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Skinny Jeans, Fat Genes

Shopping for clothing as an averaged height fat guy has got to be one of the rings of hell Dante forgot to write about.

I'm sure everyone feels this way to an extent because clothing manufacturers make clothing in cookie cutter sizes based off of some ridiculous "ideal figure" that almost no one has. A friend of mine who is a tall woman, and slender but not emaciated, complains of this frequently. Women must have to develop some long dormant psychic ability to intuit the size of clothes because they certainly aren't helped at all by the way clothes are "sized". Miss, junior,junior miss??, plus, queen, ladies, "womens", and thats just at places like JC Penny and Target. I'm sure American Apparel and Urban Outfitters have even more obscure sizing like "Chloe Sevigny" and "I can't be bothered" and "Being Treated for diseases you haven't even heard of yet" and "On Vinyl" and "A Brooklyn 5". Also, What the holy hipster hell are Jeggings? Really? Honestly ladies how you manage to go into a store and leave with something that fits you better than the bag it's packaged in is something of a modern day miracle to me.

So I recognize that the feeling of being completely irrelevant to the makers of fashion is not something unique to me or guys my shape. The way it manifests, however, is, and it's something to which people might not have given much thought.

Too Much Information Alert, Leave now if you don't want fairly graphic description of my body...

Still here, Okay. Here goes.

So I'm 5'6.5" inches, trust me that half an inch is important. I'm sure if most guys were asked if they'd like an extra half an inch on the end of their Johnson they'd take it, so I'm not going to eschew it on the top of my head. I'm rounded. I carry all of my weight more or less in the front and in an area whose boundaries are defined from just below my clavicle to just above my junk.

Yes I referenced my junk, take a sip of tea, lets move on.

If I were lying down I suspect, in profile, I'd be the shape of a graph of the economy running from Carter to Obama. I suppose I should crook my knee slightly for Obama as it seems we might be getting better.

If, lets say Taylor Lautner was laying down, first I'd ask him if he passed out from hunger or exhaustion from doing crunches and, perhaps, needed a sandwich. Ihen I'd say he would probably be shaped like a graph of the annual increase and/or decrease in people who say "saturday night live was funny when "xyz cast" was there, but now it sucks". So in other words, flat. almost entirely. Because everyone says that all the time y'see.

Taylor Lautner gets clothes designed for him, which is surprising since he clearly hates shirts. Cory, however,doesn't.

But it gets even more demeaning because I do get clothes made "for" me.

I only recently discovered the "big and tall" store or section. I was really really reticent to go there because it felt to me like if I did I had given up. But it turns out that when you own clothes that fit, you actual start to feel a little better about yourself. I bought a pair of pants that fit around my waist there some years ago i decided, perhaps i should give it a try. I look like Fred Mertz in them, but they are comfortable as hell.

But here is the thing it's called big and TALL. I'm not tall. I'm 5 feet 6.5 inches so if I buy something called "Tall" I look like a little boy wearing his fathers clothing.

So this brings me to what is affectionately called "big" clothing, just a moment, why don't I get a fun euphemism? Why can't it be called "Jolly" sized or some shit? Oh right, that would suck too. So big clothing, big clothing is designed for precisely 3 people.

Cuban or Italian gangsters in their 50's or 60's, Sports enthusiast probably from Wisconsin or Texas and people who are very enthusiastic about Corona and at a Beach where they have just utterly decided to roll with it and look absurd.

The most comically absurd thing about the "Big and Tall" stores and sections are their models and mannequins. I'm pretty sure the mannequins are simply sculpted copies of a decapitated Minotaur and the Models are all former Quarterbacks for the NFL.

So here I am looking at my options, Gangster, Beach weirdo, Cheesehead.

Oh I can chose from any color of polo shirt, which is good because that's more or less my uniform. at least there is that.

But see I used to watch a lot..A LOT of project Runway and What Not to Wear, given the right clothing I think I could piece together something that didn't look all-together ridiculous. Plus I live with a clothes horse who would tell me if I looked a fool. So this just isn't working for me. I wish to appear as none of those three options. I'll just go look at the clothes for normal people.

Yeah, I said normal, because while it's convenient to have a separate section for people my size it also makes me feel separate and other, and if i've learned nothing at all in life I have learned that Separate is not equal.

So normal guy clothes. Fun Retro batman and Captain America t-shirts...yeah no fat kid would want that, geeks are never fat. Shorts made of linen and other natural fibers that aren't riddled with pockets, definitely a fat no-no, i need the pockets for my snacks. V-necks, slimming sure, draws the line of your neck down, okay, but I definitely want a collar that mimics the shape of one of my chins, you know...for symmetry. Oh pants without Pleats? I don't know, that extra little poof of fabric really shows of my abdominal pouch, do I really want to give that up? Vests with vertical lines in them...why would i want to carve up my midsection into more visually slender pieces in a flattering manner like that? OH MY GOD WHERE ARE BANDED BOTTOM SHIRTS MADE OF TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF PLASTIC FABRIC WITH THREE BUTTONS AT THE TOP? WHERE ARE THE SANSABELT SLACKS?

Quick, i need to stop looking at these trendy, attractive clothes, bring me back to the rainbow comfort of synthetic fabric "polo" shirts and the vertical symmetry of the guayabera shirt even though I'm not in Mexico. The cold water coolness of Off- Market sports teams and beverages I wouldn't drink with someone else's mouth, thank you for refreshing me. Oh sweet merciful cargo shorts, forgive me for straying and praise be to Old Navy for making you so ubiquitous.

Um..no.

See all that was sarcasm. I want to buy a fucking v neck t-shirt that fits me, exactly. I want to buy pants that don't feel like a chemical factory. I want to look like the last time I went shopping wasn't at the airport in Cancun. I want to wear clothing that weren't designed by a rapper*. I want to have choices and options that are contemporary and don't send a flare into the sky saying "hey, check it, fat guy."

I'm not saying I want to wear skinny jeans, they look good on some guys but I'd look like a walking ice cream cone. I'm not saying that some of the clothes I described above aren't nice, and don't look fantastic on some guys in some setting, they do. I look good in a Guayabera shirt, really, i do. But I'm not in Mexico or on a beach, I'm going to work or out to dinner or on a date.

I understand all of this is a question of scale but i've looked around, there are a lot of fat guys out there. Like a lot. How hard would it be to make a Retro Batman T-shirt that fits me? Why Can't you make Linen shorts in a size 42, instead of stopping at 36? Charge me more, I'll pay more! Oh right, you do that anyway.

Or is it something else? Why doesn't JC penny's want me seen in their more contemporary clothing? Why can't I find a shirt with Buttons at Target that fits when I sit down? What is it about me that they want to distance themselves from? Am I bad for advertising? These are companies that do not even cater to the bright and beautiful, unlike Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel, H&M, and Urban Outfitters. They at least are brutally and (in A&F's case) almost pornographically honest about who they want in their clothes.

It seems to me that someone is making this call, this decision. At some national chain store where the same folks that make their Normal People sized clothing also make their Fat People sized clothing, someone is thinking the words "Yeah...we don't want to waste our time making this in fat peoples sizes". Someone made that call. Someone chose to make me, and the millions of other guys and women who have the audacity to go into the world without the physical perfection that inspires erection and moistness with their merest glance, feel unwelcome in clothing. Ironically they probably would also prefer not to see us naked. A person, a human being, made that calculus, made that choice.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the ugly one here.







*I own and love several shirts and shoes designed by rappers, i'm merely making an argument for choice, not against rappers making clothing. Rocawear for life.



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