If you ever feel the need to lift your own self-esteem, just take a weekend trip to Las Vegas. In Sin City, the body confidence is loud and proud and usually involves some kind of animal print. At any given time of day, you’ll see people wearing whatever the fuck they want. And that’s how it should be.
I kind of love that once they get to Vegas people are so cavalier about what they put on their bodies. It might be the free booze or the whole crazy ambiance of the city. Everything you see on Las Vegas Boulevard—the strip—is outrageous. Body-hugging, gender-fluid, brightly-coloured, feather-covered frocks. Barely-there, genital-revealing, almost-pornographic tops and bottoms. A dominatrix once slapped me on the ass with a whip as I walked by, inviting my husband to take the reins. He didn’t. I was disappointed, which surprised me. I guess everyone transforms a little when in Vegas. But then I got over it, because I have no idea where that whip has been. Ew.
Walking the strip with my husband, I was feeling pretty good, despite the heat. It was the height of summer, and it was still 45ºC (113ºF) in the valley at midnight. I had chosen to wear a sleeveless summer dress, not giving a whit that my flabby arms were out for the world to see. It was so hot, I could feel the heat from the pavement drifting up under my dress.
A woman in a skin-tight, sequinned dress whipped past me. She was booking it in three-inch heels. Her dress barely covered her butt and was riding up with every step. I had to check myself when I recognized I was thinking “oh, she shouldn’t be wearing that.” That was my mother speaking, telling me I was too fat to wear what I wanted.
Her friend said something to her and she flung her head back and let out the most glorious laughter. I smiled too, infected by her confidence, her presence, and her unchecked joy. We should all be able to live like that every day.
I’ve bought the dress that took my breath away when I saw it in the store. It was sparkly and tapered at the waist. Yes, it was slightly snug, and yes, it didn’t hide all my layers. Revealing more of me than I was used to was surprisingly freeing. It was nice to feel the fabric hugging my curves instead of draped over and around me. I realized when I dressed for me, it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. The dress was gorgeous, ergo, so was I, glowing from the inside.