I am not what you would consider a slender woman, all my life due to a seriously unhealthy relationship with food (fuelled by an anxiety disorder) I have always been heavier than I should be. In short I am overweight.
I am sad to say that because of the way I have let other people make me feel over the years about my body, I have not dressed the way I wanted to, I haven’t done things I wanted to in life because of fear of the way I would look doing those things, I’ve had low confidence rooted in the way I look and the way others perceive me.
I remember once I was walking down the street and a teenager and his friend yelled to me that I was a fat pig, I waited until they had passed and then burst into tears I told no one because I was ashamed. I don’t mention this to get sympathy or pity I mention it to give you a clue as to where I was once mentally when people made comments about me and my body, I cared so much.
If you are someone who doesn’t look conventionally good or someone who is overweight or underweight you will know the same way I do when someone is looking you up and down and making a judgment.
Two weeks ago on my first day as a married woman, myself and my husband went out for a meal together.
Two years ago I bought a dress I loved, it is maroon and my style of dress through and through. It has sat gathering dust in my wardrobe since I bought it, I didn’t have the confidence to wear it, I didn’t want people to see my not flat stomach or the cellulite on my thighs.
Two months ago I had a life changing experience, I realised things I never had before and felt a new way about myself I never had before.
So two weeks ago, as I got ready for my date with my husband fuelled with a new confidence and a complete lack of care for what others thought I put on my dress for the first time. I felt good and was happy to hear that my husband thought I looked sexy (not used to seeing me in a dress).
We left the house and got on a bus, having got this look all my life I knew what it meant only this time it was more exaggerated as if to say ‘why are you wearing a dress?’ from the gentleman at the front of the bus. I shrugged and brushed it off, however this happened four more times throughout the course of our dinner and walk afterwards and the journey home.
The strangest thing happened, I didn’t care. I didn’t care that strangers who didn’t know me looked at me and decided that I shouldn’t dress the way I want to, that I shouldn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t care that they thought someone like me shouldn’t be in a dress.
After years of avoiding dresses because of the way people looked at me, after the experience I had two weeks ago. I went out and bought another dress.
Here is what I know, my body is for me, it’s for me to use to experience the world around me, it’s for me to dress the way I want to style the way I want.
Your body is for you and I don’t care what you do with yours, please extend me the same courtesy.
Why do people care so much about the way you look? Because people like to judge strangers they know nothing about.