Of the 25 books that Mr. Campbell and I checked out from the library for our trip, this book by Susan Jane Gilman was the only one I finished. And wouldn’t you know, the author turned out to be large-breasted. She even had a guy reject her because he “just wasn’t into women with serious breasts.” After I ended last Friday’s post, I came across Gilman’s much more eloquent description of the issue of marginalization.

I’m still having computer problems and am using a computer at the public library with less than 10 minutes left on my session, so I’m just beginning with the excerpts below. Look for my favorite part tomorrow!

“Truth be told, I also rejected the idea of a traditional wedding gown because I couldn’t stand to shop for one. I couldn’t bear spending weeks, if not
months, trying on dresses that were supposed to make every woman look beautiful but that would undoubtedly confirm that I was fundamentally, chromosomally yech.

Clothes shopping, for me, has always been an act of masochism. As every woman knows, the garment industry will routinely cust some size 8s that are more like 6s, and others that are more like 10s. With my hourglass figure, I’m invariably two different sizes on teh top and the bottom, thereby quadrupling the equation. After fifteen minutes in a dressing room, all my humor and perspective invariably fly out the window. Buttons don’t close. Fabric pulls across my upper back. Waistbands hula-hoop around my hips, and I’m reduced to a jelly of self-hatred and desair. Never mind that children are starving to death in Africa: I am an un-dressable freak!

You would think that when you’re shopping for your “dress of a lifetime,” bridal stores would bend over backwards to alleviate such agonies. Yet amazingly, many exclusive wedding boutiques will not even let you try on dresses in anything but their “stock size.” This means they hand you a sample dress in size 8, and you’re supposed to decide if you want it judging from the “idea” you get of yourself in it.

Any woman who is not built like a surfboard knows that it’s impossible to gauge what a dress will look like without trying it on properly first. Big breasts or hips change the drape and distribution of material: you can’t select a style based on hypotheticals. he idea of paying thousands of dollars for a dress that I couldn’t even try on enraged me. I would have none of it.

After her friends convince her to look for a dress:

“Grudgingly, I dragged myself to David’s Bridal, a chain store in a strip mall that subscribes to the revolutionary idea of actually stocking wedding dresses in different sizes so that women in different sizes can actually try them on.”

I didn’t realize this about David’s. (Nothing after the jump.)