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Taking My Figure into My Own Hands

It came one afternoon, like so many times before.

Innocent-looking-enough, this clothes catalog arrived with the rest of the mail. But today was not like other days. To begin, my brain was starting to leave the hormonal fog of having my son eight months prior.

Life was beginning to resume some sort of order that sleeping five hours straight (not more) at night affords you. But my body was still predictably soft and squishy. The births of my children had each left hallmark weight, on top of the weight that had slowly crept on post-wedding diet.

I stood in the kitchen, staring at the catalog, about to have to make dinner, realizing swim suit season was coming, and generally not in a good mood with how I was looking or feeling.

I won’t name the catalog, but let’s just say that every cover seemed to have wafer-thin sixteen-year-olds in stylish bikinis, looking like they were about to return to their beach houses in the Hamptons with their other yuppie-yet-fashionably-messy-friends.

I’d purchased from the catalog and store before, but I never looked like that in their clothes. And then it hit me—I’m supporting them! I’m supporting this company making the rest of us women feel bad about our pouches, thighs, and uneven complexions.

I decided to funnel my anger, and call the catalog company directly and give them a piece of my mind. I was proud of myself as I called the order number.

I am a post-pregnancy woman, hear me roar!

I had an idea of the talk I was going to give them—and it was beautiful. And then she answers. Call me intuitive, but I could tell by her voice that it wasn’t the girl on the cover of the magazine.

In fact, this woman sounded nice, and although I couldn’t see her, I could tell she had a normal figure. Then it dawned on me—it wasn’t the customer service representative making the model choices, it was someone much higher on the org chart.

Instead of going off to release my own pent-up-anger, I simply said that I wanted to cancel my catalog.

OK, she said, very nicely, and took down my information. No trying to talk me into keeping it, or tempting me with special offers. The whole thing was feeling very anti-climatic.

Then she asked, “May I ask why you are canceling your catalog?”

My chance had arrived!

“Yes,” I replied. “Because I don’t look like your models.”

She laughed and said, “I understand completely.” I felt a bond with this woman. We said good-bye and I hung up the phone, feeling empowered because I had delivered my message, but had not unloaded my own issues onto someone who didn’t deserve them.

By Kristy Lund

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