Wednesday, November 16, 2005

complaining complaining complaining

I feel oh so petty and lame for even writing this post. The fact that I just returned to my apartment it's 1:15am, and I am possessed to write this about this insignificant event (instead of complaining to Emily because she is in class!) is so bothersome. But, it did force me to admit that I am so completely ashamed of so much about my life.

So, "what the fuck happened"?, you may ask. Well, I walk into my apartment and what do I find waiting by my bedroom door? Nothing but a package with a gigantic Lane Bryant sticker staring up at me! Yeah, shouldn't be a big deal. Shouldn't mean anything, and yet it really pissed me off, and yes, embarrassed me.

I mean, my flatmates know I'm fat. They see me everyday. They are well aware that I am not a tinny speck of womanhood. But now they know that I don't buy clothes at "normal" stores. And somehow the worst part is that I didn't even get any clothes this time! I happened to get 3 amazing "plunge" bras which I am currently pretty stoked on. However, I do not need the UPS man, the door man, the front desk man, and my flatmates knowing that I shop at The LB.

I am sort of pissed that they put their sticker on their box. I feel like I ordered kiddie porn and it was delivered with a picture of a naked Dakota Fanning glued to the top. I felt that level of shame and embarrassment for a second.

Does anyone else feel that way? When I shop at The LB stores I will take the clothes out of the shopping bag they give you and stuff them in my purse. I will cut out labels of fat girl clothing stores out of my clothes. I have actually lied about where I bought a pair of pants...

How am I supposed to accept myself or have an inkling of self esteem when my self image can be shattered by a medium size brown box with a blue and white sticker on it?

32 comments:

Eve said...

Whenever I get a bag from LB I always try to hide it from my roommates. My mom saves plastic bags and sometimes when I steal food from her house to bring back to school with me, she grabs an LB bag to store it in and I'm always like "Nevermind, I don't want the food"... not only because I don't want people to see the bag but because I don't want my mom to know that I am embarassed that my roommates will see the bag.

I recently ordered Power 90 and I already really obsessively worried what the box is going to say and if I am going to be the person who brings it in. I don't want my roommates to know I'm exercising... or trying to not be fat anymore.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is a "plunge bra"?

Sam said...

Get a backbone. People can see you and know you're fat, they don't need a store to tell them that. Be fat and proud! Lane Bryant is made for you and you should not hide the fact of where you got your clothes. There are more pressing issues in the world today.

PastaQueen said...

I've never felt shamed about shopping at Lane Bryant, but I do dislike having to go to mall to shop there. I always have to walk past packs of skinny, skanky teenagers in low rise jeans who somewhat intimidate me. Maybe I need to start shopping with a pack of fat girls.

The only time I was embarrassed about a package was when I bought a vibrator online. It came packaged very discreetly though, so I was fairly certain the mailman didn't know what he was handing me when I signed for it. And if he did, he pretended not to, nice man that he was.

floradoragirl said...

I guess there were many many years where I refused to shop at the local "fat girl retail" I defied it for so long, because I felt that I would finally have to admit that Im a big girl.
Last year, I stepped into my local Pennington's Superstore, and I thought it was an awsome experience! Not only did I find clothes that I really liked that fit me great, I didn't have to put up with the nonsense of not finding the right clothes, and the miserable fitting room experiences that probably most of us have had in the past.
I prefer to shop there now, instead of searching in vain for the plus size section in the "regular" store, and being sorely disappointed in the ugly styles, and poor quality (not to mention high prices)
There are so many millions of women who shop in these places, don't be embarrassed. Most likely, your roommates won't care a whit where you shop.
Take care

Laura said...

I hear ya. I have a bit of a complex about fat girl retail sometimes, too. Fortunately LB has had much more fashionable clothes over the past few years so I always get a kick out of it when of my very petite friends or coworkers (or even strangers) wants to know where I got some article of clothing because they want it, too.

M said...

I understand to some extent. Not...quite to that extent. I recently bought a couple of super-cute sweaters at a Torrid in a local mall (most of my shopping is done online) and after the first seconds of self-consciousness, actually got kind of a charge out of carrying their sassy hot-pink bag. I think it's something that instead of blaming on the retailers, we have to recognize as our own stuff. I'd HATE it if fat-lady stores were like, "We will ship in plain brown packaging to disguise all hints of fat-related anything." HATE. I'd think they were making pariahs out of their customers. And they would be. I'm doing my best to get over my self-consciousness and carry my Torrid bag with pride.

mainja said...

nope. never felt like that. never have a problem sporting the fat lady bags at a mall. same principle as baggy clothes in a way. i mean, people looking at me are going to know i'm fat, i wear a 26, no one is going to mistake me for a 10.

the only time i hesitate is when bring lunch to work, when i pull out the penningtons or addition elle (canadian fat lady stores) bag, or the liquor store bag, i tend to put it back in favour of a non-descript grocery bag.

ironically though, i can totally relate to the first commenter who doesn't want anyone to see the exercise program she ordered.

emily pound said...

