I had a great time at Escape. It was the first time I put together a full on Rave outfit. It was nerve racking and fun both at the same time. One of the things I’ve noticed since I wrote an article coming out as a “Plus Sized Raver” is that people are very accepting in the dance community of people of all sizes. That however will never silence my toughest critic: myself.
For me the hardest part of dressing up or wearing some of the more revealing outfits that seem to go hand and hand with raves isn’t what other people say. The hardest part is silencing the little voice that seems to think it knows what everyone is thinking. It’s the voice that when I put on something tight or even something with full coverage never fails to point out any little detail that isn’t perfect. It’s a little voice that has prevented me from doing many things and I have been working very hard on not letting it get to me.
For Escape I focused on the character I wanted my costume to portray: Orphan Annie. I got the shredded tights and arm warmers for a roughed up orphanage look for the first day. And my riskiest outfit yet of a bodysuit and the cutest red polka dot tutu and a big red head bow. It was absolutely adorable. When it comes to dressing up as a plus sized girl I have noticed I get a lot of comments about how “brave” I am for wearing what I wear. This took me back a little and that little voice tried to turn it into some sort of insult. Am I any braver than anyone else for expressing themselves with what they wear? After getting really frustrated over this and similar comments I realized how silly I was being for turning a compliment into an insult.
Here is my advice for anyone big or small who feels the need for some “bravery”. Forget what you think people are going to say. Unless you have been dumped into some toxic waste, revived by magic cats and given the ability to read peoples minds trying to dress for how you think other people are going to react is a waste of time. It will never make you feel any better about what you are wearing and will probably drive you crazy! Instead of focusing on what the little voice is telling you: find the things about yourself you do like. For me I know my most self conscious part will always be my stomach. It will be a long time before I wear a crop top or rave bra without something to cover that part of my body. However that doesn’t stop me from liking other things about myself. I was more comfortable showing off my legs. So for Escape I decided I wasn’t going to cover them up as much as I have in the past.
It was really rewarding to dress up and feel pretty without worrying about other peoples voices or even my own. I loved everything about my Annie costume. I loved the theme, I loved the outfits, and I loved how I looked in them. I felt beautiful and no voice (little or big) was going to change that.