The Land of Black-and-White

I'm glad that in the twenty years since I wrote this things have changed appreciably.

Since you're reading this, I'll assume you have read at least one article where some learned person expounds on why men like to dress in skirts and such. You'll find reasons like "freeing the inner self", "expressing our femininity in a hostile world" or even " it just feels good." Somewhere in the list of the good things in being a TV will inevitably come a comment to the effect of "being able to wear a rainbow of colors instead of a gray flannel suit."

Ah, right, can't forget that. Why just walk into the ladies department at any major store and you will be surrounded by reds and blues and other less identifiable colors whose names are only known to fashion designers. Can you honestly say you can call a color to mind when someone tells you something is a lovely shade of teal? Teal? Fuchsia? Where do these names come from? It's got to be the same people who come up with the names pharmaceutical companies use for their latest drug. But anyway, there you are surrounded by soft cloth and multitudinous colors and you HAVE to buy something, anything, to satisfy that insatiable urge to own just one more blouse, or skirt or sweater...

Gleefully grabbing the first thing in reach you fall in love with it. But, oh my, it's too small. No matter, the plus sizes are just over there. You troll through a sea of color, leaving pinks and purples bobbing in your wake, sailing (or maybe sale-ing) on to new and brighter outfits. But wait, everything is going dark. What's happened? Suddenly you're back in Kansas, everything has gone black and white. The rainbow hues and patterns have drained away, leaving colorless stripes and polkadots. If you're lucky you will find a large floral print in a dull silver on flat black. You're in The Land of the Large Woman.

It's a conspiracy, that's what it is. Somewhere in the tastefully decorated offices of the fashion mavens it has been decided that large people do not wear colorful clothes. Not only do they nick you for an extra few bucks for the Plus Size, but they save a buck by not having to use all that expensive dye in the cloth. After all, when you're a size 24, a tent will do, you're past the decreed bounds of fashion.

So what can you do about it? You can learn to sew and after a few years practice you may get good enough to make something you could wear in public. So you run to the nearest fabric store and again glory in the many colors. Feeling faintly out of place you find the pattern books and start paging through. Shifts, dresses, blouses and skirts galore. There, the perfect dress for next week's meeting, but the size chart stops at 18. No matter, you keep an eye on the size chart as you look and discover anything in your size makes you think of the big top at the circus. And what fool put padded shoulders on a size 4X dress anyway?

Life just ain't fair if you're trying to be a big girl. It's enough to make you want to become a nudist. But that wouldn't work either.

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