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Low Maintenance or Sloppy?

Know what’s super cute? Being low maintenance, apparently. Leggings (affiliate link), tees, and big comfy sweaters are all in style and considered chic.

Know who doesn’t get to take part in that look? Fat people.

The woman pictured is just wearing jeans (or jeggings), a tee, and a sweater. She’s considered cute, stylish, and low maintenance. Because she’s thin, white, and conventionally attractive. This is nothing personal against that woman or her clothing choices, but she’s a prime example of the double standard.

Take that same outfit and put it on a fat woman, or a woman of color, or a woman who in any way doesn’t conform to Eurocentric beauty standards. She’s no longer easygoing and cute. She’s sloppy, lazy, not taking pride in her appearance, or some other disparaging description. Depending on where she goes in this outfit, she may end up on a site like People of Walmart, dedicated to mocking and bullying her appearance.

If you’re thin, white, and pretty, it requires very little effort to come across as stylish. For the rest of us, though? We have to put in ten times the effort and will still be seen by some as slovenly and hideous.

If this double standard were simply from random people, that would be bad enough, but not necessarily the end of the world. But it also rears its ugly head in damaging ways. At work, the fat person might be told they’re violating dress codes when a thin person in the same outfit is not. If you’re in sweats and you go to the doctor, you might not have your complaints taken seriously. If you fly in comfy clothes you might be the target of more stares and rudeness. But a thin person in leggings and a tee is just being relaxed for the flight.

It’s not right. People in the same clothes should be judged the same regardless of size, race, beauty, or anything. It sounds trivial but when it can result in professional and health repercussions, it’s not.

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