The Ins and Outs of Real Life Glamour … Not So Glamorous

This weekend is the Daytime Emmy’s and the show I am on, Days of Our Lives, is celebrating 50 years – a truly amazing feat! But as always, accepting the invitation to attend comes the silent thought, “OMG, what will I wear?

This year, the publicity department got some designers to loan the cast dresses for the evening, but they are all sample sizes 0-4. Well I am NOT any of those. And, watching the many slim girls on the show pick out their dresses, reconfirmed what I already knew. Those type dresses – the tight, body hugging variety with NO SLEEVES, etc. – are just not me. I have too many curves (lumps and bumps) for those!

Even in Macy's -- no sleeves anywhere!
Even in Macy’s — no sleeves anywhere!

And I think there’s a big problem when you look for pretty dresses and NOTHING has sleeves. (I want to start a company that has women’s clothes with sleeves but I’ll save that for another blog post.)

blog14_3When my daughter, Katie, was little and in ballet, she told me she couldn’t do it anymore because she just couldn’t hold her stomach in that long. She could have probably told me anything else and I would have made her stick it out, but that was something I absolutely understood. She didn’t become a ballerina, but she was lucky enough to get her dad’s family’s body type, with a flat tummy (something I have never, ever had!). Even when I was in grade school and all the girls were wearing “hip huggers,”my potbelly would hang over.

I don’t have a “Hollywood body,” and quite frankly I was born in the wrong era – I would have done better in Renaissance times, when curves were in! So, as I face the “what to wear dilemma,” I suppose the answer is to embrace what I do have and, as my friend, stylist Cynthia Carr Gardner, says “accentuate the positives!” All of us need to find looks that make us feel pulled together and beautiful … whatever that means to you. Popular trends can inspire us, but it’s important to find our own style.

Coco quoteWhen I was younger, I could just go with it, but even then I was a size 6, not a 0. As you can see, my personal style has evolved over the years, and today, I generally lean toward a little funky. I like more of a Diane Keaton vibe – male suiting meets feminine whimsy.

Dress quoteAnyway, this year’s choices for me include a pretty cocktail-type dress (not evening gown) that I found in my size 8. The only issue is can I wrangle a wrap to cover up my “chub” arms (BTW, you have to check out Amy Schumer on Ellen … so funny). My second option is to go with a skirt/tux look. The jury is still out.

I’ve still got a few days to decide, and I’ll be sure to Instagram the final outcome this weekend. One thing I know for sure – I will feel comfortable and confident! All those gals with their glamour gowns will look fabulous, but it’s just not me … and that’s ok!



  1. Mary Beth,
    When I was teenager, I was sick with asthma all the time. I had to be on steroids on and off for years. This caused me to gain weight quickly. I developed long purple stretch marks on my arms that went from my arm pit to my elbow. I was 14 years. This lead to depression and never wanting to leave the house. From that moment on i refused to wear sleeveless or even short sleeves. I’m 39 and this is still my biggest challenge shopping for clothes!
    Thank you for bringing awareness to unflattering arms!
    Btw, Steve and Kayla are what got me through those devastating years. Thank you!♡

  2. that is the one thing clothing designers have never caught on to, no matter the size of the woman, we all have something about ourselves that we just don’t care for.

    So if you come up with a clothing line for dresses with sleeves, I will so be on board. I am not a fan of my upper arms at all and it is nearly impossible to find summer dresses with anything more then a spaghetti strap, in any size.

    BTW… I loved your dress choice for the Emmys. Funky, yet stylish.
    Would have loved the Diane Keaton suit look also *always my go to favorite look.*

  3. Amy Coleman

    Hi Mary Beth
    I have been reading your blog every week but have been a bit shy to comment. Today’s blog made me just have comment as it hit home.
    Must say that I agree as you are what Hollywood should be classy, talented and beautiful. Very down to earth.
    My eldest daughter was so in love with Gymnastics and begged me to take her to classes. I enrolled her and the person there broke her heart telling her to lose some weight and come back. She was only 7. I did what you did with your daughter. I took her out of that class. She lost all interest in Gymnastics.
    The Dress Wear. Oh I so agree – we need sleeves. I wear shawls a lot as am uncomfortable in the sleeveless dress that I see everywhere. We do need more variety.
    Thank you for your blog. Awesome read.

    • Hi MaryBeth,

      I am an avid follower of your blog and I have to say this post really hit home for me. As I turned 50 this past year I have really noticed that so many of the styles are designed for much petite woman and not women with curves whether its gowns for a gala or business attire. I promise to be one of your first customers when you open your shop women’s clothes with sleeves.
      BTW – You looked absolutely gorgeous last night!


