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My relationship with crop tops is long and complicated, much like my relationship with my body. I distinctly remember making fat-shaming (self hating) comments years ago wondering why manufacturers even made a plus size crop top because “nobody should wear that”. I cringe thinking about some of the things my past self has said about fat bodies. I feel really lucky that I made it out of the judgemental hell I was in, but I’m still acutely aware of how people that are stuck in that place may feel about my body.
When I put on a crop top I feel so fly. This is possibly one of my favorite outfits I have ever taken for my blog. It’s a perfect reflection of so many parts of me: the casual feel of jeans, my husband’s over sized sweater, the earthy vibes from the hat, and the sassy crop top. It’s perfect, and I feel so me in it. Yet, I can’t turn off those signals in my head that tell me other people may not like the superb style I’m bringing to the table. Let me tell you something, when you weigh well over 300 pounds and you have a bull skull tattooed on you, your exposed midriff does not go unnoticed.
I don’t know how to completely ignore what I’ve been taught, and act like everyone is just cool with my body all of a sudden. Maybe there will always be some fear of judgement within me. What I do know is that every time I go out feeling like me I feel a little bit less affected by those fears. Every time I hear a friend talk about what someone is wearing I feel more confident in speaking up and saying “I think they look great, I would totally wear that!”, and actually mean it, I feel more valid in my own outfit choices. Every time I pause my own judgements about what someone is wearing, and consider if it matters what I think, I am reminded that body autonomy is essential, and I am worthy of it also. I really truly believe people should wear whatever they want, and I just want to be able to embody that in my own style. There’s still a lot of work to do to get there, but every day I feel closer and closer. I think that’s the best I can do.