I wish there was a way to tell you this without sounding like I’m just picking on myself (which I normally do endlessly and without shame, so that right there should tell you something), but I have gigantic arms. Yes, I am a fat woman, but they are disproportionately large, even so. I’ve tried to imagine why this could be, and how surely there must be some kind of evolutionary benefit, but nothing beyond the ability to naturally hang glide comes to mind, and I haven’t thrown myself off a cliff. Just yet. This year I decided once and for all to try and love my body and accept the love that my partner has for it, but nearly 30 years of deep shame is hard to erase permanently, and the temporary relief that hard drinking brings is not without it’s own consequences.
Around 6 years ago, I lost a lot of weight (over 50 pounds), and I learned a few things. The first is that, sadly, it’s true, most people are way nicer to you when you lose weight. The second is that being thinner didn’t make me feel much better about myself, at least outside of the dressing room. The third thing I learned is that no matter how much weight I lost, my arms refused to join the party. Of course, now that I’ve gained back all that weight and then some, my arms are participating with glee, growing to proportions that ensure I will never comfortably wear such seasonal trends as tailored blazers or sleeveless shirts.
Well, when it comes to sleeveless shirts I’ve been giving it my all to get over this fear. I mean, everything in my feminist, fat-positive soul tells me I should be flaunting my voluminous limbs for all to see, but again, changing one’s lifelong feelings about themselves is no easy feat. I randomly had this idea that fully growing out my armpit hair would help me feel more liberated, but it’s not working and sort of itches. Now I’m too lazy to shave it because I know I’ll have to pre trim or risk busting my razor. Serious backfire.
On a backfiring side note: This Christmas I asked for a bunch of Jockey granny panties as part of my “No Ill-fitting Clothing or Shoes Campaign 2011″ [working title]. This was another total failure because it turns out that, while offering unsurpassed ass coverage, those underpants have these little side seams on the waist that dig into my flesh. Back to wearing thongs, I guess. I’ve always found them more comfortable, but I switched because I wanted to wear all cotton, plus I didn’t feel awesome about being THAT LADY in line at Target buying the 2XL thong three pack.
Anyway, usually with sleeveless things I wear a tiny black bolero of some kind and often I have to giggle/panic about how that looks. It’s not like it’s a fucking arm invisibility cloak. It’s two giant arm hams wrapped nice and tightly in black polyester! The thing is, I know the best and most fashion-forward look would be to get the fuck over it and realize that nobody gives a shit about my huge (I mean, seriously, enormous) arms. And anyone who does, including me, is kind of being an asshole.