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I don’t want to hear it. I know that this dress looks like a sack. I realize that this dress is oversized. This may shock some, but I bought it that way and I really really like it. Not only do I like it, I think I look hot as hell in it.
Earlier this year Alysse from Ready To Stare released a dress that got a lot of backlash for not being “flattering” enough. She did an amazing job of addressing it, since that incident I have noticed time and time again, that people really put a lot of pressure on one another to wear “flattering” clothes. Of course, the problem with that in the plus size community is that unlike thin bodies, our bodies are inherently perceived as unflattering. So, while a thin person may be able to try new trends and experiment with their style, we’re stuck being told that we can’t try these things because they’re just not made for fat people. They make fat people look “sloppy” or “unkempt”.
Now there are a lot of things about my life that are sloppy. In fact, while I write this there are three laundry baskets sitting next to me and a coffee table with last night’s half eaten mexican food on it, sitting in front of me. Your girl knows sloppy. We’re acquainted. We may actually be related. But trust me when I say, if you see me walking down the street and you think I look sloppy… that is your problem not mine.
Most days I don’t wear super nice clothes. I wear sweat pants and a t-shirt or jeans. I wear my hair in a messy bun. I look like literally every other 30 year old that works from their home. Nothing sets me apart. Except see… I’m pretty fat. So when someone sees me they don’t immediately think “oh look it’s a casual mom-aged person just hanging out and relaxing for the day”. They think “ugh, she’s so lazy she doesn’t even get dressed”. Maybe you think I’m being too sensitive. Maybe you think “well sweat pants DO look sloppy”. Ok, I’m going to need you to think about the last time you say a thin girl in sweat pants and a t-shirt and thought “ew sloppy” instead of “omg effortless!”. Ya’ll entire brands are built around thin women who want to wear yoga pants all the time and get praised for it. I’m not imagining this.
So when I think about my style, when I think about the trends I want to try, I’ve started asking myself “define flattering”. It turns out, flattering is very different than what I’ve been taught. It has nothing to do with looking put together, or hugging your curves in all the right places. Flattering doesn’t even have to do with how you feel in your clothes. Flattering is something that people made up in order to further judge and demean bodies that they don’t like. It’s an entire concept based around making people adhere to arbitrary and meaningless “rules”. It’s boring, and I refuse to spend any more of my time validating it.
So the next time you find yourself wondering if something is flattering, I challenge you to ask yourself “define flattering?”.