Can I? Yes. I can.
In case you’ve missed it, Oprah Magazine ran an advice column where a reader asked if she could “pull off a crop top”, and the response was an unequivocal no unless the reader had a flat stomach.
As you can imagine, this caused an outcry.
Surprised to see this level of #bodyshaming (👎🏻) in Oprah magazine. The feature is about women feeling healthy. Part of health is self-esteem and that's intrinsically connected to body image. Stop telling women what they CAN'T wear. We can wear and do and be ANYTHING that makes us feel strong, powerful, passionate and in charge of our own destinies. I hope young women and women of any age don't feel like they're restricted by editorially imposed fashion "rules." The only rules are there are no rules. Wear what you love, what makes you feel confident, and own it. Confidence is power, and it's contagious. 👊🏽👊🏾👊🏿👊🏻👊🏼👊
It’s been an amazing hashtag to watch, especially as it’s united women of all sizes and shapes.
I did find one thing quite sad though, obviously us plus size women were going to be all over it with our larger bellies. But what surprised me was how many slender women were too. As far as I could see their stomachs were as flat as they could be, with maybe the tiniest natural curve. But these women had been so used to seeing photoshopped stomachs, with not even a hint of curve that their perception of how a stomach could actually look was all wrong. They were seeing their tiny flat stomachs as being bigger than the ideal, and that is so messed up.
I know when I was younger and starving myself I’d genuinely convinced myself that if I pulled my knees up to my chest there should be no rolls visible. Which is insane, of course there would be! Most of this is from photoshopped images of models, and bearing in mind I’ve never been a big fan of fashion magazines (I’m pretty certain the only ones I ever bought were for when I did the Fashion and Textiles unit of my art course) I wasn’t even half as exposed as many other girls and women.
We are sold this non-existent fantasy of what a woman should be, and shamed if we can’t live up to her. In that way we will never be good enough, and that’s wrong, we are already good enough.
It’s so hard to shake these unrealistic ideals of what we are expected to look like, we need to change the way women are shown, we need to show how bodies actually look if we want our daughters to grow up with a better chance than we had. And if we want to help ourselves now.
So I’m going to #rockthecrop, and I’m going to celebrate all the other women of every size wearing it too. Because we deserve to be seen as we are, not as a fantasy version of woman.