    • Oh Amy! Your poor baby. I’m afraid I’d have gone all Mama Bear on the way out. People like that should not work with children and I am speaking as an educator. I am do sorry this happened to your girl. XO

  4. Amy Coleman

    Hi Mary Beth! Been reading your blog every week been a little afraid to leave a comment. This week’s blog really hit home. So I decided just to comment. I agree with so many of the comments above and you really are what Hollywood should be beautiful and so classy and talented.
    My oldest daughter was told to leave gymnastics as she was too heavy and come back when she loses weight. She was only 7 at the time. I understand completely the situation with your daughter.
    Dresses -I’m in total agreement we need more variety. Not everyone is a Barbie doll and I am like you want sleeves or will wear a shawl. Thank you for the Plank
    Have fun at the Emmys.

  5. I love this inspiring blog ~ and your style too. I’m sharing this on my facebook and with my daughters as well. They all know I how I loved Kayla on DOOL, growing up and how I celebrated Steve and Kayla’s return in ’06. I think it’s important to be yourself and celebrate yourself, and although tough at times, something to strive to do. I find right now at 41 that I’m fighting many many changes in my body that I’m not liking, so reading this entry this morning brightened my perspective on things. Thank you, Mary Beth!

  6. Andrea Welmaker

    Mary Beth…like others, I too love this blog! Let me first say, your style is great. I always look forward to seeing what you’ll be wearing. I’m 5’2″ and the smallest I remember being in HS was a size 6. I have two sisters who are 5’6″ and 5’7″, they were always sizes 0-4. I would get frustrated if clothes didn’t fit but I never felt bad about myself. One reason was because of role models like you. I’ve always considered you thin but you also look healthy unlike others who are to thin and I knew I could never look like them. As far as a flat stomach…I’m not sure I know what one looks like. ☺️ Thank you for sharing with us in your blogs, they are really inspirational!

  7. Patricia K

    Mary Beth I just love today’s blog
    To me.. You are what Hollywood should be … You are beautiful, talented and classy.
    I love the story you told of Katie not wanting to take ballet any longer as it was too hard to hold her tummy in and your support of her was wonderful.
    I totally agree with needing sleeves on women’s dresses. We need more choices.
    Don’t want to make my comment too long so will just end it with…I know you will be so stunning and beautiful for the Daytime Emmys and can’t wait to see what u decide to wea

    • Mary Beth

      Thank you everyone for your comments and getting where I am coming from…Love all the conversation!!!

  8. Nancy McCarthy

    This is so great Mary Beth. And I don’t think it’s that you don’t have a “Hollywood body”. It’s that YOU are not Hollywood. You have your own style which I’ve always admired. I didn’t have a figure until after I gave birth. And I admit it was nice to be a size 4 but I always knew it wouldn’t last forever. I’m 45 years old and though I’m lucky enough I to have good health and still feel young I know I’m not looking young anymore. Or as young. I will take what you have said about finding my own style. What I feel good in and what is comfortable for me & I will own it! Thank you!

  9. I LOVE YOU for saying your size girl. It’s about damn time we stop the number shaming BS. When I was younger I was much heavier and had to deal with all of the horror that goes along with that. Today, after having lost 120 pounds along the way. I’ll proudly wear my size 8 in a sleeveless and anyone who happens to see some chub on my arm that they don’t like can bite me because I know I look better than most 48 year old women and this girl has guns! Thank you for being real. It is so refreshing.

  10. Cocktail! But annie hall will be adorable, too. Katie comment about not being able to hold her stomach in kind of tugged at me. That thin girl of yours and that pressure. I think there are people who have a charisma and beauty within that really precedes them, and whatever is on the outside is secondary. That’s certainly you. So I look forward to whatever you’ll be wearing. I am also so freaking with you on dresses with sleeves. At LEAST cap sleeves? Please? Someone? Anyone? MB, please launch that company. Shark tank it, whatever it takes, just do it, and remember the double digit girls, cuz I need one of those dresses. Or four. Jeez, this comment was all over the place.

  11. Mary Beth…this was probably my favorite blog…reason being that I will definitely never be a small size!…but as you talk about finding the clothes that help accentuate your positives, that really got me to thinking and your so right!…I may never be in a size 10 but I can at least find something that helps accentuates my positives…Thank you MB for a
    great blog this week!

  12. You have been my girl crush since I was in 6th grade. You can definitely see the confidence in all your looks. Rock on, you’re grogeous always !

    And you’re spot on about accentuating the positives. Love your style. It’s funky but still so lady-like and pretty

  13. The thing I most love about your blog is that you’re so real. Most of us probably starting reading this because we love Kayla (and I do! LOL) but this blog makes me really love Mary Beth as well. Thank you for that. You’ve done your job so well, it’s sometimes hard for fans to remember that you’re not a doctor….you just play one on TV. 🙂 I love that that this beautiful woman I idolized as a teen and continue to think is stunning, faces the same body issues as me. Thanks for your raw honesty!!

  14. Christine

    I don’t know Mary Beth when I look back at the clips of you on Days all those years ago I see a flat tummy. I think you’re beautiful no matter what you wear!

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