by Samantha Jones, Fattitude Guest Blogger
Fanny packs. Bum bags.
Even the words themselves kind of evoke a giggle and a flashback to the nineties. I still remember standing in the video shop with my mom, waiting in line behind a dad with four kids. He wore a black one made out of canvas. It was actually positioned above his butt, and it had key chains hanging off the zipper.
Today, the bum bag has circled back around with a mighty bang, in all its sparkly, studded gloriousity!
None of this plain, boring touristy stuff we’re used to seeing. Rainbow colors, sequins and Aztec patterns are all really in right now! We really are back in 1992 – chokers and all!
But as a thirty year old fat girl with a round tummy, size 20 at 250 pounds, attempting to be hip with the rest of London Town has been an upsetting, frustrating struggle!
I’m not a newbie when it comes to receiving negative attention towards my weight and appearance – I like to wear bright colors, sometimes revealing a little skin if I’m in the mood (chubby legs for the win!), and have long since believed I was part mermaid, what with my long pink locks. A girl can dream, right? I along with so many other big beautiful people have long struggled to find the right thing, in the right size, for the right price.
My search for the perfect bag hit the fat-phobic society roadblock when it quickly became clear that they mostly only come in one size. “One size fits all”, “Free size”, “Extends to fit good size”.
These are just some of the labels I came across when trying to figure out how many inches the straps, belts, and ropes came in. Click after click, page after page, I felt myself getting more angry. What are you saying? Good size? One size? We’re not all the same, how do you not see that? By advertising in such a way, the people who influence how we define our outward personalities are telling us that we should all be the same. And if we’re not? No pretty things for you! It’s like they are saying: it doesn’t matter, because you’re on the fringes, you’re a minority.
Well, let me tell you something, we are not a minority, not even close! We deserve to look kick-ass with our stripes and our prints, our culottes and our bum bags.
By not providing such products past forty inches, you’re cutting us out. You’re saying, without actually saying it, that we don’t count, that our money isn’t even wanted. I have always been so dumbfounded as to why every piece of clothing – every belt, every fanny pack – can’t just continue to go up in size. Why do they stop at a size 12 or a size 24? Do people bigger than that not need these things? Hey, I’ve wanted that bum bag since I was fifteen, waiting in line to get into a Blink 182 concert, being told my backpack was too big and I had to leave it in the dingy coat check.
On the path to finding accessories that we can use to express ourselves in an already oppressive world, excluding us from these awesome finds only makes us feel more unworthy and invisible.
I have spent hours, across a number of days really trying to find something fabulous that would fit, and I came up empty handed. I left upset and maddened to the point of tears, wondering why the world is so cold, and why manufacturers plainly shun some of their prospective customers – as society looks on, not giving a shit about us either. It’s a lonely feeling.
Alas, I know I’m not alone; I have you, you have us. And together, we have places like this – proud communities to stand tall in, so we can step up to the platform and say look, this is me, and I demand to be included! We demand to be seen for the amazingly beautiful beings we are, not the inconvenient leftovers we are often made to feel like, especially when we’re kicked out of the party for wearing last year’s dress because this year’s dress only fits up to a size 14.
Maybe we don’t need that bum bag after all. Maybe what we have already is just as shiny and cute, but it would be nice, just once, to be able to say that we were actually given the choice.
*This blog post is the opinion of a particular guest blogger – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc.