This is wicked girly. I was hesitant to post it to hundreds, knowing this may only ring true with my curvy sisters. Then I remembered you signed up to read a Breast Cancer Blog. And even Stevie, if asked nicely (and promised beer), would hold my purse and hand me a pair of boot cut Levi’s over the door.
Jeans. Finding a good pair of butt-flattering, muffin-taming denims requires many devastating hours in dressing rooms (and a sore neck from all of that head craning to assess the rearview). I’ll insist that women who look fantastic in jeans are the same women who look slim in maxi dresses and athletic in yoga pants. Their jeans aren’t magic: they look great in everything. Buying their brand will only lead to disappointment. These women look good in spite of their jeans. And if you’re like me (and also not Jennifer Aniston), jeans are a squeezing, gapping, bulging garment of frustration. Me, I prefer to twirl around in skirts.
Unfortunately, most of us need a pair of dungarees in rotation. They’re necessary for snowy New England bus stops and for mulch spreading. But my 40ish physique does not appreciate clothing that toothpaste tubes me into unflattering shapes. And because I don’t normally stand around with my arms akimbo, back swayed, and belly sucked, jeans never live up to their fitting room promises. Dear friend Lisa recently lamented The Search for Jeans in a Facebook query that ran 27 comments long, offering a dozen options that could drag her from Walmart to Bloomingdale’s and still result in buyer’s remorse for pants that stretch two sizes after the first deep knee bend to rescue Polly Pockets from the Dyson.
Smarter (slimmer) women might bristle at this pant rant, wondering if all of this stems from unrealistic media pressure on aging women to aspire to the impossible. Which, in my opinion, is this:
But honestly, I have no self-loathing body hatred, I just don’t think the Citizens are approaching my midriff with anything resembling Humanity. And absolutely everything else in my closet is flattering and pretty. (Except my prom dress. Which I’m saving for some future prom-themed party where I’ll win a gigantic wrist corsage as a prize for Most 80s Clichés Assembled in One Gown.) But, like many women, I have a pile of jeans that don’t really fit. I have only one pair of passably comfortable denims, but ultimately they’re going to get splattered with mud, boogers, and vomit, which then requires washing, and then carb-shunning or a well timed stomach flu to wiggle back into them. Reasonable (slimmer) women might wonder if I’m buying the wrong size or yo yo dieting in and out of my trousers. Nope, the difference between jeans that flatter and those that torture all lies within about 3 pounds and run through a hot dryer.
Quite possibly, the real reason jeans disappoint is because I still expect to see my sixteen-year-old ass in the mirror. I do harbor an unfaded, c. 1987 memory of that one perfect pair of Guess jeans that orbited my waistline at the ideal level, that pegged perfectly with little zippers, that sported a teeny triangle on my teeny tiny butt. No amount of overpriced denim can conjure that booty of another era. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who can still pull on jeans without sounding like a Williams sister returning a serve. Not me. Red Sox games, picnics, Gross Anatomy lab, steak-grilling, Costco runs… all these can be attended in a flippy skirt. I have no confidence that darling Lisa (who has a beautiful figure, by the way) will find success in the fitting room. So I will continue to urge her, and all my curvy sisters, to give up the search and twirl with me.