By the time I was 13, I was 5’10” and 200 pounds. As a teenager in the 90’s in Hawaii, there was only one reliable source for plus-sized clothing: the Sears Women’s Department.
Which meant most of the clothes I had to choose from were tie-dyed, be-sequined, elastic waisted, or stirrup-ed. Clothes your fat grandmother would wear or some portly maiden aunt. Not clothes that a teenager could be caught dead in without committing social suicide.
As a bonus, not even Sears carried Women’s tall, which meant every pair of pants in there was at least 3 inches too short for my long, long legs.
For my freshman year, that is what I wore. I got up every morning, donned my high water elastic waisted mom jeans, and a sequined tie-died shirt and I went to school. Outcast is not a strong enough word to capture what I was. I was a pariah.
The alternative to that was to wear men’s clothing. Which I started doing my sophomore year.
Now, the thing about men’s clothing is it’s not built to house curves. And curves were the defining feature of my teenage body. I had curves for days. You would never have known it, though. Long-sleeved, high-necked XXL men’s shirts and 40-30 jeans kept my figure shrouded in secrecy.
Big. Fat. Frumpy.
Here’s me in the 90’s….
My peers all seemed to be someone out of Beverly Hills 90210…
Or else my classmates were straight from the movie Clueless….
You get the picture.