Hey All! After discussing this topic with a few of my statuesque friends on the Introductions forum, we decided that the female 3FC members who are big and tall would like to start a little support thread for ourselves. I've looked through the threads for something similar so that I wouldn't be repeating something that's already available. I found one active thread for the big and tall woman, but it's located in the "20 Somethings" sub-forum. I don't know about you, but it has been a while since I've seen my 20's . So, I'm starting this "Sisterhood of the Big and Tall Pants" (my friend Warrior Princess came up with the title--big shout out!!!) here in the Support forum so that ladies of all ages can participate.
You may be asking, "Why do big and tall girls need their own thread?" Well, I'm glad you asked. When you are overweight or obese, you have a many issues that plague you. You guys know them all because those issues drove you to join 3FC. However, when you are overweight or obese and tall, your issues are compounded somewhat. As females, most of us have been taught since childhood to be feminine and dainty. But if you're tall and big, your femininity, womanhood, and attractiveness often comes under siege and can suffer at the hands of people who have decided that you are a target. (Yes, mean people and the media) We statuesque/Rubenesque ladies need a place to commiserate, to vent, to share, to offer support, and even to rant as we go throughout our lives heads and shoulders above the crowd. We need a place to talk about how to find clothing to fit us, especially as our sizes and shapes change. We need a place to discuss the latest jerk who decided that we were just "too much woman" to handle. We need a place to rant about how we had to practically eat our knees because the airplane seating rows are place too closely together. In other words, we just need a place in the world where it's okay to be big and tall.
If you're interested in joining in on the "Sisterhood of the Big and Tall Pants" discussion and support thread, please just jump in and let us know what you're thinking.
I'll leave you with this wonderful stanza from Maya Angelou's "Phenomenal Woman"
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
I totally agree that being big and tall has it's own set of problems ... heck, just being big boned in general is a headache -- even at "normal" weight I'm around a size 10 or 12. I find the whole process of shopping for clothes and shoes literally traumatizing. IF I can find my shoe size in the store it's doubtful if they'll be comfortable (because apparently all shoe manufacturers think if you wear a size 11 you have wide feet) and just forget finding decent shoes on the sales rack at all. Everything looks like castoffs from a drag queen's closet -- a drag queen with no taste.
Oh yeah, and apparently, in addition to having wide feet, all women over a certain size have skinny biceps, narrow shoulders and large breasts ... and I'm just the opposite.
Long story short, as you all know, it is not a one size fits all world, "average sized" people can't relate. Until you've sat in DSW trying on shoe after shoe after shoe trying to find just ONE pair that fits comfortably ... or you've ever bought multiple numbers of the same thing because it happens to fit whether you like what it looks like or not you can't relate. I've pretty much given up and just wear stuff to death, by the time I'm done with it there's nothing left to donate, I simply hate shopping that much. Frankly I just do most of my shopping in the mens department. I tried to buy a nice dress for a party last winter, I ended up shopping online and bought THREE just so I'd wind up with one outfit, good thing, too, because it turned out only one of the dresses DID fit ...
Yes Renew Me. I agree. You know it has to be something mighty powerful to make a woman not enjoy shopping, especially for shoes. Finding only "mufugly" plus size clothing items that are generally too short and "clog-hoppers for shoes" available for large women is a definite and powerful shopping deterrent. I've been adverse to clothes and shoes shopping since I was a pre-teen. Over the past 12 or 13 years, I've basically Internet shopped for clothes and shoes. In this way, I can avoid exhausting, frustrating, and embarrassing myself in the attempt to find the correct size for my height and girth. When I receive my purchases via home delivery, I hold my breath as I try on the articles in the privacy of my own home to see if they actually fit . Sometimes the articles fit, and sometimes they don't. If they do, Hooray!!! If they don't, I'm disappointed, but at least I'm not subjected to finding this out in a store where there's always an audience. I can always return the articles of clothing and exchange them for another size, or I can get them altered. The only drawback to the whole Internet ordering/alteration thing is that it can get overly expensive. My big/tall clothes already cost more than average size clothes cost. When you add on the cost of shipping and the cost of possible alterations into the equation, the purse is going to feel the pressure. At any rate, it's not easy being a big and tall woman.
