07/18/2012 03:23 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Too Fat For Fashion?


Did my controversial title drag you here? Good, it worked. Readers who know me (or click the link to my blog after this -- what shameless self-promotion) may disagree with my labelling myself fat. Also in case it was unclear, I am referring to myself "in fashion" so then the "fat" is, in fact, I.

I have gained some weight and am at my biggest to date in these 22 years, so allow me to voice what I learned from this time and then you can go back to deciphering what to classify my body as right after. Or leave now and continue the fun, I can't tell you what to do!

I've been in school studying the business side of fashion and appear, whenever is convenient, on my own blog in whatever recent (absurd) shoe purchase. Add some internships and writing gigs and yeah, I consider myself "in" fashion. I suppose an Internet connection means most chic ladies with some time on their hands can consider themselves "in" fashion, but I think that's beside the point of my realization.

Most of us can't afford the trends unless it's via H&M or Forever21 and why would anyone bother investing money into pieces that will have us cringing in a few weeks? At this size, the only way I'm participating in any of the new fashions is if I get some serious alterations, mainly in the booty region, and again -- it's just a fad so that's not happening anytime soon.

If you've spent time around those that consider themselves on-trend you've received the "it's okay that you're not wearing the best and brightest and newest in cut-off neon shorts, your long, flowy, oversized black thing you accessorize so well!" Be it in a look or from some chatty airhead with a big mouth, us curvier ladies are dealt such encouraging sympathy more often than I even care to admit. And of course I accessorize well, your shorts are made for bitties who lack real lady bottoms, but that sentiment remains in my head, and I guess now in this post.

The worst part about my struggle with ill-fitting clothes was that I didn't want anyone to think less of me as (get this) a fashionista. Now I freaking hate that word, but what else would one call this frivolous category? Remaining relevant in fashion requires you to know something before someone and get to it first, so if I can't fit into whatever's hot, how will you know that I got there before you? Beyond why I gained weight, or how, or even if it would affect my sex life, I worried about what a niche group of people would think.

It was one night as I cried pathetically in front of my bedroom mirror with a vintage Chanel skirt hanging around my knees -- it had once been too big for me, and now it felt tight -- that I realized what this obsession had done to me. I yelled out to my best friend that we were staying in. Other skirts were too tight, but this was my one and only Chanel skirt, a symbol of my fashionable ways, and now I couldn't flaunt it around. I was still crying, but I was angry that I was crying for that reason, all because it was this designer piece.

There is no question that what led to tears at the mirror started before the extra pounds. Karl Lagerfeld is famously (or infamously) known for writing "Fashion is the healthiest motivation for losing weight" and having been on this side, I must disagree. I am ashamed that my concern with my weight gain was not my health or well-being, but what I could no longer wear nor buy. I have been so consumed by "fashion" at school, in blogging, and almost everywhere I look with the advent of fast fashion that it has gone past being an interest and become something unhealthy.

What would I be doing without this weight, then? Purchasing uncontrollably? Feeling buyer's remorse constantly? Filling my life with more emptiness in order to impress that handful that know and will notice? I would like to be healthy for me, not for a new leather skirt. I want to dress for myself, not based on a stranger's forecasting. I hope to keep this realization with me, so that I may find some peace. I suppose being fat has taught me to let go and let clothes.