Stay in my own clothes = stay happy
Last Saturday I did something forbidden. Something I knew I shouldn’t have done. Something I knew would only lead to personal destruction.
Dear all, what I’m about to share with you is a tale of a girl/woman who never learns, and who sometimes also doesn’t knows what’s best for her. Are you ready? OK, well here goes.
For Sunday’s big, Swedish fashion show, I obviously wanted to look fabulous. Fashion-forward. Chic. And cool. So, when I shared this idea of mine with a super funky Chinese designer, and he said: “Well, you should come over to my studio and we’ll put you into one of my, fabulous outfits!” I almost jumped of joy.
-Really?! I cried.
-Really! Just come over this Saturday morning.
Saturday morning came, and although it was a rainy, dull one, I was still determined to get on with the day. My plan was to first drop by the designer’s studio, try out a fashionable outfit, and then head straight to a class of hot yoga that I had signed up for.
As part of preparing for the hot yoga I didn’t put on any make-up that morning. I didn’t wash my greasy hair (although I did shave my legs, thank lord for that!). And I wore something that I think a fashionista would refer to as a “fashion crime,” namely washed-out, baggy comfy pants and a t-shirt, topped off with a fluro green (!!!) hooded jumper (the fact that I even own a fluro green hooded jumper is alarming!) and sneakers. I didn’t look my best, but still, when I checked myself in the mirror before heading over to the designer, I somehow managed to convince myself that I looked kind of sporty-chic. (Now afterwards, I will always refer to this as my "big moment of blindness.")
I arrived at the designer’s studio and was met by a rather big crowd, including: the Swedish designers behind Odeur, a couple of stylists, and some people working for the designer whose studio I was visiting. Everyone had that cool, “I didn’t have any time this morning so I just threw on this old sweater, and my hair is obviously just naturally perfectly messy”-look that I would never be able to pull off, no matter how hard I tried (I think you have to be born with it?) The fact that all the girls were in sky-high heels and had tiny waists goes without saying.
Everyone was there except for the designer himself:
-Oh, he got real drunk last night. Probably won’t make it here until after lunch. What are you here for again? A cool-looking, stone-faced design boy (all dressed in black) said, giving me a quick, not-so-impressed once-over. The feeling of being sporty-chic immediately vanished.
-Eh… the designer, Mr X, said I could try some dresses for tomorrow’s show?
-YOU are going to a SHOW?!
I pretended I didn’t hear the sense of doubt in that sentence.
-That’s right. And the designer, Mr X, thought I could maybe wear one of his dresses?
Another suspicious, pity look before the designer boy disappeared, and left me with the rest of the cool design crew.
-So… guys, how are you today? I tried, trying to take the edge of the situation.
-We’re all good… eh... what are you up to?!
In that moment, I desperately wished I had worn something else but my washed-out pants and a fluro green jumper.
-Oh, well if you are referring to these clothes, I’m going to yoga after this! (I couldn’t help it, I just had to say something).
-Haha, for a moment I thought you were dressing like that on your spare time! Hahahahahha!
(We were laughing so hard that he must have been joking! Right? Right?!!)
Designer boy soon arrived, handing me a tiny-but-exquisite-looking-black dress.
The designer gang gathered around me, nodding and touching, all agreeing that it was a beautiful piece of clothing. For a short moment I felt as if I was going to be OK.
That was, until I tried to try the dress on. And couldn’t get it over my hips. At all.
There were no cheesy applauds or appreciative look when I stepped out of the dressing room, still in my baggy pants.
-Eh… the dress is too small, I said, and handed it back to Mr design boy.
I could see the pity in people’s eyes as they looked at me, then the dress, then my hips.
-Oh, we’ll help you find something! One of the Swedish guys said. Don’t worry! We’ll make you look beautiful as a princess!
And this is where it all went out of control.
Designers, fashionistas, angry-looking-dressed-in-black design boys… well everyone who was in the studio started pulling clothes for me. Clothes, that were either:
-Way too small
-Way too tight (I think I actually told one guy that tried to convince me to try a piece of stretchy-but-skin-tight body suit that “I would feel claustrophobic in something like that.” He looked at me as if I was from another planet).
-Waaaaay too fashion-forward (try a bright red, huge-blanket-like-kimono with a fat dragon print, that wraps around the body in several lawyers before it’s topped off with a tight waist belt, creating some kind of shape. Well, it might have looked cool on a model or on a fashionista, but it made me look like a strapped sausage).
-Way too short (I always considered myself to have “pretty good legs,” however, when in these, short, silky outfits, my legs looked nothing even close to good).
Eventually the designer gang found a loose dress that I knew would look like a bin bag on me, but that I still agreed on trying on, just to be a sport. Since that first, tiny dress that I hadn’t managed to pull down over my hips, I had been close to tears but I refused to let other people know that.
I got into the loose dress, that, despite its loose fit and baggy-ness, still managed to make me look ridiculous and kind of…. Fat!
-Now let’s see you, princess Jonna! The designers cried from outside the changing room. Come out and strut your stuff!
(Strut?! They want me to strut?!)
I took a deep breath, looked myself in the mirror and tried to convince myself that it actually wasn’t that bad, but when I saw what was looking back at me (not-model-thin-girl wearing what looked like a loose, but still tight at the wrong places, too short bin bag that made her legs look like chubby corn cobs) I almost lost it. I couldn’t bare having them see me wearing this, and then, with pity in their eyes lying to me and telling me that I looked good?!
Someone from above must have heard my silent prayer because at that moment, some customers arrived and everyone got super busy. I managed to get out of the bin bag and into my old clothes, and when I eventually snuck out from the studio with a discreet wave, everybody were so busy that they barely noticed me leave.
I caught a cab to the yoga studio and tried some serious “Namaste” in order to get rid of the feeling of being big, wide and fat in the country of no curves. It doesn’t matter that back home, I’m not even close to fat. It doesn’t matter that I train 4-5 times/week or that I have a healthy diet. It doesn’t matter that my weight of 60 kg to my 175 cm is not considered overweight where I come from: I’m still never going to be thin enough to wear local designer labels and look good in China.
Lesson learned! Now I'll do myself a favor and never try that again.