When I was a Junior in high school I transferred schools. I was starting a new school without the safety net that everyone else was in the same boat as me. Everyone else had known each other for two years and I was coming to the party late. I decided this school year I had to be different, since there were no boys to flirt with and no gay guys to accept me as I am, I was going to have to make friends the hard way: joining stuff.
The dance team, Mystic Moves, as they were called, performed at a pep rally early in the year before tryouts for the team. Sure, I was bigger than all the other girls on the team but I knew that I had the moves like Jagger and could probably make it. So I tried out. I marked it to learn it and then put on a performance when it was my turn. I was on the Dance Team for my two final years of High School; I was one of the Popular Girls!
During Senior Year, we had one of those team building exercises where we had to talk about our first impressions of each other. Turns out they pitied me when I first signed up for tryouts. “Oh look, it’s the typical fat girl that wants to dance.” said my now friend. “But GIRL once you started we were like, ‘OK!'” You see I have never had issues with self image, mostly because I never envisioned myself as fat. I knew exactly how much I weighed and was fully aware that my age was half my waist measurements. But I didn’t care. It didn’t define me!
It was also during my senior year that we got a new coach. This coach decided that she wanted us to wear Cheerleader uniforms. We, the team, rebelled against the idea and felt that we should have the pants and sparkly tops like the Luvabulls and the college dance teams. She decided that we would have full pleated skirts like the old school cheerleaders, not even the a-line skirt like in Bring It On! The time came to order these outfits, the company sent over some samples so that we could try them on and get a feel for it before we order.
One of my closest friends on the team was Dominque. We were complete opposites. I was dark and fat she was light and skinny as a rail! So when she put on the cheerleader skirt it reached her knees, what with having nothing to block it. She felt so uncomfortable in the short skirt and was afraid to move in it for fear of what would show. Then I put on the skirt! With all of my hips and ass, the skirt covered about as much as a swim suit! Maybe an inch below Susie! I came flouncing in making sure that the skirt kicked up every breeze I could. I practiced a dance in the skirt making sure that ALL of my assets showed so that they would get an idea of what it was going to look like when I performed in this ensemble. They ordered the outfit anyway. Secure in my self image, I took that as a challenge.
There were two other bigger girls on the team. One, a little bigger than me, had her mother make her a skirt that would cover all of her assets; the other wore biker shorts instead of the spanks to hide her modesty. I wore the uniform as the coach and company provided. The Dean, whom I was close to, asked me why not get a bigger skirt. I told her, “No. This is the uniform that the coach decided would best represent the TEAM. Luckily I am secure enough in my self image that I can wear it.” The sewing teacher then offered to make me my own uniform, for free, and I told her the same thing. Both of these women were also Thicker than Snickers and understood the statement that I was trying to make. I wasn’t going to hide or shy away from a challenge!
You want to know what the hardest part of working at Disney was? It was not looking happy even when you have only had 8 hours of sleep in the last 8 days and there is a screaming 8 year old next to you. It was not maintaining composure while someone yells at you for something that is completely out of your control and above your pay grade. It was also not smiling like an idiot when you are working on Christmas morning and the kids are upset that Santa didn’t bring them the right toy, when all you wanted from Santa was your Mommie! The hardest thing about working at Disney was being fat in the summer. Not so much because your body attracts more heat, or at least it feels like it, but because there are so many women with, so many different body shapes, coming from so many different countries that if you are not secure in your Cheetos Infatuation and self image you could become very depressed.
From the months of March to June there are tour groups by the 100s that come to the parks, predominantly from Brazil. I’m sure you have heard about the Brazilian Booty; well Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts are full of them! The summer I worked at the water parks, the only reason I didn’t go home and cry every night for body envy was because I was one with my Squat Regime! To have to stand there in that God awful costume, that does nothing for the figure, is usually either too big or too small, and hides all signs of femininity (depending on where you are deployed) and watch all these beautiful women with their spandex pants and their “Cootie Cutter Shorts”, as my Hama used to call them, I would swing from disgust to a pure jealous rage! I mean honestly! All of these women look like Sofia Vergara and their men look like Antonio Banderas and you just stand there trying not to be obviously staring at her butt thinking to yourself, “I will never look like that in Spandex”!
There is however the flip side. The women who dress like the Brazilians but don’t have the body of the Brazilians. Typically English, these women are comfortable letting their droopy cheeks hang from beneath shorts that were made for a five year old or they let their bellies protrude under shirts that are just a little short. I look at these women the same way, with a twinge of disgust and a pure jealous rage. True, I don’t want to see your Kirstie Alley Booty hanging from your daughter’s shorts, but I am also jealous of the fact that you were comfortable to leave the privacy of your hotel dressed like that! Clearly you have won the battle with your self image.
The moral of the story is: every woman should feel comfortable enough in her skin to dress how she wants. If I have a booty so big that if I was a waitress I could use it to hold plates, I should be able to wear spandex pants that are stretched to the point of sheerness. I should be able to let my protruding belly hang over my jeans and under my two size too small t-shirt and be proud! But I can’t. I personally can’t walk around feeling a breeze on my booty cheeks, Brazilian or no. I have worked very hard to insure that my belly is never further than my boobs (unless I will soon be giving birth), however in the event that my shirt rides up a little in the front I suck it ALL THE WAY IN so that it looks like I might have a flat tummy.
Now that I think about it…I don’t want the body of a Brazilian woman, I want the gall of an English woman!