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Letters to a Young Fat Girl: Lesson the Second | Manolo for the Big Girl

Letters to a Young Fat Girl: Lesson the Second

Don’t be afraid to look stupid.

Picture it: Sicily, 1935.

Wait, I’m channeling, Sophia Petrillo again, hang on…

Picture it: Washington, D.C., 1993

A young Miss Plumcake starts her first day of high school. She is wearing a trop chic vintage mustard yellow cloche that belonged to her great grandmother and an aqua blue Adolfo boyfriend blazer with some seriously significant shoulderpad action. I believe there was also some sort of makeshift bustier involved, and it might have been gold lame, though I can’t quite be sure (I am quite sure I owned a gold lame bustier as a 13 year-old, because I remember buying and then hiding it.)

As you can tell, Miss Plumcake went for A Lot of Look.

Sitting down in my all-grades Spanish class an older boy took one look at me and said “You’re really brave to wear that. I mean it. Really brave.”

Which I guess I was.

Now he was probably making fun of me. I mean I was a chunky, less-than-conformist girl in a yellow suede cloche and possibly a bustier. That’s not really an ideal look for anyone.

Did I look awful? Probably.

Did my world end? No.

I did discover I looked fantastic in hats though, and although I don’t really wear vintage ones all that often anymore –it’s a little too costumey for my tastes now– taking that risk and looking stupid without the world collapsing around my ankles taught me that I could try anything.

So do it. Try anything. If you want to spend two months as a goth and then go straight to pin up girl, punk rocker, dandy, farm girl, whatever, do it. People will always talk about you, even if you’re the most perfect conformist little darling to ever shake a pom, so why not enjoy yourself?

But word to the wise: lame sometimes itches.

Gin and Tonics,

Auntie Plumcake

9 Responses to “Letters to a Young Fat Girl: Lesson the Second”

  1. Lisa from SoCal October 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I strongly suspect that even then, you were most fabulous, particularly in lame.

  2. dcsurfergirl October 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    If you are stuck with the school uniform from h@ll, it’s going to take a little more creativity. Depending on the dress code, makeup, perfume and accessories will be your friends.
    Just (try to) keep a budget or you could have raging perfume, lip gloss and handbag addictions as I do.

  3. Lisa from SoCal October 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    The lip gloss addiction isn’t nearly as expensive as the other two…

  4. chocolatstiletto October 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    but now I’m terribly curious as to which school gets to call you an alumna in d.c.!! sadly, mine involved the crime of plaid skirts and polo shirts, as well as a serious lack of dudes, so it’s out…sidwell??

  5. Plumcake October 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    @Chocolate Stiletto. Did you go to Little Flower or Holton Arms?!

  6. megaera October 13, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    Ah, my youth…I remember buying this lace crop top from Victoria’s Secret and only once managing to silence the voice of good taste enough to wear it (with this sort of teal broomstick skirt that was shredded giving me a sort of Victorian’s Secret look and some TRULY unfortunate red eyeliner.) Oddly the crop top has since turned out to function perfectly as a sort of fichu under things like wrap dresses that would otherwise reveal Loren levels of cleavage. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

  7. Ravna October 13, 2010 at 4:54 am #

    Ah, high school. Truly one of the most horrendous ages in my life. Looking back at pictures I want to invent a time travelling device to send me back for an hour just so I can hit myself in the back of the head, or rather take myself to a nice café with a good hot chocolate and eclair and tell my teenage self how hot and pretty I really was. Aside from slight case of low selfesteem when it came to looks I really was not afraid to be different. I went for DRAMA. Alternating looks of bushy afro coupled with neon orange jeans and vest or bohemian with layered skirts and tunics. I was never popular but I was remembered for independence, smarts and for never EVER conforming. That was in my teenage mind worth every bit of hassle and talk I’d endured.

  8. Mrsbug October 13, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    Do you know why you were brave? Because you wore what you thought looked good. GOOD FOR YOU! I wish I’d had those kind of cajones in middle school/high school. It took me a long time to grow a pair of my own.

    Good on ya!

  9. Emi!y October 20, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    My most brave outfit in HS was for Homecoming (1997, I think). I wore a denim mini shirt dress with fishnets and combat boots. My hair was up in two Gwen Stefani-style buns and zig-zag part and hairspraypainted metallic gold. It was the first outfit I put together with all my own money. My mom was pretty great about it (I remember now), just shaking her head and letting me go without comment. I found pics the other day, and I look flat-out ridiculous, but so so so happy. I certainly wasn’t a brave fashion girl in HS, so it was a big step. I think sometimes you just need to look a little ridiculous and feel a little fabulous.