When I arrived at my dad’s for the holiday, my twin sister, Alicia, waited with a surprise. As her way of supporting me while I recover from my binge eating disorder, she went on a shopping spree to celebrate my changing body.
“Come with me!” She said. I was drug through the halls, my suitcase abandoned at the front door in her excitement. Once in the guest room, Alicia unzipped her luggage and began rifling through bags upon bags of new clothes. I was, of course, thrilled and beyond grateful. At least, until she busted out the leather pants. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them, but I feared my body wouldn’t.
Oh, boy. Is leather still fashionable outside of Fire Island?
“If we go out later, you should wear these!” she insisted. “Try them on, they’re designer.”
“No, no, I’m good, thank you,” I said. “I’ll put on anything else. Just not those, not yet.”
The last time I was this close to owning a pair was when my mom caught me stealing hers as a lithe teen. Now, at 31, my entire size 14 self quivered at the thought of pouring into them.
“Leather doesn’t stretch and these cheeks need a lot of forgiveness, Alicia.”
“Eh…” she sniffed.
“Come on, Gil,” I begged. “Don’t make me.” Alas, not even the use of a lifelong nickname could make her thaw on the matter.
“Get some Spanx if you’re worried,” she replied. “But you have to wear them at some point!”
The pants find a way to be worn
I avoided The Devil’s Dress Pants until I arrived home two days ago. Part of me believes they’re a sentient being, like the pair from the Ya Ya Sisterhood, but possessed. They knew where to be when I woke up late for work and scrambled to get ready. I discovered my sloth bit me in the ass, as usual. All the other pairs I owned sat rumpled in my suitcase in need of a wash.
Oh, come on. Why do I have to be such a slob?
Lucky for me, leather doesn’t crease or crinkle. If I didn’t want to be tardy, I had no other choice. They were going on my body, and my body was going out into the world.
A pleasant surprise
I mean, let’s be real. Even with my thick thighs and no waist, the lumps and bumps, I was selling my uniform, honey. The binge eating disorder took over most of my twenties. I spent them inside 20’s inside a 235+ (I say plus because I stopped checking the scale after that) pound prison. I’ve earned the right to peddle my goods. Would anyone else buy them, though? And, more importantly, would I care if they didn’t?
A tainted mindset cannot be rebooted with ease. It’s going to take time to let go. For so long, people shared their thoughts about my body whenever they pleased. It’s as if, with each pound gained, fat people sell their rights to privacy.
All we want, like anyone else, is peace and equality.
The pants go public
As I left for work, I prepared for the comments about my bold choice in legwear. I’d get a “good for you!” and a pat on the back for how brave I was to parade around in them.
Instead, when I strolled in and peeled off my winter jacket, I received radio silence. Both of my coworkers didn’t even glance up from their heated game of Phase 10.
“Oh, hey Evie.”
This is weird. Are they trying to be polite because the pants are awful?
Mischief was afoot, so I began sleuthing. Yes, I admit it, I fished. Like an anxious Captain Ahab, I went searching for that white whale of truth.
“Boy…”I said. My good friend and co-worker, Mary, lifted her head as I sidled up beside her. “You’d think I’d be smart enough not to wear leather after Thanksgiving.”
I gave my love handles a pinch, which she dismissed with a shrug. “What’s the issue?” She asked. “You look cute.”
My mindset changes
There was no discussion about weight, unsolicited dieting advice, dressing for my size. For the first time in a decade, I was just some chick in a bitchin’ pair of pants. My eating disorder didn’t have a say on my level of confidence, and neither did my waist line.
Once home, I made sure to hang them up in the closet, smooth them out. The next morning would be spent doing laundry, but when it came to go to work again, I wanted them to be ready.
I’m a gamblin’ girl, and if I could place money on their speedy encore, I would. An itch tells me they might be a staple in my wardrobe from now on.