Since the fear went away, I’ve gotten so much better

Published February 1, 2016 by The Merida Review

Although I am and always have been immensely interested in fashion, you can’t tell it by looking at me. I am not the right shape for it. I don’t know what shape I am, all I know is that clothes look horrible on me, so I go for comfortable. I am short, shortwaisted, have a tendency to look dumpy, I never stay the same size. I am either gaining weight or starving myself. No in-betweens.

(People have tried to tell me that there is a natural set point that your body is trying to get to, that if you stop trying to manipulate it, it will find that weight and stay there, but I don’t know what that weight would be. I’ve let it go till it got alarmingly out of hand. I can only assume that the weight my body would get me to if I let it is about 700 pounds, that I would be one of those people who they have to knock down the walls to get me out of my house, pry my broken sofa off my gargantuan rear end, etc. Yes, I am one of those people who can tell the calories in something without looking it up, I have dieted so often.)

I wear whatever is most comfortable. I have a closet full of things that look good (er, better) on me but are just hell to wear. It is rare that an item actually fits me comfortably. Or there are things that fit me after the last diet, but only for a couple months, and might fit me again sometime…or things that might look good on someone else, but look schlumpy on me.

I have always aspired to sew, thought that the answer to my fashion problems were in making things for myself and ignoring what was happening out there in the land of Trend. But patterns don’t fit me, unless they are shapeless muu-muuey type things. I’ve read books on how to fit, watched videos, bought books on making your own patterns based on your measurements. I don’t seem to be smart enough to figure things out. I’ve watched How Do I Look? And What Not to Wear until I’m blue in the face. (Oh man, it’s been ages since How Do I Look was on. I loved that show!)

And to top things off, here I am in a business that demands not only skinny, but wraith-thin. And if you’re female, they also want you young and sexy and seductressy. Because no one will apparently take your music seriously if you’re not. I’m not ugly. I’m not horrible looking. But I’m also not anyone’s idea of the ideal female.

I know these things for a fact because I’ve been putting together a video for one of our old songs with a bunch of old band photos. One friend walked through the room while I was working on it, and I told her that we could be called the band with no fashion sense. You have to wonder what a stylist would have done with us. Though it’s kinda scary, too.

Because we were who we were and we weren’t sucked into the industry, just kept battling it from the outside (we tried! we tried to get sucked in! as hard as we could!), we ended up making some damned fine music that I’m sure we never would’ve been allowed to make if we’d been signed. I hear horror stories from bands that were a level above us, signed but for some reason didn’t “make” it. Contractually obligated to make records that were never released. Control taken away. Yeah. We came close early in our career, but our van broke down on a crucial night. I’m just not sure what the industry would have done with us.

There would have been no Family Tree. There would have been no Queer. I am really proud of those albums. I am proud to have been a part of them. There might have been something, I suppose, but it wouldn’t have been those particular albums, and I’m not sure what it would have been.

I mean, yeah, I wish more people would have listened to what we were doing. I wish we could’ve sold enough to support ourselves. In the beginning, that’s all you think about. Making it. After awhile, though, the music takes over. You get so into it, you don’t care what anybody thinks.

But I digress. I was talking about fashion. Body shape. Image. Respect that people give you or don’t give you because of things you can’t control. Honest! I can’t help it I’m shortwaisted and nothing ever looks right on me! Or that I’m shaped like a pear and an apple all in one. I was born this way, people.

I used to think I sucked at sewing, because things I made didn’t look good on me. I’ve recently discovered that I am actually pretty good at sewing. The problem was the way I was shaped.

Lately I’ve been buying things from Goodwill and hemming them up, taking them in, whacking them up. You have no fear with something you spent a buck on. So what if it all goes wrong? I have had a few wild successes. Woo hoo. Have no idea how to take what I’ve learned and apply it to traditional sewing, though. At least I’m having fun at it. This is one part of being broke that I’m really getting into!

Since the fear went away, I’ve gotten so much better.

Since the fear went away, I’ve gotten so much better.

Seems like there should be a lesson here somewhere.

Since the fear went away, I’ve gotten so much better.

Man, that should be my mantra from now on. I like it!

Since the fear went away. Life without fear. Oh yeah.


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