Without a doubt, when you hear fashion advice, the number one goal will be to make yourself look smaller. They may mask it in other terms, like “flattering” or “longer and leaner,” but the idea is the same: conceal any hint of fatness.
Here’s the deal though: I don’t necessarily WANT to look smaller.
There’s not a piece of clothing on this planet that will make me acceptable in the eyes of the public. No matter how many vertical stripes and wrap dresses I put on, I will always be fatter than most people think I should be.
And that’s just too bad for them.
See, there’s this wild thing about me: I think my body is pretty awesome, and I have no desire to conceal it. Sure, I’ll keep my boobs in a bra (mostly for comfort and the sake of not smacking myself in the chin) and stuff like that, but if I like a garment, I’m going to wear it, regardless of whether or not it creates some illusion that I’m slightly smaller.
Telling me I shouldn’t wear something is almost always rooted in fatphobia. Calling something flattering DEFINITELY is. It’s telling me you don’t actually want to see me; you want to see a smaller, more socially acceptable facsimile. If you think I should cover myself more — for non-weather-related reasons — you’re saying that my body is less deserving of being seen. That I should hide it away until it meets some arbitrary standard.
I Won’t Pretend to Be Smaller to Make You Comfortable
I keep a pin stuck in the bulletin board above my desk. On it, there’s a drawing of a body that looks a lot like mine. It has the saying “dress to distress fatphobes.” That’s my goal.
If you think I should cover up or try to look smaller, YOU are the problem. I want you to be uncomfortable and I want you to deal with why.
My body does not need to be hidden away from the world. Hatred and fatphobia do.