A chapter from my book ‘My Big Fat Fat’ (2018)
A humorous and touching account for those losing or coping with excess weight. With her laugh-out-loud humor, Samantha Dee covers all subjects from beauticians to socks in this easy to read A to Z guide on weight loss, maintenance, and ways to nourish your self-esteem.
B is for… Bath Time
There are three types of bath/shower time for a lady.
One is the ‘hop in, wash on, wash off’ workday bath time. Second, is the ‘going out—use every product I own’ bath time, and the final one is the ‘light candles and lay like a raisin’ bath time.
I’m not really one for bath time number three, since the moment I’ve lit all the candles and climbed in, I start thinking about what else I could be doing. I also normally have some kind of (fat-related) ache or pain or some such, which tends to make the whole experience not that comfortable anyway.
Number Two would be my favourite, although I find that, being on the larger side, bath time is just not like it is in the movies: the lady in the famous razor ads, under a waterfall, floating a leg up in the air as if she’s climaxing whilst gracefully gliding a razor down her oiled, forty-two-inch legs. It’s just not happening with my little tree stumps.
Even less realistic are TV ads, where a twelve-year-old with radiant, ‘baby-skin’ is lathering her face to clean those ‘black heads’ (that she doesn’t have), before splashing her face with abandon, as if she isn’t then going to turn around and slip in the water she’s unwittingly splashed all over the bathroom tile, breaking her neck.
By the time I’ve razor’d, loofa’d, waxed, plucked, polished, masked, and pumiced myself to within an inch of my life, I’m exhausted, aching, and have lost all enthusiasm for going out in the first place.
In my experience, when you’re severely overweight, all this luxurious pampering is quite an effort—stretching this way and that, holding hair dryers, even polishing toenails, can contort me into such impossible positions that it all becomes an ordeal. By the end of it, I’m sweating like a hog, my makeup has melted off, and the hot straightening irons have made my scalp sweat, causing my hair to frizz.
My solution is this: opt for number one, which is to do as little as possible, as quickly as possible, with the highest quality products you can possibly afford.
Try and make the shower/post-shower fragrance match (ooh, hark at me, Estee Lauder would be jealous), and you should have a day fragrance and a night one (again, I say ‘hark’). I’m not saying that because I’m a snob, but because wearing the right fragrance can make you feel clean, fresh and classy during the day, and vamp super-girl at night.
When you are fat, anything that can make you feel more comfortable equals a little bit more confidence in my book (well, this book actually). This in turn gives you one less thing to think about, and more ‘mind-space’ to either apply yourself during the day, or enjoy yourself at night.
Our hair and nails are things which do change when overweight, depending on your diet, so it’s worth spending a bit extra to have as immaculate a turnout as you are able. If you smell classy with beautiful hair and nails, you’ll feel it. Fat (and elasticated trousers) be damned.
I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to get my hair done every two weeks, be it cut, colour, or just a blow dry. I also get gel overlays on my nails every two weeks.
If you’re on a budget, invest in a really good ‘nude’ nail varnish; Revlon’s no.900 ‘Pink Nude’ (£6.00 ‘ish) is absolutely beautiful, no matter how many coats you apply, or how dastardly you are at applying it. Additionally (or instead), any of the Opi ‘Nail Envy’ range will keep your nails looking tippy-top.
For day-fragrance, I’m really not into wearing ‘full-on’ perfume. I had an episode in a train carriage once, where the lady sitting next to me decided to spray hers, and I was choking for air for the rest of the journey. I find most of them a teeny bit obnoxious (I must be showing my age).
Try and find shower/bath gel and body crème to match. I use Clarins treatment fragrances – ‘Eau Ressourçante’ in spring/summer and ‘Eau Dynamisante’ in winter. They make me feel like a million bucks. I know, that makes me sound like such a tart. I can’t really explain them, they are not perfumes per say; they are body sprays. (and cost between £20 for the shower gel, £30 for the spray and £30 for the body lotion, eek!)
Hair-wise, if you can’t afford my rather shameful ‘miss-fancy-pants’ routine, get your hair cut every six weeks at a good salon. You really can’t go far wrong. A bit of pampering is empowering, is it not?
To conclude, if you really can’t face a full-on beauty routine, choose a few quick, classy products–whatever makes you feel good, and get on with your life.