There is a girl at work who is morbidly obese. I’m not saying that to be mean, it’s just a fact. I’m obese (I’m talking my pre-pregnancy weight – I’m not blaming my baby belly for being obese), and she weighs at least one hundred pounds more than me. But despite her physical appearance, which is generally despised in our society, she is a fashionista. She has no shame in primping in front of the bathroom mirrors on her breaks, fixing her makeup and hair, checking out her backside. She dresses with style and has nice purses and shoes to go with her outfits. She always comes to work “put together.”
I used to kinda feel sorry for her. I didn’t see anything but her large body, and felt bad that she was trying so hard to make it look good when she really couldn’t. But that changed one day when she wore a dress to work – not a muumuu, but a knee-length dress that was relatively form-fitting. Not in an in-your-face sexy way, but in a flattering, “I’m a woman” way. Despite her enormous cankles and puffy feet, she wore chunky heels with the dress. And she wore a confident, happy smile. It was the smile that changed everything. I haven’t felt sorry for her since.
I thought of her as I gave up on trying to find ballet flats that wouldn’t make my feet look like puffy blobs squishing out over the top. Her feet are ten times worse than mine, maybe more like twenty times worse, but they don’t gross me out when I look at them because they don’t gross her out. I respect her cankles and puffy feet now, because she is confident enough to show them off in stylish shoes while wearing a smile, so I bought a thrifty pair that was comfortable, even if my feet do look like something that baked out over the top of a pan when I put them on. I wore them to church with confidence last Sunday, and thought of her every time I looked down at them. :)
While I think that being honest with yourself and doing what you can to achieve a healthy body that will last you through this life without a lot of grief is important, I also think it’s so important to be happy with your physical self no matter where you are at the moment. This is a lesson I learned as a fat girl within the last year and a half (though I often forget it – it can be hard), and the fat girl at work helped reinforce it. I was really getting down about being so big, but you know what? You are beautiful, and all you have to do is realize it in order for everyone else to see it, no matter what your size. And as they say, your smile is your best accessory – don’t forget to wear it.
Photo by Jaclyn Marie Photography
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