Fashion and Respect is for Skinny B**ches: that’s the lesson I learned in a clothing store last week when sales associate made me cry (dang hormones, y’all know I’m a G). My horrible experience began as soon as I reached the door of the store. So, here’s what happened. I’m at an outdoor mall with my hubby and I decide to split up (something I never do, I’m clingly y’all). Well, I get to the door of the store and I’m struggling to open it. If you’ve ever tried to open a door towards yourself and push a stroller through, you know what I’m talking about.
Here I am struggling with the door and I make direct eye contact with the sales associate behind the counter. Get this–she doesn’t smile, nor does she come over to help me. She just sat behind the counter. The store was empty. Then when I finally got in, she doesn’t say anything to me. Again, that was my clue to leave, but I had committed so much effort to getting in that store, I was gonna look around.
And you know at this point I had something to prove. I had that “overtipping while Black” complex going on. (Black people you know what I’m talking about, when someone treats you like you can’t afford a service so you do the most to spite them. Bank account be damned!)
Okay, well any way, I show myself around this empty store, pick out my little outfits, then see myself to a dressing room.
By this time, another customer walks in. She’s thin and white — (Yes, I’m noting her skin color. I got a post called “why Black people always talk about race” brewing) . Well as you probably can predict the store associate hops on it. She shows her to a dressing room then begins running around telling the new customer cute combos, bringing her shit, and offering her water and what not.
Meanwhile, I’m in the dressing room thirsty and ignored, with an infant, just tying to figure things out.
I’m working on my grace, so I was trying to let them make it.
Now by this time, I’m almost done trying clothes on. My smaller size picks are a little snug, some fit while some don’t. My “middle” size picks were pretty much where I needed to be, I was 6 weeks postpartum so I really don’t know what size I wear. BUT, I had my eye on this pretty little something for a wedding. My last dress to try on and I KNOW it’s not going to fit because the only size in the store was two sizes bigger than what my most comfortable fit was.
Make sure you read that right, it was two sizes too big.
I put the dress on, and I can’t reach to zip it. I then turn the dress around backward and zip it up. It zips.
But can’t maneuver to turn it back around. The dress had some snazzy rubber on the inside that hold the dress in place (because it’s strapless). So I unzip, turn it around, then muster up the courage to step out and ask for help.
This is my conversation with a sales associate:
Me: excuse me, can you help me zip this
Store associate A: oh no I don’t think that fits
Then her and the other associate LAUGH!
Me: well I just zipped it—*gets cut off*
Store associate B: there is a good 2 inch gap
Me: oh okay
*walks back in to dressing room*
Then I heard mumbling and giggles.
I just put my clothes on and rushed out.
To add insult to injury, as I’m struggling with the door and stroller one of them yells “bye” in a very condescending tone.
This was hurtful.
For those of you that don’t know, my youngest child is currently 7 weeks old, my oldest is 3. I wish I could say that my SnapBack has been real, but it hasn’t. I’m actually already annoyed hearing “well you’re breast feeding, those pounds will melt off”, because they probably won’t.
I will need to work hard. Because guess what? I’m already at my pre-pregnancy weight. Yep, 7 weeks postpartum and I’ve hit my pre-pregnancy weight and people aren’t swooning over my “SnapBack”.
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been steadily gaining weight since BEFORE Frost was born. I was the heaviest I had ever been when I got pregnant with him. Then yet again, I was the heaviest I had ever been when I got pregnant with baby Nova.
I’m not proud of it, I’m actually extremely uncomfortable at the size I am now. I’ve committed to working out 5 days a week and I have meal prep prepared by a chef for my lunches and dinners, so please save your unsolicited advice. I don’t want it. What do want is for you to be a decent human being, especially if you’ve never had children or had to lose a significant amount of weight.
Also, losing weight isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the number one priority for ANY new mom. When there is a foreign entity thrust into your home, demanding attention, while seemingly finding joy in the act of torture by sleep deprivation, working out is hardly at the front of your mind. You’re in survival mode.
Granted, every woman and every body is different. I know women who were back to the gym a mere two weeks postpartum. Kudos to them, seriously. That ain’t me and I shouldn’t be shamed for it.
There is a societal message that tells women that we must aspire to obtain skinny bodies over healthy bodies. Search the internet and you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about getting back in shape after baby. Tips and tricks for that 15 minute workout while baby naps. Moms who trade sleep or hygiene for jump squats and power planks.
This message undoubtably added to my postpartum struggle after the birth of my first. When I look back on photos of myself after Frost was born, and I was skinty! But I don’t remember feeling small. I obsessed over what I ate, I was self conscious about my size. I wasn’t happy with myself.
This time around, my goal is happiness. Setting goals and accomplishing them because accomplishing goals makes me feel like a Master Mommy.
To all the women out there that struggle with their weight, baby or not. I stand in solidarity with you. Not to give you fitness advice, but to say you deserve to be happy. Don’t let chasing some unrealistic and arbitrary Snapback get you down. Workout when you and your body are ready, mentally and physically–and not a second before. I won’t judge you.
Oh and to the sales associate who laughed at me, screw you B****–you want my happiness.
P.S: If you’ve ever been body shamed–Drop a comment below and let me know I’m not alone.
P.P.S: Any tips on opening doors with strollers?