"Excuse me, where are the PRETTY PLUS jeans?" my mom asked the Sears salesperson, a little too loudly.
Hanging my 12-year-old head, I followed sheepishly behind my mom as she pushed through racks of clothes to the back of the girls clothing department.
Pretty Plus Jeans. Jeans for the young girl who is pretty... AND A LITTLE MORE. She's pretty PLUS she's a little too big for the other jeans. She's pretty PLUS those few extra pounds that force her to shop in the BACK of the clothing department.
That's right, the back of the department. Move to the back, big girl! We are hiding your clothes back there in the corner where nobody else will have to look at them. We didn't want to put them on the aisle because we thought you would be embarrassed carousing through the racks of PRETTY PLUS clothes in front of passers-by.
Woe is me, right? Hell no! Since that slight twinge of embarrassment over 20 years ago, I have realized something. I AM A BIG GIRL. I am 5'10" and I weigh close to 200 lbs. and it ain't just big bones. Maybe big bones are a part of it. There is something in the chemical combination of a short and round Italian woman with a tall, lanky "injun" that naturally creates big bones. But I'm fat too.
Don't be embarrassed. I know the word "fat" makes you uncomfortable and your initial reaction is to say, "No you're not." But please don't do that. Get comfortable with the word and you will be comfortable with me. I'm fat. I know it, you know it, strangers at the mall know it. And, it's ok. Really, it is. I have been fat since I entered the world at over 8 lbs. I was fat the day that Louis Galli made fun of me in Mrs. Krieghauser's 3rd grade class. And I was fat every time a guy rejected me because I wasn't his type. But I want you to get comfortable with it.
"Why?" you ask.
Well, maybe Sears had something with that whole "Pretty Plus" thing... But, if I had a line of clothes, I would call it FAT PLUS. I'm fat PLUS I'm the life of the party. I'm fat PLUS I cook a great meal. I'm fat PLUS I'm a fabulous friend. I'm fat PLUS I have a great job, drive a nice car, live in an adorable apartment. I'm fat PLUS I love children and photography and painting. I'm fat PLUS, I sure can sing.
See, until you get comfortable with the FAT, you can't see all the PLUS.
This is the life of a big girl my friends! Helping people and hoping people get past the fat and see all the PRETTY PLUS.