Renew Me is correct. Even when I lose the weight and get down to a healthy weight for my height and bone structure, fitting into clothes (especially pants, jeans, and shoes) is still a challenge. I think that is one of the reasons behind my weight loss challenge and sometimes (dare I say it) reluctance. Because in the back of my mind and heart, I'm thinking and feeling, "Why should I put myself through all of this change, effort, and discomfort when I'll still be considered "big" even when I'm of normal weight for my height?" Yes, to people who are not large or better yet to people who have not been battling their size for most of their lives, the above statements may seem irrational. However, this is how many big and tall women feel. I'm just honest enough and/or crazy enough to say it aloud to an audience. I'm not saying that it is the right way to think, but it is indeed a reality. I'm just giving the feeling a voice. Quite frankly, now that I'm older and more mature, I have long since relinquished all thoughts or desires of wanting to be model thin or petite. I just want to be healthy and to be my best self. For whom, you may ask? Answer: FOR ME! :-D
I'll catch all of you Phenomenal Ladies later...Have an awesome weekend.
Hyacinth, I love the Brit Coms on PBS. Keeping Up Appearances is one of my favorites. Patricia Routledge plays Hyacinth Bucket (aka Bouquet) to perfection. She's totally nuts! :-) Your choice of avatar has brightened my day.
how about boots? in my head I feel like I have big legs, but I know they're actually pretty damn average for my size - so why is it so hard to find a boot that will zip over my calf? pisses me off every single stinking winter
and don't get me started on dresses for tall girls ... they think my waist is where? all the empire dresses make me feel like I'm pretending to be pregnant - nope, not preggers, just chubby, thanks.
Ooohhh. Women after my own heart! Yes, the joys of being large, big framed, tall, etc. are definitely a mixed bag. I'm in my 60s, so I've just accepted that the likelihood of finding attractive clothing/shoes/accessories/underwear is remote. And I remember when I was in high school (the last time I was at my goal weight) that I still wore a 10 or 12. So, even when I get to goal, I'm not going to be a tiny little thing. Thank heavens that women's feet are getting bigger. My feet hit a size 10 in 6th grade way back in 1960 (yes, I know that the majority of you weren't even born then). Finding shoes that would fit an 11 year old in a size 10 was almost impossible and it took years before it got easier.
Thanks, Gamechanger! She makes me laugh every time I watch her.
Betsy2013: I know how hard it was to find large women's shoe sizes in the 80s, I can only imagine what a nightmare it must've been in the 60s!
My DSW strategy: head straight back to the clearance racks, because clearance is grouped by size, and regular shoes are grouped by style. Way easier to find the 11Ws!
I've heard that drag queens in the UK dress a lot less trashy than the US drag queens. Does anybody know a transgender or drag queen in the UK who can give us some online shopping sites? LOL. Speaking of drag queens, whenever I donate shoes to the Goodwill, I always imagine I am going to make some man's day!
Big calves: Don't get me started. My mom says I have nice, eastern-European calves, lol. I did learn that a good leather boot can be brought in to have the calves stretched, but I haven't done it yet.
How about "there's no such thing as big bones?" I am 5'11" and have never been a willowy supermodel. I almost always have to buy men's gloves, even when I am in a normal height-weight range. For contrast, I have a friend who is 6'0" and has a bone structure like Olive Oyl.
Getting rings, bracelets, or socks is always an awkward gift, as they almost never fit.
In some ways, it was easier to be a fat person, because fat is more common than overly tall and seemed to mask the tallness a bit. As I lose weight, I have to get at peace with the fact that my core size doesn't change and I'm still going to be "a solid girl" when I weigh 170. My features are becoming more angular, and I feel more masculine. Also, as your face thins it seems your nose, eyes, and mouth look bigger. Kinda weird.
It's been a minute since I last posted. I've been battling a cold/flu. I think stress is compromising my immune system to be perfectly honest. But anyway...
Yes, I can identify with everything that has been written on this thread especially in the matter of boots and jewelry. I don't wear either of them. I don't wear boots because of the calf issue, and I don't wear rings or bracelets because of the size issue. As for earrings, I stop wearing them because the pierced kind infect my earlobes and the clip-on type give me bad headaches. I'm a big sturdy looking lady, but my body is more sensitive and highly-strung than an 80 pound weakling. (I inherited this from my mother's side of the family. I think her family tree must be riddled with mutants.)
