Today seemed like the perfect time to pull you out of the closet to complete my look. I’m a fan of your patterned sleeves, cinchable waist, and how you keep me warm in my overly air conditioned office. It’s September! Bring on the boots and trendy outerwear!
But I won’t be wearing you. You don’t fit my arms.
How many times have I done this? How many pairs of jeans and shirts have I kept with the wish that someday my ass will be smaller and my strong, unsculpted arms will look like Michele Obama’s. How many times have I blamed myself for not fitting into my clothes–my wishful clothes, mind you–instead of getting the clothes to fit me?
That’s what we’ve been conditioned to do, Jacket, by our body image obsessed, disordered eating culture. We blame ourselves for failure to fit into clothes (and boxes and labels and personalities) that are too small to contain who we are. We become afraid to take up space because we’re afraid of what others might think and because we get really good at following the rules. The rules make us feel safe and accepted. The rules keep us trapped.
This morning’s rendez-vous was our last, Jacket. It’s not your fault. You’re just a piece of clothing. The meaning assigned to you and how you fit has been my own undoing for so long. But not today. Today I reminded myself that a small jacket doesn’t define my appearance or ambition. I am not fat or lazy because a jacket with pinchy, ichy sleeves makes me feel that way. Fat is not bad. It’s also not a feeling. Lazy isn’t bad either.
Goodbye, Jacket. I hope you make someone else very happy.