I know exactly what you mean. I've felt embarrassed and self-conscious walking in a mall with the "fat girls' store" bag in my hand (here in Canada they're Addition-Elle or Penningtons). I'm always thinking that the thin women I pass by see that bag and think snarkily, "Hmpf, she went to the fat girls' store!" Then smirk because they can shop anywhere they want.

I hear ya, girl!

Anonymous said...

I bet your roommates seriously aren't paying any attention to where you are shopping.

Besides, wouldn't it be worse if Lane Bryant treated their clothing like something to be ashamed of? That would be some weird marketing.

Anonymous said...

LB has good stuff, plus.... skinny people dont even know what lane bryant is

Anonymous said...

Actually, skinny people do know what Lane Bryant is. I'm fat and I know what Neiman Marcus is! I think, when ordering online, the box shouldn't have advertising on it. No matter what you're buying. Lindsey obviously likes Lane Bryant or she wouldn't order from them. You don't have to be proud of being fat all the time.

Anonymous said...

I live in Canada so I don't think we have LB. I am a regular size, and I don't notice these things. I didn't even know Pennington's. There's a high chance that your roommates would not know what LB is.
I do know what Addition-Elle is though, but only because I pass by one often. And the name is very suggestive too... As a side note, I don't know why the hell they picked such a bad name. Addition? Because of plus-size, I get it but still, it's like calling it "extra-poundage". Torrid: much better.

Mindy said...

I feel you on that. Although, your roomates probaly don't care at all where you buy your clothes! I think that I was a little uncomfortable with it at first. Esspecially, when my husband would insist on going shopping with me. I'd be dragging my feet through LB trying not to find something that I liked. So that I wouldn't have to try it on and hear my man say, "let me see, baby!" ugggggg!!!!! I've got over it though!!! Now, if I got to go shopping, I just don't care. If the clothes fit, wear 'em!!!

Mete said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I went through that for years. I'd only shop at the mall late at night, and as soon as I got my LB bag, I'd shove it in a Filenes bag or something more generic. I always cut the tags out - if not for the store, than for the size. (Nothing like having your shirt tag hanging out so everyone can read what size you wear.)

But somewhere between 25 and 30, I stopped caring. Now, I carry that bag with pride. If someone asks me where I got something, I say "Lane Bryant". Do they have a problem with that? Too bad. I'm not ashamed of who I am anymore. Besides, as soon as they start selling my size in Abercrombie and the Gap, I'll start shopping there.

What REALLY irks me is when someone who is obviously a size 2/4/6 says, "That's such a nice shirt! Where did you get it?" as if they are actually going to run out and buy it. Come ON. Don't humor me and pretend we're the same size. We all know we don't shop in the same stores.

Ducky said...

I don't feel bad carrying around shopping bags from LB or Avenue but I get a little bit militant (well, maybe more defiant) when I go buy shirts (since I can't fit into the pants) at Old Navy.

I walk around like, "That's right, OLD NAVY, BITCHES!" I figure it'll make them wonder what in the world I bought there. I know the salespeople always seem surprised.

Dolley said...

Mete, you don't have to assume that the 2/4/6 who asks where you got the shirt is humouring you. Maybe she wants to be able to buy a nice shirt for her sister, or her mother, or her cousin, or her friend. I've asked people who were thinner than I, and people who were heavier, where they got the nice whatever they were wearing; and I asked because I wanted to know.

Anonymous said...

I think that a lot of skinny people don't even realize that the stores they shop at don't carry larger sizes. The reason all of those news stories about Torrid were such a big deal was in part, I think, because it was the first time the mainstrea media had acknowleged how hard it is for fat girls to find clothes that are cute and fit them. It's possible that the 2/4/6 girls think your clothes come from department stores or Old Navy or wherever and have no idea the difficulty fat girls have finding clothes in mainstream stores. When I was a skinny teenager, my mom was fat, and it never occurred to me that she shopped in different stores than I did and that's why she never bought anything for herself when she took me shopping. My guess is that they're not being insensitive, they just don't know.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above anon. I shop in regular stores, and I did notice that sizes only up to 11 or 13, but I'm not that big on shopping and I just maybe other stores had bigger sizes. I didn't realize (still don't, I guess) how limited choices heavy people have.
My mom gained weight over the past yrs. and I noticed how she started dressing like crap, but I thought she was just getting older. I still ask her sometimes why she has to wear stuff that looks like recycled draperies, and it still surprizes me when she says that she has a hard time finding (affordable) nice clothes. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Well, being that I weight over 300 pounds...I doubt my shopping bags or return address labels really come as a surprise to anyone!

Though! Up until a couple of years ago I absolutely refused to say anything to my friends when we went out to eat and they asked for a booth. I'd get these massive bruises all over my stomach and spend the entire meal in misery (and panic because I had NO idea how I was going to get out without strangers seeing my difficulty) because I didn't want to point out that I was too fat for the booths.

Being fat is hard. But acknowledging that you're NOT "normal" is even harder.

xo
Heidi

floradoragirl said...