Here in Houston summer has appeared in all of its scorching glory. Once again, I'm experiencing another fat summer. I hate summertime. Everyone's wearing shorts and tank tops and cute strappy sandals. In other words, they're wearing the type of clothes that I dare not wear. Because I'm almost totally covered, the summer just becomes a type of sweltering oven of misery for me. This just feeds my desire to stay inside (in cooler temperatures and out of public viewing). I would like to experience a fun summer at a normal weight (I'm tall so I know that I won't be normal size). I would like to be one of those people wearing shorts and a tank top without being self-conscious or shamefaced. This is one of my weight-loss goals: a fun, active and self-confident summer.
Hey all of you gorgeous goddesses!!! I hope everyone is getting along great. I'm doing okay. However, something just happened recently (yesterday) that begs me to pose a question to you and pick your collective brains. As a big and tall female I've experienced problems with this particular issue before, but it has just been recently that I've begun to recognize the behavior immediately and to address the issue head on so that I don't suffer any repercussions because of it. Ever so often people (especially women) project their feelings onto me and want me to take ownership of them and want others to believe that those feelings and opinions are authentically mine. I find this not just annoying but also dangerous especially in the workplace. I've also learned that people in management positions are much more likely to believe that a big/tall woman would harbor aggressive or belligerent emotions and tendencies more so than a regular-sized or petite woman. So when someone projects their negative emotions onto a big/tall woman and then involves co-worker, etc. by spreading the word that the big/tall woman is upset about something (and it's not even true), people tend to believe the message and begin treating the big/tall woman differently. Has this happened to any of you? If so, how did you handle it?
My Example: Yesterday, I was teaching a class at a community center. I've been teaching this class since February, and the schedule never varies. A new group came in, a cheerleading squad. The group's manager was clearly upset that I was present with my three students. She felt that we were in the way (we weren't but oh well). I even moved my students to a small corner of the room to make sure we weren't in the way. This was not satisfactory for her. She wanted the entire room for just her group. I never said anything to her except to identify myself when she rudely asked me for my name and my purpose for being there. She took off to find the manager of the facility. Of course, she told him that I was not happy that the space had been double booked. She even confronted me in front of an audience of parents and apologized for the amount of noise her classes had made. Now ladies, no complaint had passed my lips to anyone. As far as I was concern, I didn't care who I shared the space with because I share the space with different groups on a daily basis. Clearly, this woman was upset about having to share the space, but her passive-aggressive way of dealing with this was to project her feelings of displeasure, frustration, and annoyance onto me. I hate this when it happens because it means that I have to spend precious time going behind the perpetrator and speak with "management" after she's spoken with them in order to divulge the truth. I have to be proactive about the situation because I've learn that left to their own devices "management" will believe the negative report about you and will nurse a grudge instead of coming to you for clarification. This is especially true if you are big and tall and the person who is reporting on you is not. To everyone you seem way more menacing, so it is easier for them to believe that you are the problem.
Well ladies, thanks for allowing me to get this off my chest. If any of you have had any experiences like this, let us know. Also, how did you handle it, and what was the outcome?
I hate to perpetuate stereotypes, but the fact that she is an aged cheerleader and teaching a cheerleading class leads me to believe that part of the problem is her own entitlement. At any rate, her behavior sounds a little passive aggressive.
I'd simply smile, be as sweet as pie, and tell the manager you never complained, with a puzzled look on your face. And then explain that you even took your small group into a corner, as to not impose on the others needing the space.
I've definitely gotten some projection like this, but it usually has to do with responsibility or stability. More of the "let's trust the big strong girl" sort.
LOL!!!! "AGED CHEERLEADER" :-D You crack me up! Yes, I think she did suffer from a false sense of entitlement. You're right. I cleared up everything with the manager, but I just resent the fact that I must go on "clean-up" duty in order to quell potential problems and drama.
Oh yes, I can definitely identify with the "leave the big girl holding the bag" syndrome. Unfortunately, in some cases, being smart, trustworthy, responsible, mature, capable, and big is not advantageous. This type of situation makes me avoid group projects like the plague.
I know I'm big boned, and my chiropractor confirmed it, so I've got a professional certifying it! I never bother shopping for gloves in the women's department, even if they fit my hands the fingers are like an inch too short. Men's isotoners work nicely.
And talking big bones, anybody remember the big shoulder look of the 80s? With my shoulders if I didn't cut the shoulder pads out it looked like I was walking around in a permanent hunch. I wanted to try to use the shoulder pads as bra fillers but they overflowed my cups