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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things | Manolo for the Big Girl

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

No, this will not be an ode to The Sound of Music. It won’t even be an ode to Julie Andrews, despite the fact that I find her a lot more inspirational overall than any Rogers and Hammerstein musical. This is more about looking around and opening up my own private box of awesome and encouraging all of you to do the same.

There’s a lot in the world to be angry about, or depressed about. Heck, I’ve merrily pointed some of them out to you. I will again. There’s a lot to be done before the world can accept a bunch of fat, happy women out being amazing without spontaneously combusting.

But if we wait for all of them to be ready, not one of us will enjoy our fat happitude, and that would be just plain stupid and wasteful of us. We are not stupid. We are not… well, not all of us are wasteful. We certainly aren’t going to waste our own fabulous just because there are some deeply confused people out there who wring their hands in anguish at the thought of our existence, let alone our refusal to wallow in the shame they try to heap on us.

So every once in a while I like to get all Little Mary Sunshine on their cabooses and celebrate cool stuff that I enjoy. In public. With a big ol’ grin on my face. What things might these be? I’m so glad you asked.

1: I wear bright colors. No, I will not resign myself to the darker end of neutral for the comfort of others. I will damn well wear all the orange and purple and red and turquoise I like. Why? Because I love them and look fabulous in them.

2: I wear hats and extravagant jewelry. See above for a reason. I will not make myself invisible so that some folks lacking in all ability to appreciate fabulous when they see it won’t be offended. Besides, my hats seem to bring smiles to a lot of faces, especially on small children who haven’t yet learned to be afraid of sartorial splendor.

3: I speak up when I have something to say. And because I do that, a lot of people seem to look forward to seeing me. What? Most of what I have to say is either helpful or funny, and it’s often both. When it’s angry, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m not doing it for my own pleasure, or that of the person I’m angry with. But I will be fair. And I will not back down.

4: I eat in public. Whether what I’m in the mood for is salad or ice cream, I refuse to concern myself with what others think of what I’ve ordered or added to my shopping cart. I pick according to my appetite, my mood, and my personal tastes. I am not responsible for what someone else thinks of what I’m eating, and nobody can make me accept that responsibility.

5: I dance when the opportunity presents itself and my knees will cooperate. Sometimes my knees aren’t that happy to dance. Bad knees run in my mother’s side of the family and seem to have finally caught up with me, alas. Then again, one of my brothers got stuck with the knee thing in his teens when he was a fairly skinny thing. But if there’s music and my knees are having a good day, I don’t care if someone else doesn’t want to see me wiggle my fat butt on the dance floor. I don’t have time to watch them with a critical eye, and if they have time to worry about my aesthetic appearance while dancing, I feel kind of sorry for them. Scratch that, I feel all kinds of sorry for them.

6: I sing out loud. They may say it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, but baby when I pour out those chest notes, it’s just gettin’ started.

There’s crap everywhere. There’s hate in the world. There’s even violence. We need to be aware of it all.

But don’t ever let it stop you from living your life. It’s the only one you’ve got, and there’s no victory in failing to use it for anything.

7 Responses to “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”

  1. ZaftigWendy October 30, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Preach it, Sista!

    I do all those things AND I smooch my sweetie when an opportunity presents, and I wear curve-hugging clothes and cleavage-baring tops and sleeveless tops and sexy shoes. If people don’t want to see my ample boobage or my fat arms, well, their neck will turn.

  2. Twistie October 30, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Dang! I left out smooching Mr. Twistie in public! How could I have been so addled? Consider it added.

    Oh, and Flaunt it, Zaftig Wendy!

  3. Camo October 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    I enjoy reading Manolo Big and have for a long time, but sometimes I feel genuinely confounded by the saccharine-coated defensiveness in some portions of some posts. Twistie, I understand that as a fat woman, kissing your beloved in public or eating in public might be on some level brave, since many, many people are giant, rude holes about heavier folk daring to actually sustain themselves or just live their lives as grown folk (see Maura Kelly and all of her small-minded, sad predecessors) in a public sphere. I get that.

    But the whole thing of ‘wearing color! And JEWELS!’ – do you really feel that the world at large is telling fat women to wear neutrals? To not decorate themselves? I don’t see or hear that, ever.

    I think what I’m trying to get at, however inelegantly, is that it seems that this post starts with something that should be off the page because it’s just self-evident. Why isn’t “be yourself, whatever that is” a given? When you start with ‘bless your heart, evil world, I will wear Giles & Brother and Versace and rings the size of snails and colors brighter than the sun and bite my sizable ass if you don’t like it!!!’ it just comes off as so damned defensive, that it erodes what I assume is the underlying message of ‘because I’m me.’ It lacks humor and perspective and grace, for me. I know many if not most readers would disagree with me, and I’m cool with that.

  4. TropicalChrome October 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Camo, I’m not Twistie, but I did want to address one portion of your comment, that of “do you really feel that the world at large is telling fat women to wear neutrals? To not decorate themselves?”

    Yes, especially now that I’m a woman of “a certain age”. All the fashion advice – hell, 90% of the fashion – conveys the message to “shut up and wear beige”. Or “black is slimming”. Or “do you really want to call THAT kind of attention to yourself/your problem areas?” Etc.

    It is an act of defiance to just be yourself, sartorially speaking. I agree with you that it should be a given, it shouldn’t have to be said. But we’re not at that point yet.

  5. Fabrisse November 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Also not Twistie —

    A few years ago, Ann Taylor opened her Loft stores for the younger crowd and a few plus size stores for the larger crowd. I was thrilled. I find Ann Taylor style to be eminently wearable and as a, then, size 20, I hated that her clothes ended at 14 or sometimes 12.

    The colors in her regular shops were lovely clear, strong shades. The colors in her Loft stores were electric and acid shades of the same colors. The ones in her stores for the larger woman had all been knocked down or greyed. As someone who looks terrible in grey and less than good in many pastels, I was hurt, but I got the message — big women should fade into the background.

    It shouldn’t be surprising that Ann Taylor no longer has plus sized stores. The powers that be said no one bought the clothes.

  6. txbunny November 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    This. Posting. Was. Great!!!!

    As several other commenters have noted, yes you are expected to fade into the back ground if over a size 12-14 per the retail options available in most stores. I wear color because I look good in color. I have enough chic LBDs to cover any funeral or cocktail occasion for any season. What I search for is fitted daytime dresses in serious color or appropriately scaled prints. I do find them but it takes a good bit of work.

    If I was willing to wear just black, beige, and navy it would be much easier to find but it would not be me.

  7. The Binge Diary November 4, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    Awesome post. Trying to learn to live/think that way!!