You guys! Remember when I went to the Emmys?! Me too. Sigh.

So, Squarespace is broken, and has been for over a week. It won't let me add any more pictures to this post and is super picky about what text it'll let me add or change. So I'm posting this in two parts: this part that has been sitting around for over a week and hopefully the second part, which will include the actual dress I wore, when Squarespace heals itself, which better be soon.

Okay? Okay!

We left off at the most amazing text I've ever received. Matthew and I didn't really need to discuss it; of course I was going to the Emmys. He was so sweet and supportive about it you guys. Normally we are totally on top of our budget and plan ahead and save for big ticket items but with this he just did his best Tim Gunn and said, "We will make it work, you can't not go to the Emmys." 

So, do you know what happens when you know you are going to the Emmys, besides the fantasies involving Jon Hamm and late night visits to your hotel room? You start thinking about your body. A lot. More than usual, which is already a lot. I came home from my summer in MA heavier than I am comfortable with and had started exercising every day and re-establishing my Eat to Live way of eating, but knowing the Emmys were on the horizon gave me the best most awesome sense of purpose I've ever had when it comes to my body. (Here's where I should tell you that I am aware that being so body-conscious is probably not healthy, is super privileged, and is most likely just a mega-annoying thing to be, but it's where I was am at.)

I seem to have this little magic window of weight where I feel amazing and jeans look awesome on me and I love clothing and I just feel pa-pow powerful all the time, but the window is small and even 3 pounds can throw it off to where I feel gross and want to wear PJs all day. As a feminist and an educated person who concerns herself with freeing women from our culture's obsession with female looks and weight, the amount of care and energy that my brain involuntarily spends on my own looks and weight feels so problematic to me ALL THE TIME, and I wrestle constantly with not wanting to give a fuck and desperately wanting to own the fact that I do give a fuck and then being pissed that I give a fuck and being pissed that I can't just own giving a fuck.

Having 6 weeks to just give in to giving a fuck felt oddly liberating. I found a willpower that I have literally never had before, for anything ever. I ate a modified Eat to Live diet full of vegetables all day every day, did Pilates three times a week, and set about finding the perfect dress. Between July 26th and Sept. 20th I lost 12.5 pounds and felt better and stronger than I have since I was, oh, 18-years old maybe? 

In addition to wanting to tackle my body image problems by changing my body, I knew that I needed to really figure out hair and makeup. I was raised by a woman who couldn't care less about those two things, in a town that prides itself on not caring less about those two things, surrounded by people who actively eschew caring about those two things. Whenever I have had to enter even semi-professional/fancy spaces filled with the people who belong in them I have felt distinctly and acutely like a feral person. All of a sudden, no matter what I have done, no matter the lengths I have gone to, no matter the money I have spent, I feel ALL WRONG. My clothes are forced, my hair is boring, my attempts at make-up are laughable, and I exude discomfort. I am a fraud and I know it and they know it and everyone knows it.

Not wanting to feel like that at the Emmys (or in LA in general), I asked my new lady friends here in the Bay Area for their help. They are not frauds. They know a thing or two about being fancy. They wear heels to class, $300 dresses on weekdays, and look photo-shoot ready every time I see them. They brought me to Victoria's Secret where I was sized for the first time in my life (have you gone? GO!) and spent $100 on two bras - wha?

Urjowan wearing fancy shoes taking me shopping in fancy stores

Urjowan wearing fancy shoes taking me shopping in fancy stores

That's a closet OF SHOES

That's a closet OF SHOES

They visited makeup counters with me, helped me figure out how to get my hair done in LA, held small dress-trying-on parties for me (one lady had a friend I had never met bring over some of hers. I mean, shit, these ladies are amazing), gave me in-depth tutorials on makeup applying, lent me 9 pairs of shoes, entrusted me with a Chanel clutch, and made me feel really beautiful and not feral at all.  

Matthew came to one dress-trying-on party and made us champagne cocktails. What a good boyfriend.

Matthew came to one dress-trying-on party and made us champagne cocktails. What a good boyfriend.

Jessie has the blingiest dining set I've ever seen

Jessie has the blingiest dining set I've ever seen

So, I had an appointment at the Dry Bar in Santa Monica for 10am on Emmys morning. I had all the makeup and know-how I needed to do my own face. I had shoes and clutches and jewelry.

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Now I needed to figure out the dress thing once and for all. I had borrowed 6 dresses from lady friends and all felt like good options but none felt perfect, and since I had the time to try to find perfect, why not?

I went to a local dress rental shop and fell in love with a dress that was way too big for me.

Light, comfortable, easy, not boring, not flashy and a size 10; BOO

Light, comfortable, easy, not boring, not flashy and a size 10; BOO

I tried on dresses wherever I went.

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I became super aware of my pale pale legs and sat outside on my stoop trying to get them a little color.

Who does this? What a weirdo!

Who does this? What a weirdo!

As a safety back up plan I rented two dresses from Rent the Runway but they wouldn't show up until Friday the 20th, the evening before I flew to LA. I felt like I had some good or even great options. And then Sheila made me try on her new size 2 Anthro dress. At first I thought, "There is no way I am getting in to this thing." I have been been a size 12 at my heaviest and an almost-size 4 at my thinnest. Size 2 is for little birds, which Sheila is. But somehow I managed to get it on without destroying it. I walked out into her living room and a small chorus of "OOOOOOOOH!" rose from my friends mouths. I looked in the mirror and kind of couldn't believe it.

I know, you're here to read about the motherfucking Emmys and I'm all obsessed with talking about my body. But you guys, maybe some of you will relate, I have been struggling with feeling comfortable and good in my own body since I can remember. Not in a pathological/ill way, just the typical American girl way (which is pathological and ill but we won't go there right now). If I could reclaim the time, energy, and brain space I use thinking about my thighs and what a problem they are I would probably be invincible. All of which is to say, feeling the way I felt in that dress was a BIG DEAL. A complicated, problematic, unhealthy, victorious BIG DEAL.

I couldn't bring myself to borrow Sheila's dress though. 14 hours on my body would have stretched it out and she had just bought it, had not worn it yet, and clearly loved it. She was so sweet, all, "Take it! I'll eat a couple cheeseburgers to wear it if I have to!" I couldn't have that on my mind so I set about trying to find a size 4 in the Bay Area to no avail. I eventually found one in Salt Lake City and had them ship it to me overnight, 4 days before flying to LA.

I spent the next 4 days trying on the shoes I had borrowed, practicing walking in them (I even survived watching this video on walking in heels), did my makeup a couple times, got a mani/pedi (black on fingers, red on toes) and tried to sleep well and failed. 

Next chapter: First Day in LA

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AuthorSarah Reid
CategoriesMiscellany!