An ongoing performance series curated by Bevin Branlandingham, Cupcake Cabaret features comedy, drag, burlesque, spoken word, film, performance art and all manner of genres celebrating the radical act of self-love.
I move tomorrow. And Monday. And a little bit yesterday. There’s nothing like having to take literally every article of clothing you own to the laundromat to remind you how much you own. That’s 2 Prius loads full. And I got rid of 12 white garbage bags of clothes during the Fat Girl Flea Market, so it is extra crazy realizing how much there is.
When I think about my wardrobe, though, I do realize that I have a lot of different aesthetics to maintain. I have a whole career wardrobe, which includes the business casual I use predominantly because I do transactional work and I’m a little flashy as well as the requisite suits. Even though I am transitioning to my new career which will involve some business work, I still need that stuff, because I will need to wear it and there’s no greater stress than needing a suit last minute, as a plus size girl.
Then there’s what I call the queer fat femme wardrobe, which is basically my everyday (and every night). Of course, everything has a different level of fancy–I have 5 different red halter dresses to illustrate this point. Is this a casual BBQ sundress situation or a tight wiggle dress night out? Is this something more conservative and less cleavagey I can wear to a baby shower with my ex-girlfriend’s parents (true story) or a flashy life of the party everyone will stare at me I look so good dress? Dressing Femme is complicated, everyone has a part of their body they don’t want to show off and parts that they do. I’ve even got parts I show off for political reasons.
And then there’s the whole performance wardrobe. Honey, I’ve got a ton of majorly unique and adorable costumes and only increase the amount the longer I work at a plus sized vintage clothing store. I had to get most of them dry cleaned as part of the transition to the new apartment, and the women at the dry cleaners were exclaiming over some of them. I am proud of my collection.
But just because I CAN explain why my wardrobe is so big doesn’t mean I NEED to. I don’t have to justify my clothes to anyone, that’s part of living as a Fierce Femme. It’s being who you are, loving what, who and how you love without justification to anyone but yourself. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of clothes, but I love them, I love myself and they make me really happy.
I’ve learned over the last few years you should only keep what you LOVE. While I do LOVE a lot of things, and I’m trying to do the best I can to weed out “stuff” from my life. But at this point I know with 98% certainty that everything I pull out of those laundry bags once Monday evening comes and I’m for real in my new place and starting my new life across the Hudson I am going to squeal with delight being reunited with my wardrobe.
So, yeah, the crimp in my back only one day into the moving process is all for the love of my clothes. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I leave you with a wonderful video I found starring my colleague in fat activism Marilyn Wann and some big moves dancers.