Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bellies

I have been trying to pick out a new cardigan pattern for 2 weeks now. The ones I love the most are the ones that button at the top and swing free at the bottom. I'm torn on empire waist pullovers, too. On the one hand, they are cute. They fit my body type very well. When I see people wearing them they seem to say "Hey, look at my belly! I'm comfortable with who I am! Bellies are cute!"

On the other hand, empire waists, babydolls and cutaways can, according to belly haters the fashion elite, make virtually anyone look pregnant. And you know what? I think I might be okay with that. I look pregnant anyway regardless of what I weigh. I have a picture of me as a pre-teen that looks like I'm 4 months in.

When preparing this blog post I did a search for "makes you look pregnant" and found a web page from a man who, in his ever helpful way, said flat out that gathered dresses and empire waists make women look pregnant. A woman who looks pregnant, writes the ever so helpful author, makes him lose his erection. If I may make one comment about that article--Bring on the maternity wear.

What is the pregnant "look" besides having a belly? We've spent generations trying to hide the fact that we have curvy flesh underneath our busts. We don't buy and wear expensive bras to make our busts look bigger. We buy them to make our waists look smaller. I'm done with it. I like bellies. I like the confidence of people who have bellies and aren't trying to hide them under giant t-shirts. Hey, if people can find clothes that fit, then more power to them. I certainly have a hard time finding clothes that fit me well.

It's hard being a fat girl with a belly. No, scratch that. It's hard being an extended sizes fat girl with a belly. Clothing manufacturers started to make extended sizes a few years ago, which is great, but most of those new larger clothes are for big busts, narrow waists and big hips--the classic hourglass. Us apples squeezed in to them anyway because otherwise we'd go naked or have to wear puffy-sleeved mumus with elastic necklines because our heads were so fat we needed elastic to get our clothes on. Ahem. And let us not even get in to low-riding jeans, okay? I'm not ignorant of the giant muffin top problem. What else are you going to wear when there are only 2 jeans manufacturers who make your size? Choose one--a low-rider that muffin tops or a low-rider that muffin tops and gaps in back showing off your overpriced Torrid underpants that fall apart after 2 washings? And again I say, Ahem!

I didn't mean to go on this particular rant when I started this blog post. As I started to write about how much I wanted to knit these cardigans but was concerned about the "might look pregnant" problem, I realized something. I don't really care what some mythical fashion elite douche thinks about the sweater I knit. Neither should anyone else. We're knitters. Most non-knitters don't get us anyway, especially among fashion writers. They call knitting grandmotherly (what the hell is wrong with that?) and unfashionable while, at the same time, sending couture fashions down the runway that have been pulled straight from the pages of Interweave Knits. Hell, I bought a cardigan last week that is a total Whisper knock-off. And those big giant knitted cowls that came down the runway last year? Haute couture didn't start that trend. Knitters on Etsy did.

Why the hell are we (the less bold and the less confident, aka me), letting the collective voices of the "fashion experts" in to our head to tell us what we should and shouldn't be wearing or knitting? I think I will cast on for a "makes me look pregnant" sweater today. I'll wear it proudly just like all my other less concerned, cooler, more confident knitter friends do. Because you know what? It may not be "fashionable" but it is making a statement. Here's the statement that I'm going to make--This here? It's my belly. It deserves to be warm and comfortable, too.

And really, maybe I'm not a bold trendsetter, but my our fellow knitters and indie designers are. They're trendsetters even if I'm not, and by looking at what's coming down the runway? I think the fashion elite think our community are trendsetters, too.

Whew. I had no idea this is where I was going when I started this blog post.