When my hot pink romper first arrived, I wore it only to walk the dog. The smart, tailored top, tempered in fanciness by the attached shorts, fit me perfectly, but the adorable bananas all over it gave me pause.
I am a fat lady, one who loves food personally and writes about it professionally. Wearing it all over my body seemed to be tempting the bullying voices that forever live in my head ― until something drowned them out: the voracious encouragement of nearly everyone strolling by.
Where I expected raised eyebrows and silent judgement, I instead saw spontaneous smiles. They appeared on the faces of people of all ages, sizes and genders. When they got close enough to see the bananas, it instantly brought them happiness ― and me compliments. Far fewer reactions than I feared ― none, in fact ― seemed tinged with the fatphobia for which I’d long honed a sensitive radar.
As a fat child and a fatter adult, I struggled to publicly own my love of food. Even when food became my profession, I worked to tamp down my unbridled passion for it, ashamed of living up to the “fat kid loves cake” stereotype. But I do love cake. And bananas, and mushrooms, and eggs, and noodles, and seafood towers ― all of which I now own articles of clothing bearing their likes.
Purchased amid the pandemic freedom from the agora of public opinion, my banana romper’s attention from passing pedestrians wiped away any last bits of self-consciousness, pushing me to release my inner Ms. Frizzle ― and, with her, an unexpected amount of joy.
Garnering all those smiles and compliments pushed me down a slippery slope into food-themed clothing. I hate that it took the approval of others to encourage me to own my personal panache, but now I proudly run errands in my mushroom dress and crave a two-piece prawn-patterned outfit.
I love food and take glee in sartorially immortalizing its beauty ― and the absurdity of putting it on my body, as well as my plate. But more than anything, I relish the unabashed grins that it brings to everyone’s face when they realize the patterns on my dress are actually fried eggs, or they read the caption on my “Send noods” sweatshirt ― doubling my own delight.
Some of my favorite food-themed clothes
Craving more? Check out these lemon-printed items that are trending like crazy right now:
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