I have green eyes, curly blondish-reddish-brownish hair, and large breasts.
Do I have your attention?
When I was in my 20s and 30s and 40s, I was beautiful. Now I carry 220 pounds of buxomness, have some silver in my hair, and have glasses instead of contact lenses. I have also become invisible.
Not by choice, though. To learn more, I talked to some of my coworkers, female coworkers who are likewise middle-aged and plump, and I discovered that they are invisible, too. Therefore I’m describing a phenomenon and not just complaining.
You’re wanting me to explain this invisibility thing. It’s when people in management brush right by you, staring above you, in search of the “important” people in the organization, because you certainly can’t be one of them. It’s when people walking toward you on the street don’t meet your eyes when they pass you because they don’t ever see you. It’s when someone in the grocery store runs right into you and then dashes past you as if nothing happened. It’s when you sit on a stool in a sports bar for two hours and everyone talks around you as if there were a dead space in the air.
I’m a better person NOW than I was the old days. I was shy, drunk, socially inept, self-centered, neurotic. Now, in addition to doing volunteer work, I’m an RN, and I’ve exhibited photography, published articles, and I’m working on a couple of books as well as a screenplay. I should be in my glory now, but instead, I’ve become invisible.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t need to be in the spotlight. Admittedly I don’t dress to impress and don’t cultivate relationships to climb the corporate ladder. I’m married and not desperate to pick up someone for a frolic. But I still “count,” and being a fat middle-aged woman with glasses shouldn’t make a difference, should it?
Am I losing you?
But … I challenge you to look around, and ask the fat middle-aged women in your life how they feel, because this I believe: nobody really is invisible.
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