Yes, I Know It’s a Wedding. Yes, I Know We Are In a Church. Yes, I Know I am Dressed Like a Hooker.
In the last few days, a certain photo of a women pumping gas showed up on my Facebook news-feed. Not once, not twice, but several times. Most of the comments were not nice. Here is the picture:
I immediately felt bad for the girl, because it brought back some memories of myself facing ridicule for what I wear. So the focus of this post will be to think before you judge. Now, if you shared this picture, and made fun of this girl, I am not judging you or blaming you. In fact, a few years ago I would have thought, “Man, girl, where are the sweatpants that go with that hoodie?” But now, I am just like that girl in the picture. And I want to share with you my experiences so maybe we can start giving people the benefit of the doubt before we make fun of them.
A few months ago I quickly popped out of my back door to tell my son and step-daughter it was time to come in for dinner. Before I even got the words out, my neighbor yelled to me, “Kerrie, why are your shorts so short!?” She yelled this in front of several kids and I was pretty embarrassed. Now, this came from a women who knows all about what’s going on up in my body; she has even been kind enough to drive me to the ER or watch my kids while I drove myself to the ER. So if she is saying this to me, how can I blame other people for wondering why I’m wearing such a tight dress at a bridal shower, or for staring at me as I walk into a funeral because my shirt is a little too low cut and my skirt is too short.
As you have probably figured out, I dress the way I do because of the way my skin feels. Anything rubbing or moving on my skin either hurts or drives me crazy the way nails on a chalk board would drive you crazy. So, my ideal outfit would be a tight fitting, soft tank top and yoga Capri pants. However, in the summer, yoga pants are too hot so I have to wear shorts or skirts. Shorts are usually not soft, so if I wear them they have to be high enough not to hit a very painful spot on my right thigh; same with the skirts. Unfortunately, I have not found tight tank tops or soft, tight shirts that are not low cut, so my chest is exposed more than is appropriate for some occasions. (if you find some, please let me know!)
Most days, as I’ve said before, I don’t care what I wear. But sometimes, I do, and sometimes I feel extremely self conscious. I feel self conscious when I wear the same two outfits to every work event I attend because they are the only ones I can stand, I feel self conscious when I am at a wedding and I know I look inappropriate, I feel self conscious when I am out with a bunch of women, some of whom I don’t know, and I think I feel them staring at me. But what other choice do I have? My other choice would be to stay home, all the time, locked in my house, refusing to give myself and my sons the life we deserve. So, I chose to face the stares (that may or may not be in my head).
Now I am going to share a couple of unflattering pictures of myself; pictures of a tight shirt too soon after I gave birth, and pictures of short skirts and short shorts. But I want you to notice something in these pictures. Notice that I am happy.
Can we agree, now, that we need to give the lady at the gas pump a break? We really need to start giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Don’t judge the lady wearing her pajamas at Walmart, because maybe she is on the way home from the hospital after being called to see a loved one in the middle of the night. Don’t judge the lady at the mall with her belly hanging out of her shirt because maybe she just gave birth and doesn’t have the money to buy “in between clothes”. Don’t judge the guy at work that wears the three same shirts every week because maybe is spending money on medical bills for his sick son. And don’t judge the lady in a low cut top bending over at the children’s museum because maybe that’s the only way she will be able to get out of the house to spend time with her son.
If you have an similar experiences, please share!