T-shirt: Gisela Ramirez via Em
Skirt: Forever 21+
Ring: Chubby Cartwheels
Glasses: courtesy of Glasses Direct
Lest any followers who feel there’s a limit to how far fatties can go in their fashion have gotten a little too comfortable following my blog, here’s a friendly reminder that I fundamentally do not agree with any such restrictions.
It took me a few months and an act of kindness from the lovely Em who’d bought about 5 of the shorts, but I finally have a F*ck Flattering crop top all of my own. To wear it in any respectable way would have done everything Gisela stands for a disservice, so here I am: death fat, ugly, non-hourglass, no-waist, pale, lumpy, hairy in a crop top and shiny, too-tight mini.
Here’s the thing: you do not have to dress yourself according to other people’s standards. And by the same token, it is not for you to dictate how others should dress. Seriously. The mental energy that gets wasted on indulging yourself in anger at another person’s belly outline, why do it? One of the best things I ever did (and am still doing) is learning to not judge people I see out and about. I can’t even tell you the kind of difference it makes to your psyche.
That said, I totally understand why dressing more modestly has to be done, for your own sanity and safety. I am incredibly socially anxious, sometimes even leaving the house to run an errand is a nightmare for me and a lot of the time I will wear something that I feel good in but doesn’t rock the boat too much because it’s just less hassle, something less to worry about. But the more I see other plus size women like me rocking outfits like this one, the more normal it gets to see fatties taking fashion risks and not giving a stuff, the more likely I am to head out of my door with my VBO on display and my head held high. I can’t thank you all, and Gisela Ramirez, enough for that.
I’m going to leave you with my Burger Queen speech, which I wrote for the final and inspired by this very slogan:
There is a word in every fat fashion fan’s vocabulary that upon its utterance, whether by a TV style pundit, a designer or a well-meaning relative, never fails to strike a killing blow to any confidence we may have. The word is “flattering”.
Flattering. The word haunts us wherever we go. Shouting at us from our screens, omnipresent in the stares from 17 year old shop assistants, left in the comments of every article that dares to mention fatness and fashion in the same paragraph. This word, these three little syllables, have locked fat people – feminine fatties, dapper fatties, butch fatties – into a parallel universe of shame and despair, a world populated by an endless parade of diarrhoea brown calf length skirts, waterfall cardigans and hanky hems. To flatter is to hide, to minimise, to render obsolete. A way for fatties to move through the world, without actually being seen.
Flattering, a code word for elasticated necklines and empire waists. The idea that a belly and a bum means you’re not worthy of colour or fanciness. Of happiness.
I want you to join me, my friends. Join me in rejecting the idea of only wearing clothes that others deem flattering. let us adorn ourselves in sequins, in feathers, in tight Lycra. Let us frolic in skirts and jeans that trace the outline of our bellies without fear or shame. Let us wear our VBOs as a delicious fashion statement, instead of a curse.
Together we can walk the streets, take to the beaches a riot of colourful chubbiness. Together we will rise to the hates and shout…
It is time for us to take back our agency, it’s time for us to reclaim this word which is still used against us. And once we have it, we will destroy it.
Society may want us to hide, but we will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! But we WILL pour our bums into a pair of American Apparel disco pants. We WILL wear ruffles, peplums and skinny jeans and fitted 3 piece suits. We WILL dress exactly how we want because we deserve to feel good about ourselves.
Celebrate your body. Wrap it in silks, paint it in millions of colours. Wear hot pants or even baggy t-shirts if that’s what makes you happy. But don’t ever feel you need to wear something “flattering”.
The next time you hear that word, those horrible three syllables, say it with me: fuck flattering! Fuck flattering! FUCK FLATTERING!