“Gripes of a petite woman of color”
Have you ever noticed that while people are hesitant to call a woman “fat” to her face, they waste no time saying “You are so skinny, you make me sick”! Do people think that is a compliment? Not everyone has lived in the shoes of a petite woman of color so I’m here to share some insight and difficulties.
Automatic toilets: Imagine this – you’ve sat at your desk for a couple of minutes shaking your leg trying to hold it. Finally you get up, sprint to the bathroom and feel relieved to let it all out. You think to yourself “Man, I shouldn’t have had all of that water this morning!” As the stream floods from your body, you shift your weight just a bit to reach for the toilet paper. And then it happens – FLUSH!!!!! You’re not done with the act, however, Mr. Automatic Toilet no longer feels your weight. You sit up a little higher (while still squatting) in hopes that you don’t get splashed. It sucks, it really does!
Nude Colored Hose: whoever determined the exact shade of nude has never looked at my legs. I love to wear dresses and when winter hits, a nice pair of hose make the thought of wearing a dress a little more bearable. It’s a battle to walk into the hosiery aisle to find the perfect pair. You don’t want to pay too much, because they are just hose. But, you don’t want to pay too little because that run up your leg can make a great outfit look hideous. I glance at the options: nude, suntan, jet brown, taupe and coffee. A man has never approached me and said “Hey, sexy coffee” or “you sure look nice and taupe today” so I STILL don’t know what shade is best for me!
Blue jeans: My mother blessed with a round backside. In high school it was called a bubble butt. Since then it has also been called other things that may not be appropriate for all readers. While it does great for a dress or a cute pair of shorts, jeans are the enemy. I generally wear a size 2 (shut up) in clothing. The jeans in that size are made for modeling looking chics that are straight up and down. When I try a pair on, they usually get up to the middle of my thigh – and stop. When I go a size larger, I have the big water spout poking out at the back top of the jeans. I think jeans are a lost cause for me. I’ll remain a part of the dress squad for as long as possible.
Rings: It’s so refreshing to be walking through a store and in the window sits the perfect ring. It’s calling out your name “buy me, love me, take me home forever”. Its instant love when I look at the sign above it that reads “SALE”! Jackpot! I float on air through the store anxious to see it on my finger. They tell me it’s a size 6 (most rings in the store are that size). I ask if it can be sized. ”Of course!” she says. I just know this is my shining moment in jewelry history. I tell them I wear a size 4 ¼ and the salesperson crinkles her nose. “Hold on a sec,” she says. She walks to the back of the store, with my ring, whispering to the jewelry expert guy. Upon return, the smile has disappeared. “We are so sorry, mam. Unfortunately this ring can’t be sized down that small because the side stones will come loose on the setting.” My heart is broken. I walk up and down the aisle pointing to other possible substitutions. ”Nope”, “No”, “Not that one”, “Sorry” So like the little kid in the candy store with no money in his pockets, I walk out of the store with nothing but memories that could have been.
M.Y. August 2008