I love to tell people that I’m an “Autumn” person. And I really do love Fall (and to some extent Spring as well for similar reasons). The weather is cool but not cold and humidity is usually lower. Leaves turn beautiful colors here in Massachusetts. School starts back up which, for an academic Perpetual Student such as myself, is a pleasure. I love not having to turn on heat OR AC in order to enjoy a good night’s sleep at a comfortable temperature (for me at least). I look fabulous in the earthy colors of Autumn leafery.
Yet as much as I love the cooler temperatures of the equinox seasons I am finding that the more that I propose self-acceptance the more I am coming to enjoy the hotter summer season as well. I used to DESPISE summer. Too hot. Sweaty. Miserably uncomfortable. Thunderstorms were the only respite with their magnificent displays of mother nature and usually following cold fronts.
While to some extent those “truths” have not really changed I HAVE altered my response to the weather and the misery I used to endure. How you ask? I’ve stopped worrying so much that wearing shorts and sleeveless tank tops might somehow stop the turning of the Earth and End All Creation as we know it.
I know, revolutionary right? But it is really amazing at the mental and physical comfort to be had from letting go of that belief that Everyone Is Watching and just say “Well so what if they are? I’m HOT! (in many senses of the word) and have just as much right to wear cute and comfy summer outfits as anyone else!”
It almost feels some sort of…naughty to be so lightly clad. Like the rebel puritan wearing a skirt above ankle length! White tops instead of black? Sleeveless instead of Fat Arm Covering tees? ACTUAL shorts instead of calf-length dark fabric capris? All blessings in disguise, taken for granted by those who may have never sat in front of a bleak wardrobe and almost whimpered at the thought of entering yet again into a sweltering heat covered in a black ensemble not for fashion or desire but for some dreadful hope that Others might not notice the Fat.
No. I have reclaimed summer and feel pleasure at shedding the winter wardrobe. The winter of the world’s turning seasons as well as the cover-up winter mentality of my self-conscious presentation of myself. I will NOT hide my body from the world, silently sweating in discomfort in the wasted hope that doing so might somehow make me a Good Fatty and deserving of love or acceptance or some sort of “pass” through life as a barely tolerated citizen of humanity.
Shout it out: Summer Reclaimed for ALL! Wear what you want because you CAN. Ignore those summer tips on “How to Hide Your ___ this Season!” If you have a choice between the dark capris and the light (regardless of what price range they might fall into); don’t choose one or the other simply for fear of how the alternative might make you appear to OTHERS. Think of how it will make YOU feel. While part of that feeling might indeed include the level of mental comfort you feel with the Otherly Gaze upon your vulnerably exposed body; do not forget to also take into account your physical comfort. Your fear that Others Are Looking (which they probably aren’t) does not negate the need for Every Body to feel simple physical comfort during the hottest days of the year.