"Your pants fit you so well. I wish I could put on a pair of pants and have them fit me that nicely." I was watching my boyfriend go through his pants drawer, literally tens of pairs of pants, which all fit him perfectly in the appropriate places. His pants cuffs falling just below the ankle, his waist band fitting perfectly against his torso. He looked at me like I was crazy. "You have a hard time finding pants that fit you?"
That is the reaction that most men give me when I lament shopping for pants. You see, I was blessed with short legs, a beautifully rounded and full ass and a very narrow waistline. All through high school, looking for women's pants was horrifying. Even seeing a woman's dressing room gave me the willies for years after my teenage life. I could never find any pants that were the correct length that would also be the correct girth. Oh...how I wish I was talking about penises right now... but alas.
So I settled for men's Levis. These gave me the option to choose the girth of my waist AND the length of my inseam. For a very long time, decades, actually, I was a solid 30 x 30. It was the easiest way for me to buy jeans. Otherwise I would just wear sweats. Those were easy too. And comfy. Not super attractive, but hey, ya really can't have everything.
My wasband hated that I wore men's Levi's. He bugged me about it incessantly. One year for my birthday he boldly presented me a pair of women's Levis. I knew when I pulled them out of the paper bag that he wrapped them in that I was in trouble. I tried them on and low and behold...yes! The crotchal area was so tight I thought I might be in danger of spraining my vagina. Thank goodness I only had to put them on once to prove to him how stupid they were. Evidently they even looked uncomfortable.
A bit later on in the day that I expressed my jealousy of my boyfriend's pants utopia, he and I were at REI looking for, of all things, women's pants for our upcoming trip. We picked out about 15 pairs before finally settling on a pair that was a bit too long in the leg, though they were petites. They also had a bit of a gap around the waist, but they fit well around my hips and bodacious ass, so I was happy. But I only found one pair. In REI. Where they sell tons of pants.
This got me to thinking about what my clothes have told me all my life, and what I have done to counter that horrifying message. For most of my adult life, clothes have told me that I am wrong in some way. That some how, nature got it wrong with me. That I am not of the group of people that mass marketing and production can readily serve. For a long time, this ate away at me. This was back when I believed that fitting in was the easiest way to get through life. That I needed bigger boobs and slimmer hips to really be a part of humanity.
Sounds stupid, doesn't it? That you need to look a certain way in order to get along better...the sad truth is, this is actually correct. This is the damnedable misery of this crazy western culture in which we live. So I decided to adopt a whole different attitude. I decided that it was not me who had the problem, but society. I decided that I had been created as a vision of loveliness and perfection, and that any institution which gave me the message that I was in some way wrong, was most likely just after my money and my desperation. This decision freed me, not only from women's jeans, but from a littany of other ridiculous things that never quite suited me:
Not to say that I don't occasionally partake in these (except for the underwire bras and diets) but as a general rule, these things do not play a major role in my life. And you know what? I am still a woman! I still have a vagina, and hips, and breasts and all of the none-physical things that make me such. AND I like myself more, have more confidence, and have friends who love me for who I am. (I also found stretch jeans, which I have to say, have revolutionized my life.)
All of that said, it is not like this was easy. This took years of mental anguish and then, preparation to pull off. The world is constantly sending me messages that tell me that I am not enough, or too much, or not right. It takes cultivating a pretty strong filter in order to take in what feeds me and simultaneously reject the garbage. It takes constant vigilance. It takes focus.
But you know what? It is worth it. Because now, I am not feeding the monster that would consume me. I am not playing into the man's plan to bring me down. Instead, I am sticking it to him.
And to quote a great human, if sticking it to the man is wrong, I don't want to be right.
What do you do to cultivate the filter which feeds you and protects you? How do you stick it to the man? Leave a comment below or email me. I would love to hear about it. After all , there is nothing like a good old fashioned sticking it to the man story.
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