Actually, you ARE normal. It is just the sad experience of shopping that makes us feel like we aren't normal. The average woman is a size 14. That is probably going to change again in the next 10 years to a 16.
There is just so much hype about being thin, that we are made to feel guilty about who we are. I proudly carry my Pennington's bag, and I don't care who sees. I guess when you reach the ripe old age of 37 (my birthday next month, ugh!) you start to concern yourself with other things besides appearance. Your roommates may know that you shop at LB, but most people are self absorbed and rarely see past their own noses. They probably don't care.
Have a lovely weekend!
Jennie

Mete said...

Well, I'm pretty sure the two "2/4/6" people I'm thinking of who ask me where I bought stuff all the time are just being "polite". These are mid-40s/50s women who constantly ask each other where they got something, and then say "I'll have to go look there, they have great stuff!" When I answer Lane Bryant, they stop, and say, overly-brightly, "OH!". So, I doubt they meant to say "Cause I know another big girl, and I want to get her the same thing!!"

They're also the two who complain - to me - how HARD it is to find a size 4 these days! Sometimes, they have to buy a 6 and it just is WAAY TOO BIG!

So yeah. I'm pretty sure you're right, and they have no idea what it's like to shop for plus size clothes.

Don't worry, I don't think they're being mean or anything. I just think they're looking to make conversation. DUMB conversation. No big deal. Life goes on.

Anonymous said...

Hey, come on. If you're sufficiently ashamed of having to shop at a fat clothing store, work on not being fat. At what point is it worth doing something about it vs. complaining?

Regina said...

I'm a thin person and I'm vaguely aware that Lane Bryant is for people who are larger than size 14, but it doesn't seem like a bad thing. In fact, sometimes I go by the Lane Bryant store and wish I could shop there because they usually have very nice things in the window.

Anonymous said...

To my fellow Canadian shoppers out there: Were some of you as shocked as I was this fall when you went to Penningtons and found all sorts of disgusting fur products and fur trim on their coats?? I picked up a rabbit fur scarf and literally dropped it on the ground when I realized what it was.

Being a "Pudgy Purchaser" in a small town, I really don't have many options and I'm so bummed out about having to buy from a store that buys fur from this barbaric industry. If you think I'm making a fuss over nothing, have a look at this video that shows one of the most common sources for cheap fur trim, Chinese fur farms: http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=fur_farm

I've sent a complaint to Penningtons and they've replied, but I doubt that they'll do anything about it. If you agree that they should find other materials for their scarves and trim, please go to their comment page and send a note to them: http://customers.penningtons.com/penningtons.cfm

-PP

EatingAin'tBad said...

I just found this site and am reading the archives so no one will probably read this, but I wanted to post anyway. When I read your post I felt that it was about the struggle we large, strong, smart women have to have positive self esteem. We know that we're worthwhile, loveable and attractive. But at the same time we're members of our society that bombards us every SECOND with the idea that we are NOT attractive, we are NOT worthwhile, we are NOT loveable, and in fact are gross, disgusting, shameful, etc. all because we are fat. So, intellectually, you are an activist who fights for the rights of fat women everywhere. You rock!!! But emotionally, you feel that shame that has been built into you by society (and only by society if you're lucky) and maybe by your family, your "friends" and your co-workers.
The answer? Keep fighting. Be true to yourself. Know that being thin isn't the answer (I got so thin that everyone loved me but then I almost died - anorexia is no one's friend). Fight some more. I think the more you fight for yourself and others, the less shattering things like Lane Bryant bags and boxes will become.

I'm fighting, too. I'll try not to be ashamed if you will.

miss sarah said...

what is lane bryant? we don't have that store here in vancouver.

EatingAin'tBad said...

Lane Bryant is a plus size clothing store (size 14 and up) (and, yeah, I know 14 isn't really plus sized) that carries actually fashionable clothing (gasp!). It has everything from workout clothes to suits to lingerie. If you come to the States, you should definitely visit one.

I'm wondering what's up with the Canadian following on this blog? I'd like to send a big shout out to my Canadian sisters and brothers. I think we have a potential cultural exchange going on here. Too bad it's about how crappily (and I know that's not a word) we all get treated.

Shannon said...

I wandered here randomly, and this is a way old comment, but I just wanted to tell you that I also shop at Lane Bryant and I hate getting LB boxes in the mail, too. I'm a student and I live in the dorms, so I have to sign for my mail and then carry it across the courtyard to my building. I love LB clothes--they fit and they make me look good--but I hate carrying those boxes, because I am suddenly aware of my fat and I don't feel like me anymore.

Marly said...

I'm a size 6/8, (6 in happy stores and 8 in mean stores) and I'm pretty sure that the places where I shop, like AE, Hollister and Wet Seal, carry some plus-sized clothing. Every time I look through the clearance rack there seems to be a bunch of size 14 pants that weren't there before... maybe they take them out at sale time?

Anonymous said...

Sweet, dear Marly,

We're not in "teen" sizes anymore...but that's really cute of you.

Haystacks said...

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