The Re-boob-olution: Fatshion and Feeling Good

I’m not sure I’ve ever written about how I discovered the FA movement. I’ve come to call it (mostly in my head) the Re-boob-olution. Just after I’d returned from Ecuador, I went to visit my college, and all my friends, who were still in classes for winter quarter. I stayed with my friend, E., who has been a very influential woman in my life. We’re both fat, and throughout our friendship, E. has taught me a lot about confidence, believing in oneself, and living life large. She may not have known it, but I always saw her as an extremely self-confident, beautiful woman. I wanted to be like her because of that confidence, but I never quite got there.

If you were to ask her, she’d say that she’s never been very confident. In fact, she’s always considered herself as having low self confidence, and low self-esteem. Anyway, that weekend that I stayed with her, she and I took a trip to Lane Bryant. I hadn’t been to Lane Bryant since I was in high school, mostly because I had a bit of a hatred of “those stores” (i.e. Plus Size stores) because they sold “old lady clothes” (i.e. Fatshion). But E. loved Lane Bryant. She swore by their jeans. Plus, neither one of us had ever been shopping with another plus size woman before. We’d gone in groups with our thinner friends, but never just us together. It was a thrilling prospect.

First thing we did as soon as we walked through the door was find about FIFTY THOUSAND things we wanted to buy. It happened to be a sale day (the only way we could buy anything), and we just pounced. It was really busy, so we ended up having to wait for a dressing room. We were chatting amicably, standing by the underwear, when I remembered that E. had told me she wanted to do a bra fitting. I found someone to measure us and get us going, and thus the Re-boob-olution began.

As soon as we had those bras on, and had seen the difference they made in our bodies’ shape, we were hooked. It turns out my bra was only slightly wrong in size. E., however, was one of the 80% of women wearing the wrong size bra, and her size was greatly different than what she thought it had been. While trying on our clothes and bras, we almost died of excitement. The right bra made everything look beautiful. It made my boobs fill out the clothes I never had been able to fill out before. It made me feel like my proportions were better, it made me feel more confident.

I spent a fortune at LB that day, and so did E., but it was ALL worth it. My LB jeans made my butt look fantastic. My bras made my boobs look fantastic, and in comparison to all that flabulousness, the parts of myself I hated (arms, stomach, etc.) didn’t seem ugly. The difference wasn’t just the clothes, it was the confidence the clothes inspired.

We went back to E.’s apartment and showed off for all our friends. That same day we watched Joy Nash’s Fat Rant, and the rest was history. Now, I’m not saying that the clothes changed my life. I’m not even going to give the credit to Joy and her incredible film. What changed me was the positivity surrounding that whole experience. Suddenly, my body felt beautiful to me. The clothes fit, the bras fit, the jeans fit, my friends thought I was beautiful, and I began to believe it too. It was the positivity focused on my body, coming from myself and others. It was the beauty I could finally see in my curves. It was the happiness I felt, the success, and it was the acceptance of myself.

Now, when I need a pick me up, I put on my prettiest bra, and my beautiful jeans, and think back to that incredible day. I’m working, this summer, in The Avenue, a plus size store, and I only hope that I can make someone else feel as positive about their body as I do about mine. I try to look nice at work, I smile at everyone, I compliment people’s choices (genuinely), and I tell the truth about what looks good on everyone. A positive shopping experience can boost someone’s day. And believe me, I know how much.

So now I want to open this thread: tell me about your Fatshion positivity, your re-boob-olution, or anything that just makes you feel good about yourself! Ready, GO!

14 thoughts on “The Re-boob-olution: Fatshion and Feeling Good

  1. When I first began my friendship with my now long time BFF, we were both plus sized. I had never been shopping with another plus sized gal before. I remember many shopping trips where we were in LB or the Avenue for HOURS, trying things on, giving each other critique (you can totally wear that in a smaller size), and swapping pieces of clothing because she’s an apple and I’m a pear so if it didn’t look good on me, there was a good possibility that it would on her.

    I will never forget the way I felt after that 1st shopping trip. I felt like finally I had a girl friend who was like me that I could share fashion and shopping with. It was a very positive experiance.

    We can still shop like mad together…

  2. I love this post! Finding clothes that fit — and finally being willing to step into Lane Bryant instead of pretending I couldn’t shop there — was one of my first “aha” moments many years ago.

  3. Thanks for your awesome post! My story is so similar to yours, except the emphasis is not so much on the -boob-, but there are pretty clothes and Joy Nash.

