Most of the bigger women – and actually not just the bigger ones but everyone who diverts from the current physical ideal in any way – hear from a very young age what they can and can’t wear.
We hear those messages everywhere: from our family, friends, society, media… It’s not easy to detach ourselves from those messages. Some of us absorb them so deeply that we begin to force them upon other women and thus we become part of the problem…
This post is meant to reject all those “prohibitions”. I honsetly think there is almost nothing that’s entirely not suitable for larger women. It all depends on your body shape, correct styling and also in us realizing that the social conventions are constantly changing and that we needn’t live our lives according to them.
And you know what? even if something is less flattering and you still wear it because you like the color or because it’s comfortable or for any other reason – that’s OK as well. It is not our purpose in life to please everyone else or to be an object for others to look at. We need to wear what WE like.
So in that optimistic note here are some of the prohibitions and rules I used to hear all my life and what I think about them now. You are most welcome to add your own in the comments and whether you overcame them!
Fat girls can’t wear dresses!
As of 2009 I wear almost only dresses and skirts. As a kid I really wanted to wear dresses. I was a very girly girl who liked all things disney and wanted twirling dresses like their princesses wore. Unfortunately my mom is the comlpete opposite: she is a real tomboy, and when I started going into puberty (which was very early in my case) she did not think it appropriate for me to wear dresses. It’s funny to say but this created a sort of deprivation for me, so when I finally started to wear dresses it completely exploded and now I have an insane amount of dresses. I think everyone who follows me can see how much dresses can be flattering for any size – you just need to find the right shape for you.
Fat girls can’t wear tight clothes!
God forbid if anyone sees a belly curve… This was one of the “rules” that was most difficult for me to let go. Even after I started wearing dresses the first couple of years were all about A shapes and skater dresses. With time I started experimenting and it was not easy at first. I was very self- conscious. But as time went by I started to think it’s actually sexy! so yes – you can see I have a tummy and a butt. So what? those are feminine things. If anything, the ultra-flat stomach you can see in magazines today is the exception. It’s only natural that a woman who is not 15 will have a tummy, and even more so if she went through pregnancies and labors.
Fat girls can’t bear arms!
That’s something I argue about with my mom to this day. True, my arms aren’t skinny and they certainly have wobbly parts. But honestly, I don’t think that if i’ll wear sleeves anyone will think I have tiny arms. What I do know for sure is that in summer when I wear sleeves I am extremely hot. So should I suffer because someone else might not like the sight of my bare arms? thanks but no thanks.
Fat girls can’t wear skinny jeans!
Boy, was I wrong here. After I started wearing dresses I became really reluctant to wear pants and for several years did not wear them at all. I used to think of the baggy, unflattering trousers I wore before my dresses revolution. I didn’t even think about trying skinny jeans… after all, the name said it all, didn’t it? it was meant for skinny girls. Until one day I saw a girl with a shape similar to mine wearing it, and Asos had a sale, so I thought: what could possibly happen? and I baught one and was completely hooked.
Today I actually think skinny jeans is more flattering to curvy women. In my case high rise skinny is also really shaping and I often get comments that I look thinner in it (not that it matters in any way – it only shows how much our conceptions about ourselves can be missguided).
Fat girls can’t wear pencil skirts!
This one goes directly with the “no tight clothes” rule above. Pencil skirts create a feminine silhouette but on the other hand emphasize the stomach. For most of my adulthood since I had a breast reduction surgery my stomach was the least liked area in my body and it was hard for me to feel comfortable with emphasizing it. It was only in the last couple of years that I felt “brave” enough to try it, and as time went by I liked it better and better. I learned that like in any clothing matter there will be choices more right for me – thicker fabrics, prints, accurate size – but that the genre should not be ruled out completely and can actually be very flattering.
Fat girls should wear black because it’s slimming!
That’s a rule so many women comply to, which I find really sad. Let’s start with a statement – I have nothing against black in general. It can be a stylish and chic color. The problem begins when women wear only black for years and years because they think it makes them look smaller. Well dear ladies – I have news for you… Black may be a little slimming but it does not turn a size 24 woman into a size 8. It can however be aging, lifeless, and swallow your presence and personality. There are so many great colors on the spectrum. Don’t live your life with just one.
