The Right to Bare Arms [Diary of the Undateable]

I’ve always been on the heavier side. I probably won’t be the plus sized diva to rip the runway in a high-waist two-piece or appear nude in a chic mag…but I have accepted my body. I know what I look like. And I’m working on it.

But my work is a work in progress, physically and emotionally. My internship – which I love, love, love – has me reverting back to my old self-conscious ways. I work with some beautiful ladies…and I’m not just saying that. You’ll see my two supervisors at the swankiest events in D.C. with Hérve Léger dresses painted on, toppling over the crowd in strappy sandals. It’s intimidating sometimes.

Since I’m a PR intern, there are lots of events that the firm hosts. And sometimes they need my assistance with checking high-paying guests in or memorizing the names and faces on the coveted VIP list. So far, I’ve avoided these events like the plague. Not because I think they’re lame – who in their right mind would turn down networking ops and an open bar?! – but because I feel like I don’t fit in. Literally.

After weeks of my artful ducking and dodging, I was asked to help out at a swanky benefit fashion show last week. Me, the mistress of excuses, was out of ‘em. It was on a Saturday evening – no conflicting classes, meetings, or (ha!) dates. I had no choice but to say yes.

But what was I going to do? Say? Be? Act? WEAR? Instead of going home to study, I took a train to the nearby Metro Center Macy’s half an hour before they closed. And there it was. The Dress. MY dress. Black and gold…my favorite color combo. Sparkly without being too showgirly. Dressy but not too fancy. A full, flattering tulle-topped skirt that hit right above the knee. It was gorgeous. It was on sale. And it was mine. All mine.

Have you ever had an encounter with destiny? This dress was mine that day. I unearthed it among a pile of first lady church suits at 8:58 p.m., two minutes before the store closed. And at 9:05 p.m. I was headed home with my red and white bag, grinning the entire way until I remembered one crucial detail – it was sleeveless. And I hate, hate, hate my arms. I don’t like the extra flab and the teeny tiny stretch marks that I’ve had forever. Up until the evening of the event, I flirted with the idea of a cardigan – too dowdy – and a wrap – too hot. I thought about finding something else to wear or even faking sick to just avoid the entire thing. But then I realized how ridiculous that’d be. I’m going to wear the dress, I decided. It’s too pretty not to.

I showed up at the event with a fresh blowout, a cherry red lip, my mesh inset heels and The Dress. And although I received compliments as soon as I hit the door, I still felt uneasy. I didn’t have time to wallow in my insecurities though – there were people to check in and guests to escort. By the end of the night I forgot about my arms and finally focused on enjoying myself, chatting with professionals from around the city and indulging in a complimentary Georgetown Cupcake. The black blazer that I brought as a security blanket stayed in my bag the entire time. I had a blast. Shortly after midnight, I trekked back to reality on the Metro…arms bare without a care.

My arms aren’t toned like First Lady Obama’s or slender like my mom’s…but they’re mine. As I get older, I’m trying my best to accept my imperfections for what they are little by little. Because if I don’t, what guy will?

CollegeCandy, how do you deal with your body insecurities?

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

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