ugly. I'm not going for high fashion right now, just normal casual clothes that reflect more of my personality.

Photos from the 4th of july:

By the way, two months ago I couldn't wear any of the jeans at Torrid because the sizes only went to a 26 and I was a 28. Now I'm in those 26 jeans so I have made a little progress. Just gotta get back to work at it!

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