On Sunday I wore a fitted red shirt.
It was strange to wear a garment that touches me. That has a shape that echoes my just beginning to emerge shape. It has seams that emphasize my waist. A lower neckline. It doesn't hang down to my thighs.
The way I fussed and worried and my heart beat fast in terror, you would think I had been forced to squeeze myself into an Herve Leger bandage dress. How strange to be so afraid of a simple piece of clothing. Stupid, really. But understandable, too if I think about it. I have worn nothing but huge, shapeless garments for over a decade. So huge that they were basically tents with sleeves. Tents that covered me, billowed around me (when they were loose enough to billow, that is...) that didn't allow any part of me to be seen.
Tents render me invisible. In a tent I don't draw attention. I am just a huge, shapeless blob. Nothing more than a blot on the landscape. I am not human. I don't feel. I am not worthy of notice. For a while, this realization broke my heart and dimmed my spirit. But in time it became a source of comfort. I was able to hide inside my huge, shapeless tops. I felt as if by so completely covering myself I became inoffensive. I no longer caused people discomfort by forcing them to see me.
Putting on my shaper to help firm my dunlapped a bit, zipping on my jeans and slipping into a figure enhancing blouse shouldn't be a big deal. I mean, millions of women do it every day. But for me it was. A huge deal. It was scary. I endlessly debated with myself whether or not I could go out of the house that way. I kept checking the mirror, doubt causing me to reconsider over and over. Should I? Should I change? Should I dare the outside world in a blouse that emphasizes my just beginning to emerge figure or should I take off my shaper and put my jeans back on and dive, once again back into the comforting invisibility of my big, blue top.
I was so terrified that I actually asked William over and over if I looked okay. If I wasn't hideous. If I didn't look disgusting. He assured me that I looked very nice. He was surprisingly patient with my hysterics. With my freaking out. It took some time but I finally began to calm down. And I finally decided to stay as I was and brave the world.
And I was okay. I was very self conscious for a while but as time went by, as people treated me normally, as mothers didn't grab their children and hide them behind their backs, as dogs didn't howl at my approach, as the sun didn't darken in the midday sky, I realized that it was really all okay. As the day went on I got more comfortable. I actually began to enjoy looking a little bit nicer than I have in so very long. And I was actually a little reluctant to change out of that outfit when I got home that day.
I'll be able to do this again. Hell, maybe I will finally have the guts to wear that cute pink top I have had lurking around here for so long. It fits me just fine. I just have to work up the nerve to rock it. Maybe I am a little closer.
It is so strange how much power a simple item of clothing can have over a person. How cloth and thread and buttons can cause so much doubt and fear. Then later, a glimmer of happiness. How it can take you from invisible, shrinking, retiring and silent to emerging. Present. Ready to let the world see you and deal with you.
Take a good look, world. I am no longer content to remain invisible. You will deal with me. You will see me. You don't like what you see? Too. Fucking. Bad. I am human. I am visible. Get over it.