    Through her YouTube site I found the fatshionista group and asked them for help to get rid of the Slimming and Torso Lengthening black v-neck longsleeve & jeans combo I had been wearing basically since puberty. (Why, oh why wasn’t I wearing a tanktop?) For special occasions there might have been some slightly dressy pants and slightly dressy black v-neck longsleeves.
    The fatshionista group dragged me kicking and screaming into some different styles, and my eye-opening moment was when I first saw myself in the dressing room mirror in a black wrap dress.
    A lot of things have changed for me since I’ve discovered the fatosphere, but if there was one eye-opening moment, it was that one.
    I was wearing a dress for the first time as an adult, and it was perfect. It emphasized what I liked about myself, hid what I wanted to hide, and surprisingly it didn’t feel the slightest bit awkward. I was wearing a dress, and the figure in the mirror didn’t look like a monster, or a joke, or an abomination, just a woman in a dress. For the first time, I could imagine myself as a normal woman, with a normal wardrobe full of clothes in different colours and styles for different occasions. And now I’ve set out to become one. :-)

    I don’t like to admit it, but fashion might have been the one most important step on my journey to accepting myself. Sadly, I had to find out first that my body could look appealing before I could see anything good in the things it can be, feel or do.

  4. I had a kind of breakthrough the night before last – I’m sick of looking rubbish just because I’m fat. I never used to be badly/unfashionably dressed – why should I be now?

    So, in the spirit of reclaiming my right to gorgeous clothes, I bought a horrifyingly expensive but beautiful top from Anna Scholz and am anxiously awaiting its arrival:

    http://shop.annascholz.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=525&category_id=17&manufacturerid=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

    What I really wanted was this *amazing* dress, but sadly they didn’t have it in my size (and it’s really expensive!):

    http://shop.annascholz.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=629&category_id=18&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

    I’m so pleased finally to be on the road to positivity about my body – and it’s lovely to hear stories like yours which help to reinforce how empowering it is to start to accept yourself!

  5. You know, it’s funny. Within weeks of starting to feel better about my body and my clothes, I found Joy Nash and thus the fatosphere.

    I’d been out shopping. Not necessarily clothes shopping, but I always have shopping to do on payday. Cleaning supplies, that sort of thing. And I’ve been getting my nails done every month for over a year now. Back in October, I was walking past MK One (http://www.mkone.co.uk/chapter1824.html) and I remembered my BF telling me that I should check it out, as they had some really nice fat girl clothes. I had some time, so I figured I’d give it a go.

    I came out of there having spent less than £30, and having bought 5 different tops. Clearance rack FTW! I was so excited, I had to show them all to the Hubby when I got home. I think he was a little taken aback at just how excited I really was.

    Ever since, I have bought new clothes every month. I almost always buy from the clearance rack, simply because that means I can buy MORE clothes for the same amount of money!

    But that first trip to MK One was really my first step on the road to accepting myself. With new, cute clothes, I began to feel better about myself. I wasn’t quite “there” yet, but I was definitely on my way. Finding the fatosphere just clinched it for me.

    Oh, but getting new bras last month? Um… WOW. I was wearing one cup too small and one band size too big. And I hated the way they sagged. After reading what The Rotund posted about what a good fitting bra should feel like (and what an ill-fitting bra feels like) I realized what the problem was and got the RIGHT size. OH. MY. GOD.

    Is it too weird for me to say I love my boobs now? Cuz I do.

  6. Just before I got pregnant with my second son, I went off of my low-carb between-kids diet. I gained 35 pounds in about 5 minutes, and that was before the pregnancy. I was suddenly about the size of my mother, who’d always hated herself, and therefore I knew that being her size was the CURSE! I fell into a pretty severe anti-my-body funk, because it was the first time ever I wasn’t just “curvy” or “chubby” or “‘tweenie”. I was Fat.

    After my son was born, I was having a hard time feeling sexy. Or lovable. Or … deserving. It was intense. I tortured myself in all the usual fat-hating ways.

    And I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew something had to give. So I meditated on it, did that whole asking for help thing that at least allows me to pay more attention. Either I had to effortlessly get skinny, or I had to accept myself the way I was; and cancer or diabetes were bad solutions, because I had an infant and a small one and my husband was not equipped to become a widower. *g*

    About a week later, Bitch PhD posted about FatGirlOnaBike, and linked to SP. And I followed the link. And I was paying attention!

    I felt wonderful for about 6 months, better than I’d ever felt before. Ever. It’s harder on and off again now, because there is a lifetime of me not feeling this way, but I know the right direction, and I’m going that way.

