Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pretty and Skinny, Synonyms No More

I recently went through an exhausting semiannual ritual — the dreaded closet swap. In our colonial home, storage space is at a premium and anything off-season resides in garment bags under the eaves of our third floor. Twice a year, I empty the closet and wardrobe in the tiny dressing room that separates our bedroom from my teenage daughter's, then refill them with items appropriate for whatever season is looming. Sandals are replaced by boots. Polo shirts are replaced by turtlenecks. Capris and camp shirts by wool pants and jackets.

In theory, anything that is out of style (or simply out of favor), is put into a Hefty bag for the school thrift shop. But, in truth, I keep most things, telling myself that shoulder pads will be in again or that I might wear those size 6 jeans someday. (If I contracted a tape worm, maybe.)

This time, I went into it determined to be ruthless. Lately, I've felt the need to purge, to live a lighter life by shedding some of our accumulated accoutrements, prized possessions, bibelots, objets (oh, admit it already Alex, the word is "crap"). The closet swap was the perfect opportunity to test my new resolve. I vowed that I would look at my fall and winter clothes with a more critical eye than ever before. If there's something I haven't worn lately (like in the past two or three years) or don't absolutely love, it's outta here. Most of all, if there are clothes that are too small, gone. Gone baby gone!

Despite what some might think, keeping "skinny jeans" is not an inspiration. It's more like a condemnation. We have been conditioned to believe that the words "pretty" and "skinny" mean the same thing. Opening the closet and seeing anything that is too small just reminds me of how much I've lost — or, more aptly, how much I've gained. I'm 52; I've had a baby. As Mammy would say:

"You ain't never going to be no eighteen and a half inches again. Never. And there ain't nothing to do about it, Miss Scarlet."

I'm proud to report that I did indeed donate an unusual amount of clothing this year. And, I do feel better when I select what I'm going to wear. Everything in my closet actually fits. (What a concept!) In fact, I don't just feel better, (dare I say it?) I feel pretty.

To celebrate the overdue eviction of my skinny jeans, I'd like to share a current video: Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass."

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I ain't no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I'm supposed to do
'Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

I see the magazine workin' that Photoshop
We know that sh*t ain't real
C'mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise 'em up
'Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."
You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that's what you're into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm
All about that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble

Well done, Meghan! "All About That Bass" is great fun and a great lesson for girls of all sizes and all ages. 

Just hope my daughter and her friends learn it before they're 52.

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