Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cute Stops at Twelve

My cousin had a baby in March. He's the cutest, squishiest little thing you ever wanted to meet. I adore him. I'm not at all sorry that she had to sacrifice her gorgeous figure to have him.
So worth it. 
While mom would agree with that, she's probably less okay with the results than I am. She's gorgeous - but annoyed that she can't find cute clothes in a size that will work right now. Because, let's face it - even when you're trying, losing weight takes time. Who wants to wait to look good?

This happens to be a subject that's near and dear to my own fashion-filled heart - since I have worn a size 12+ most of my adult life. I'm also short, which is added fun. The fashion world only just got word a few years ago that some women are short and others are not thin - seems it needs to be broken gently that some of these short, not-thin women are actually the same person. *frustrated sigh*

So why does cute stop at twelve? I've heard arguments that making nice, fashionable clothing above a certain size encourages obesity and unhealthy living. Huh? Aren't there healthy, non-obese women who wear larger sizes?  

And what about women who, like my cousin, are getting their figure back after having a baby? Surely no one is suggesting that a pregnant woman is obese or unhealthy - are they?! A woman having her second baby in her thirties is going to need time to get back to her pre-baby figure. Is she supposed to look (and feel) frumpy and bad about herself indefinitely? 

What about women like me? I don't mind a little exercise and sometimes order from the salad menu - but I really like chocolate, milkshakes and movie popcorn. I'll never, ever be thin - and at 36 my age, I think we can all agree I'll never be tall, either. So, muumuus and elastic-waisted pants are what - a punishment? Seems harsh. 
You feel better already, don't you?
Image used without permission. Click to visit retailer's web site.
I know obesity isn't a joke. It can wreak havoc on your health, and all statistics point to the problem getting worse, not better. But isn't emotional health just as critical? I struggle with self-esteem, and am willing to bet I'm not the only one. I know the criticsm is that you shouldn't rely on your looks, or other people's opinions, for your own self-worth. Yup, I get it. Certainly, I'm no expert - but I can speak from experience. 

I'm more confident when I feel like I look good. And when I'm more confident, I'm better at handling stress; I'm more outgoing and therefore make friends more easily; I am more assertive and honest, which allows me to handle situations with more respect and better results. I'm a better me when I like how I look.

Isn't that what self-esteem is all about?   

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