  7. “Oh, but getting new bras last month? Um… WOW. I was wearing one cup too small and one band size too big. And I hated the way they sagged. After reading what The Rotund posted about what a good fitting bra should feel like (and what an ill-fitting bra feels like) I realized what the problem was and got the RIGHT size. OH. MY. GOD.”

    WORD. Big fat WORD. I was wearing bands that were one or two sizes too large and cups that were two sizes too small because I couldn’t find the right size in stores. After reading a post about fitting one’s Rack of Doom on Shapely Prose last February, I did a little bit of online shopping and a few cycles of free-shipping returns, and voila! The difference is frickin amazing.

    I’ve turned into a bra-vangelist. I’m working on my mom now. She needs a conversion experience.

  8. I worked at a Lane Bryant for a little over a year, and what I miss most (okay, other than my employee discount!) is helping other women find clothes that fit. There are a couple of women I remember in particular who I saw have the same moment you describe above, and it made me so happy! While I was there, it was my mission to get women into properly fitting bras, out of tapered-leg jeans, and into fitted tops. I didn’t always succeed; a lot of women aren’t ready to give up the comfort of their baggy clothes. But there were times when I really got to help someone see themselves in a new, awesome way, and it was great. :)

  9. I first “discovered” Lane Bryant when I was in High School. My mom took me in and got me a couple of really pretty properly fitted bras and a good pair of jeans and a couple cute tops and I went back into school with a new spirit. Getting to switch schools helped, but at that time I was soooo thankful to be out of baggy tshirts, boxed bras from kmart and grandma jeans (this is what happens when you live in a tiny mountain town, scary stuff) but it was so nice to feel like for once I was dressed like other people my age.

    Later on when I was working in the Macy Woman department (and was the ONLY plus size girl working) I really enjoyed getting to find the right clothes for the right people. And whenever it was slow I “product tested” and tried everything on. Getting to know how each brand sized and how they worked on a real woman instead of a mannequin helped a TON.

    Clothes help. It’s not the only thing around to rebuild self esteem after years and years of feeling out of place for being fat, but they still help :-)

  10. “Dress for Success,” stay positive, and remember that inner beauty when realized will make the outer beauty shine.

  11. I just stumbled upon your blog. For me my fashion “breakthrough” wasn’t at Lane Bryant as none of my friends were plus sizes (and maybe it’s changed but back then I always felt their clothes weren’t fitted enough for my shape – I’m hourglassy but everything seemed to be trying to hide the tummy rather than coming in at the waist).

    My ah-ha! was during college at Old Navy. At the time I wore a straight 20 – and I remember going in with my thinner friends and being astounded that I COULD WEAR THE SAME THINGS THEY COULD. The feeling of joy of seeing a cute top and a pair of pants in my size, right along with all the 4s and 6s, really made me feel like a “normal” person. And since 20 was the biggest size they carried, I’d often find cool pants on their clearance rack in my size for like $15. I started wearing skirts and felt sexy for the first time. They got the bulk of my shopping budget throughout college. Which is why it makes me sad to see all the backlash against them for discontinuing their women’s plus sections.

    I’ve been non-plus since college (now a 10-12 but still struggle with all the body acceptance issues and feel FA has been very eye-opening), but I’m so jealous of all the cute Igigi wrap dresses and Anna Scholz clothes that folks on the blogs keep linking to.

  12. For me it’s Penningtons that does the trick. They get almost all of my clothes budget these days. The salesladies at the store are so nice and encouraging, I go there just to try stuff on when I’m feeling a little down about my size. The last time I was there I got the most awesome pair of jeans that make me feel so sexy. Even my 20-something son remarked when I wore them out one day, “Mom, those jeans make you look like you’re all legs.” I gotta say, that made me feel pretty darned good. :)

    The other thing that’s really helped me to like myself more is the empowering message I found in the book Embracing Your Big Fat Ass by Laura Banks and Janette Barber. Their BFAB Society makes me realize I’m not alone out there anymore and it’s nice to have the support of a community instead of all the snide and sideways looks.

  13. I have this one bra that fits me perfectly. I feel sexy and confident when I’m in it. I know what you mean when a good bra makes clothes fit and look better.

    I also wear skirts when I feel a need for a pick-me-upper. I love my legs. They’re one of my assets. So when I feel down and I have to go out, I put a skirt and a smile on.

  14. Pingback: Haircuts and Happiness! « All My Jiggly Bits

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s