Fat Girls can’t wear white!
The counter-rule to the previous one. A lot of bigger ladies have troubles with this color – unjustifiably in my opinion. It’s true that it can draw more attention to “flaws” because it is bright. But there are many ways to overcome it, starting by wearing white with prints through combining a jacket in another color through adding a statement nacklace or belt that will distract from other areas etc. It’s a light and festive color that’s especially great for the current spring and summer days. The mood almost instantly improves when you wear it. And needless to say, It looks particularly good on tanned or darker women, regardless of their size.
Fat girls can’t tuck in their shirts!
In groups I follow this is one of the rules women have the most trouble with, because of the “tummy enhancement” issues I have mentioned already. I can understand that but I think every woman should try and take a photo of herself with a shirt tucked in and try to examine it in eyes as neutral as possible. For many women this will indeed be a much more flattering look since it divides the body in a more proportionate way – especially if you have narrow waist or long legs. And again, perhaps the most important thing is to realize a round tummy is not such a huge disaster like we are taught to think – it is a natural and feminine thing.
Fat girls can’t wear crop tops!
An advanced rule :-D When women hear “crop top” they automatically picture a completely bare stomach, like we used to see in the 90s’, paires with low-rise jeans. But in recent years crop tops has a completely different interpretation and are worn with high rise skirts or pants, so only the narrowest part of the torso is actually revealed and sometimes not even that. As always I just recommend trying without prejudice and see if it’s a look you like.
Fat girls can’t wear horizontal stripes!
Optical Illusions are exactly what they sound like: illusions. No one actually gets bigger because of a broadening pring. But still many women are terrified at the very thought of wearing something that’s enlarging. So how can you wear this almost always fashionable print and stay alive? First, narrow stripes will usually be less broadening than thick stripes. secondly, wearing a jacket over a striped shirt will create a flattering look and eliminate the broadening effect. and thirdly, wear stripes on the narrowest part of your body to create a balances look. for example if my hips are wider than my torso I will pair a striped top with a pencil skirt. In shorts, there are many ways to enjoy this print and look great.
Fat girls can’t wear swimsuits, and certainly not bikinis!
This is probably one of the hottest topics right now. I think there is a great issue of visibility here. we are so used to seeing only “perfect”, slim and tall bodies in swimwear in the media, that everything which deviated from that seems strange. That is why it is so important to see real women in all shapes and sizes go to the beach, upload pictures of themselves in swimsuits to social networks or just wearing whatever they feel like. As more and more women will do that we will get more and more used to it.
It’s true that a bathing suit from it’s very definition allows us much less coverage and illusions that good stying can give. But for heaven’s sake, are we supposed to ban ourselves from fun all of our lives because we are not models? I know women who dare not go to the beach for decades. In the end the only ones who are missing out are them: US.
I say, and I know it is easier to say than to do, f**k it. Your body is your own, you did not steal anything and you have nothing to be ashamed of. The only people who should be ashamed are those that cannot accept people different from them, which usually just shows a lack of confidence.
Personally I baught a gorgeous tropical bikini this year and I intend to use it well. I plan a post dedicated to swimwear which is why I did not use my own photos here, unlike in the rest of the post.
Fat girls cannot love themselves and be pleased with themselves!
It all comes down to this. The reason why we get all those messages everywhere and sometimes even apply it upon ourselves is that it’s unthinkable that we are happy the way we are. It’s unthinkable that we wouldn’t wanna blur, hide, cover up.
And this is the message I go out against. I am fat and I love myself. I think I am pretty and sexy. I am much healthier than I was when I was thinner due to proper nutrition and fitness. And I am not going to apologize I exist and hide myself. Also, I have news for you: even if you do want to lose weight, you can do it out of self love and acceptance. you are allowed to dress up nicely and not hide yourselves. Because you are pretty regardless of your size. you are pretty because of who you are.