Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chunk, Stick or Bella Donna?



Years ago, I read a New Yorker article in which the writer visited the Deep American Midwest, which is where I was born nearly 60 years ago. It was a slice-of-life piece, which included this comment, paraphrased: "Women around here age in two ways: The Chunk or the Stick".

I'm going to resist the lesser-of-two-evils debate. Our shapes will change, and I suppose it does come down to aging into a reedy, Georgia O' Keefe build, or the boxy Gertrude Stein model. In my experience, it's the Stick who seems to cling to the clothes of youth, or even her hoochie-mama 30's, because she can fit into them.

The Chunk isn't as prone to the time warp, but mourns her first tentative foray into a plus-size department (believe me, the operational definition of 'depressing moment') or the realization that the fashion term 'missy' is code for 'this will not fit you in a million years'.

I've landed in Chunkdom: you know where you stand when the 'before' photos for some diet plans look damn good to you.

I try to channel voluptuous, strong women like Anna Magnani. Legend has it she wore exquisite lingerie; there is a worthy endeavour.

A related topic, what exactly constitutes mutton dressed as lamb, is addressed by Linda Grant in her marvelous blog, The Thoughtful Dresser.

1 comment:

greying pixie said...

Loved this piece - can't stop laughing! It's so true, we Chunks do have so many more clothing issues to contend with. I guess it's a bit of a case of 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'! My greatest learning curve as I near 50 is finding a good supportive bra as I've grown from a 34B to 34DD in two years and sports bras just don't do it for me any more. A large busom also has the added disadvantage of make loose dresses look like tents. I've also targetted Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren (in her 60s) and will be visiting Rigby & Pellier (the Queen's corsetier) very soon!