Wanting to dress in a way that compliments your body’s natural shape is totally understandable and desirable. I myself am continually conscious of dressing to flatter my hips and broad shoulders. So trust me, I get it. My worries are not with wanting to dress well, but with the way we’ve gone about promoting it. Not too long ago, Glamour came out with their special edition entitled “1,000 Ways To Dress 10 Pounds Thinner”. I realize that they meant no harm in it and that they were simply trying to provide women with solutions to common wardrobe flaws and confusions. However, I felt like it came off negatively. To me, it said, “no matter your shape, you should want to dress ten pounds thinner.”
But here’s the thing, maybe I don’t want to be told to dress ten pounds thinner. Maybe, just maybe, I want to be told that as long as I’m healthy (and healthy comes in a number of shapes and sizes, mind you) that I should embrace my size and dress in a way that makes me happy and comfortable.
Now, I’m not intending on bringing down the iron fist on Glamour. I adore them. But everyone gets it wrong every now and then. And I honestly think they went about this one the wrong way. It all seems very confusing because we are getting so many mixed, contradictory messages. And to muddle things further, the contradictions are often within the same magazines. For instance, we are told to embrace our bodies, but then we are told to strive to look thinner. We are told about all of these wonderful achievements women are making, but then we are told how we should act to impress men. We are told that the most beautiful version of ourselves is the face we paint on.
Of course I would never begrudge any person for wanting to lose weight, for wanting to feel more comfortable in his or her own skin. But I also am not about to begrudge a woman who is perfectly happy with her size. I’m not about to admonish her and say, “but don’t you want to look even thinner?”
I know I’m coming down hard on the industry, but that’s the way changes are made. And I will applaud all of the fabulous magazines and designers who are putting their feet down and demanding more realistic standards. Despite this, we are so far from being where we should be with the image of women currently being putting out there.
Some of the ways I go about doing my own little part is by not purchasing magazines with features that I feel are degrading, or would just make me feel badly about myself. I’m a human being. I already spend enough time nitpicking my own body and I don’t need anyone else doing it for me. Another way to make a big difference in a seemingly small way is by how I interact with my friends, male and female alike. Self-body bashing is contagious, so stop! There are days when I’m feeling particularly insecure, and those are the days when I seek out a friend and say, “I’m feeling badly about myself today and this is why. Feedback would be appreciated.” That way, I am confronting a very real thing in a very healthy way. So long compliment manipulation!
Lovelies, I would really like to hear your take on this issue? Does it bother you when you are told how to dress thinner, or do you actually just appreciate it? And if it bothers you like it bothers me, what are you going to do about it?