The Bee and I were shopping recently for a dress for a funeral that we were attending and what I thought was going to be a simple trip turned into a lesson for me. As we hit our favorite shop, we had a time limit and a goal: shop quickly for a black dress. Nothing about the trip was quick. There was the teenage drama that comes with having a teen. Add to it the frantic rush of a last-minute shopping trip to pick out an outfit, WHY we were picking out an outfit plus what seems to be the needs of clothing manufacturers to dress my child as some type of Lolita, and our pickings were slim.
At one point I rolled my eyes at one selection, something lacy with straps and way too short for both of our tastes, and confessed that what should have been an easy trip was turning out to be more difficult that I would have imagined. The Bee wears a size 2 so I just assumed that there would be plenty for her to choose from, as sizes 0, 2 and 4 are always mocking me when I am shopping and searching for my 12s and 14s. The Bee replied with an eye roll of her own and told me that she hates shopping sometimes because she has trouble finding her size.
Thinking back on previous shopping trips for clothes, I can remember some of the frustration we would encounter when we were in the store. I chalked it up to her being picky (she is), me being inpatient (I am) and our shopping situations just not being ideal. I never considered that The Bee would have trouble shopping — she’s little, she’s small; she’s a designer’s dream right?
The Bee told me she often has trouble finding things that she likes and fits and gets so frustrated that she will say she doesn’t want to shop.
It surprises me to know this about her. All of this time I was thinking that she had it so easy and that hating shopping was something only *I*, a heavier person, was allowed. After we FINALLY found something we both liked, and left the store I had a chance to ask her about shopping. The Bee shared that she gets frustrated when shopping and it bothers her that she has trouble finding things she likes in her size. She told me that she often has trouble making up her mind about what to get and will often select the same thing in different colors because she knows it will fit.
This shifted my whole perspective. For so long I just knew that the grass was greener and that thinner people had it better. Later that week on Facebook, a friend shared an article called Real Women Don’t Have Curves and my perspective grew some more! For so long I have been worrying about what NOT to say about my large body that I forgot how the pendulum swings to the other side and that there is the smack talk against thin people. There are the nice/nasty remarks about her weight and size and a familiarity people seem to adopt when speaking about one’s weight.
The Bee seems to be in a good place with her size; she is quick to strut through a store, through the house, down the street and tell me how good she looks. The Bee is the queen of selfies and loves little videos featuring herself. I do hope that she can avoid the negative body talk that plagues me today. If she does succumb to it; my hope is that she will continue with the positive attitude she has now and keep on strutting.
Rachée Fagg is a Delaware County, PA mom. This post was adapted from her blog, Say It Rah-shay.