I was re-organizing my closet making room for my four new dresses (see previous post) when I came across this animal print maxi dress I bought last year. It came from Winner’s and the only reason why I bought it was so that I at least owned a maxi dress. I’m short and huge-breasted, maxi dresses aren’t exactly my demographic, but they were/are just so trendy that I felt obligated as a fancy woman of the world to purchase it. I have no idea what parasite was in my brain when I bought it at the time, but I couldn’t have picked a dress that was more NOT my jam: it was animal print, it was orange, it was strapless, it was billowy, it was a goddamn maxi dress. “But Ann, what’s wrong with any of those things?” you ask. Nothing really, but in my own head, this dress managed to highlight every single one of my insecurities and hide what I considered my best features. Let’s break it down.
Orange – Nothing wrong with orange, it’s a great colour. However, if I’m gonna deviate from my standard black-on-black-on-black wardrobe, it’s gonna be with my person power colour trio: neon, red and pink. Also pumpkins are orange, and as a curvy lady, I prefer to stay away from things that would draw comparisons to objects that will likely get me turned into a carriage by a well-meaning fairy godmother.
Strapless – I’m not particularly fond of my arms and the general arm pit area (on everybody), so whenever it’s an option, I tend to want to wear things that have some sort of arm/shoulder covering. However, in an effort to maintain an overall positive body image, I’ve been forcing myself to wear sleeveless shirts and dresses because I figure, the more I see my arms, the more normal and regular they will seem, and voila positive body image. Also summer is hot and you’d have to be a goddamn lunatic to want to wear sleeves during a heatwave. But sleeveless and strapless are two very different things. Strapless dresses means strapless bras and strapless bras means my favourite chest ornaments don’t hang very high on the tree, if you catch my drift. That’s the general law of gravity, yo, AND I CAN’T CHANGE THAT. So I try to minimize how often I wear a strapless bra because I love my girls and I always want them to be in the best possible situation (up) and this dress, being strapless, doesn’t allow for that.
Billowy – Very loose clothing tends to just add bulk to your frame. I also happen to like my overall figure, so to cover that up for the sake of a dress that I constantly trip over, is a bit stupid. So far this dress is stupid.
Maxi Dress – Already went through that. I’m too short for such a long dress. Also maxi dresses tend to favour very tall and lean ladies, which is fine by me. They can have it. I get to wear heels and not look like a skanky giraffe. It’s a trade off.
Animal Print – I don’t know when, where, why, how it came about, but I have this stupid, insane and irrational dislike of animal prints on me. Do I love it on others? Absolutely. It’s so sexy and so brazen and so Peggy Bundy, I love love love it. I actually started typing the reason why I so intensely disliked it, but then I read it and it was just too bizarre and a little too revealing of my own neuroses that I had to delete it. Apparently I do have my limits. Anyway, just know that I don’t like wearing animal prints.
So if you’re keeping track, there doesn’t seem to be a single redeeming feature of this dress. Why the hell did I buy it in the first place, I’ll never know. Maybe I had a brief moment of wanting to try something new and to push my fashion comfort zone. Or maybe I had been walking around in the hot sun too long (it was this). Anyway, I found it in my closet and thought “What a huge waste of money. Fuck it. You’re wearing it.” Now, this wasn’t the first time I attempted to wear this dress. There were a few other occasions when I put on the dress, but then I would chicken out and put something else on, something I was more comfortable in. I decided that since I would be wearing a dress that I felt I couldn’t pull off, I would make the rest of my look outrageously hot. Cue: sexy red lips, a ton of bronzer, huge messy bun, giant earrings and a giant necklace. And in less than 10 minutes, instead of having just a dress, I now had an entire ensemble that was fierce. It goes to show just how much accessories (including makeup) can really rev up an outfit. Then I matched my outfit with this adorable and really boho green straw purse from the homeland and it was the final piece of the puzzle. While I still had my reservations about the dress, it was the entire look that I felt really good about, so I forced myself out of the house before I could change into a different outfit. After all, this is supposed to be the summer of me not giving a fuck (see previous post) so who cares what any one thinks, including myself and not giving a fuck about my own insecurities.
I wore the dress. And I wore the FUCK out of that dress. As soon as I left the house, I immediately just started twerking it because that’s what I’d do if I was wearing something I felt like a babe in. I strutted down the street as if I was wearing a dress that I loved, because my body just took over naturally, and magically, all those doubts that I had went away. Then I realized I let this stupid dress win all those times I didn’t wear it. I let those dumb reasons, my own stupid, invented reasons, as to why this dress would look bad on me root itself into my nail-polish fumed brain and prevent me from going out in public in it. That stupid maxi dress told me I couldn’t wear it as well as someone taller, slimmer, prettier than me, and I stupidly believed it. Well, YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME, MAXI DRESS. I OWN YOU. LITERALLY.
Okay, obviously I’m getting a little carried away here, but my point is, ladies and gentleman, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. You can wear anything your little heart wants as long as you don’t let your silly brain tell you all the reasons why you can’t, because you wear your clothes, your clothing does not wear you. Your brain can list off all of the reasons why you shouldn’t wear this, do that, say this, feel that, but your brain can be an asshole sometimes. How you look in whatever you wear pales in comparison to how you feel in what you wear, because if you allow yourself to feel good, that will transform your entire self. You will walk taller, you will stand straighter, you will look people in the eye because you know you da shit, no matter what scraps of material are on your body. And honestly, there is nothing more eye-catching than a person with confidence.
I forgot that because of a silly dress from Winner’s.
So next time you wanna wear that sheer shirt or revealing dress or short shorts, but your brain says you shouldn’t, tell it to shut the eff up. Unless we can see where your lower butt meets your upper thigh, in that case, listen to your brain because those are no longer shorts at that point, those straight-up be jean panties aka janties. Wear what you want and be kind to yourself because you will always look good if you feel good about yourself. Now, if you need me, I’ll be hanging out at the Tim Horton’s at Spadina and Bloor where there’s a tiny Filipina lady working who thinks that I’m sassy and sexy in my dress.
Also, it doesn’t escape me that writing an entire post about your major body issues is a pretty good way of NOT GIVING A FUCK. Good job, Ann, on NOT GIVING A FUCK.
Double also, how many times am I gonna write about dresses?