It may not seem like that much of an accomplishment, especially coming from someone like me, who has done impressive things like understanding whole sentences written by Judith Butler and juggling tangerines for a full three seconds– but yesterday I went out in a tank top.
Yes. I, Kate Fridkis, wore a tank top, baring my arms for all the world to see.
I paired it with pants. And flip-flops. I put on some gold hoops, in case you were wondering. I was going to be brave.
In honor of this amazing weather (I will not make a weak joke about the end of the world here). In honor of being sexy with chubby arms.
(when the world feels like this, how can you not want to take some layers off? source)
I sometimes hold a hand along one of my arms, blocking half of my skin. There. That’s the right size. Imagine how good I’d look if it was that size.
I casually think my body is badly proportioned. It can’t choose thick or thin, so it incorporates everything—like a movie about dinosaurs and surfer babes and aliens. Pick one!
I think, “If I could just change my arms, that would make the biggest difference…” Like I’ve solved a mystery called “Which Part of Me Has the Greatest Negative Affect on My Appearance?” Please gather in the parlor at 7 p.m. sharp. I will reveal the truth to you then. No, knees, you shouldn’t be concerned. There is a much simpler answer.
(what a tank top world! source)
I love the look of a plain tank top and jeans. I love sleeveless dresses. I love clothing that exposes the arms. But I have been trying to avoid it. It’s been a gradual process. At first, I wasn’t so careful about it, and then I saw a couple pictures, which had, it occurs to me in retrospect, obviously been altered by the devil. OHMYGOD, I thought. I AM HORRIFYING. I threw several layers over myself, so that the world wouldn’t know my shame (although I suspected that the world, like one of those bomb-sniffing dogs, wasn’t fooled by the packaging).
I started buying a lot of shirts to go over other shirts. I tried to be accepting. This is my reality now. There is no reason why a shirt over another shirt can’t be a wonderful alternative to just one shirt.
And that’s true. But maybe I want to just wear one shirt once in a while. And more importantly, maybe I’ve got nothing to hide.
(this is what NYC feels like to me right now. source)
My arms are thick. And don’t tell me “they’re not! You don’t even know what thick arms are!”
They are. I can tell.
But being thick is really not so bad. And when I put on that tank top yesterday and stood in front of the mirror, I thought I looked kind of badass. It was a different look from before, when my arms weren’t so generously proportioned. I look slightly more imposing now. More likely to know Krav Maga. Weirdly maybe, I look more confident. Like my body got confident for me, before my mind caught up. And now my mind is panting along behind it, like, “Wait! Hang on a sec! Where are we going?…No, I’m good. I’m totally good. I do this all the time—you can’t tell? I’m like, in great shape…it’s just these damn shoes…”
I took my confident arms out for a walk, in a tank top.
It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, I guess. But it was a little victory, maybe. Baby steps. We’ll get to the sundress soon enough. And eventually, eventually, something totally strapless.
(maybe I should just focus on the tank top?)
* * *
Which body part are you trying to let out of the closet? Or are they all free? Or, alternatively, how awesome do you feel in a tank top?
Unroast: Today I love the way my feet feel in flip flops. YAY!
P.S. My brother just got into Yale for grad school (flute performance. How awesome is that?). Holy shit. I am so ridiculously proud of him. I know that doesn’t relate to anything here, but I’m just posting it everywhere I possibly can.