It’s Your Life – and You Can Decorate It As You Like

When I first put this outfit together, I was going to write a post about how lush this yellow jumper is:

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Look at the ruffles on the collar! And the sleeves! ❤

 

I was going to write about how much I love these Monki earrings:

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They’re so fluffy!

And, most importantly, I was going to write about how I finally found a pair of culottes that don’t make me want to throw up. (I mean, I seriously didn’t think it was possible.)

But instead, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the woman who saw me in this outfit last week and made no effort to hide the look of disgust on her face as she looked me up and down, eyes lingering on my tummy.

Throughout my entire life, I have never experienced what it is like to not be the fat girl. In elementary school, a boy named Daniel convinced half my class to call me “Truck” behind my back. I only found out when the girl I called my best friend accidentally let it slip.

When I was thirteen, a girl in my class planned a sleepover, and her mother invited me to join them. When I got there, the girl was clearly surprised to see me, and I can still remember standing awkwardly in the living room trying not to make eye contact with the other guests while she argued in the next room to her mom, “…but she’s fat.”

Five years ago, I was walking home from work when a car load of grown men drove past and yelled at me to stop eating Big Macs.

Two years ago, at a local park as I was finishing the final run of the couch to 5K program I had been steadily working for two months to complete, a middle-aged man on a bicycle rolled up in front of me, forcing me to come to a halt. “You’d be able to run so much faster,” he said, “if you didn’t go home and eat chips and pies and cakes after every run. Stop eating so much and maybe the running will pay off.”

Incidents like these used to shrivel me. I spent my life trying to shrink my body and my presence. If I avoided drawing attention to myself, if I made myself a wallflower, if I lived on the margins, if I pleased everyone and caused no fuss and everyone liked me – maybe no one would notice that my body looks different from theirs. But eventually (a very long eventually…a twenty-five year eventually) I realised that this is the body I have. It can get smaller (and it has), it can get bigger (and it has), but no matter its size at any given moment, it’s mine and I have a right to love it as much as I want. And if the way I choose to love it is by dressing it in an outfit that looks half Victorian school boy / half circus clown, then I have every right to do that whether it flatters my cute, little tummy or not.

Several years ago, if someone had made the same disgusted face as the woman who side-eyed me last week, I would have gone home, taken off that outfit and never worn it again. But now, I have made it a point to wear this same outfit three or four times since. It probably needs washing by now, but I don’t even care because it makes me feel like such a badass when I wear it. (Don’t worry. I promise I’ll wash it – self-love is a constant struggle, but it’s so much easier when you don’t stink.)

(Unless you want to stink. I won’t judge. Seriously – just do what makes you happy.)

 

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Jumper: ASOS (It’s part of the regular range, but it goes up to a size 20!)

Earrings: Monki

Culottes: Forever21 Plus (I bought them instore in the UK, but despite scouring the Internet cannot seem to find a link! Soz!)

Shoes: Doc Martens (again, forever, and always)

12 thoughts on “It’s Your Life – and You Can Decorate It As You Like

  1. Dori I always thought you were fabulous! I always remembered you as someone with that special ability of being yourself in high school, glad to see you still have it! I think you look awesome, and I like the blog!

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  2. Thank you for sharing.

    Talking about unsolicited opinions of strangers, just last year a woman I had JUST met in a hostel ask me ‘who are you trying to impress putting make up on here?’ in a condescending tone in front of other people. I was putting some make up on in the light of the courtyard. She must have thought she was somehow enlightened. How wrong that ‘sister’ was. It immediately bristled me and I said something along the lines of: ‘maybe because it makes me feel more confident’. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t, godDAYUM! I should have added ‘why do you give a flying f***?’

    So i totally agree with the sentiment of this article, let people look, dress and BE themselves. It’s noone’s beeswax and until people learn that we need to keep picking them up on it.

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  3. You are a beautiful lady and an awesome role model for girls these days. As I have been getting out much more I have noticed that most women now a days are either overweight (including me) or so thin you can see right through them… I have been both…but it has never stopped me from wearing what I want. I dress for ME….

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  4. I had no idea these things happened to you. I am shocked that people have the audacity to say such things.

    Dori you’re one of those people who I swear when I met you, I thought ‘wow she’s so stylish and beautiful and chic and original.. the kind of girl I could never be’ – you are seriously inspiring. You’re smart, beautiful, funny, and most of all, you’re one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, you’ve seriously got a heart of gold.

    I think people who say such things are lonely, unhappy, and just plain incapable of human connection. They’re cruel because they’ve been accustomed to it; I have to believe that, or I’ll lose faith in humanity. But then you’ll meet me for coffee and restore it 🙂 love you girl, I’m so proud to call you my friend, and will continue to learn from and appreciate you, your strength, your style and most of all, your big heart 💜

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  5. Dori, your vibrant personality and love of life eclipse all the hateful comments people can make. Remember that people judge others because they aren’t really comfortable in their skins. I love your post. I love your energy. I love your zest for life. I love you. I love that you are OK with yourself! Inspiring post.

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  6. Dori my heart went out to childhood you reading this, and it made me so sad knowing other people who have experienced the same sort of prejudice. I am so glad you got to that place of not letting it ‘shrink’ you and just embracing who you are, because you are an absolute joy! x

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  7. Dori ,as your mom ,I’ve watched you go through a lot of suffering and pain due to other people. I’m very,very proud of the strong,beautiful,classy young woman you’ve become. Even from a little girl you’ve always had a caring heart. The beautiful inside shines through to the outside always. I love you! Keep shining!

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