We've all heard the fat (ahem, plus size) rule about avoiding horizontal stripes... About wearing black because it's slimming. About wearing flared pants instead of tapered so we look "proportional". About avoiding small patterns so we don't look like furniture. But don't wear giant print because you'll overwhelm the viewer. Don't wear halters. Don't wear sleeveless. Don't wear chunky jewelry. Don't wear texture. Don't wear shiny fabric. Don't wear spandex. Don't wear baggy clothes. Don't. Don't. Don't. Don't.
But "LOVE yourself", they say. "Play to your strengths!". Fuck you is what I say. Fuck you and your rules that have nothing to do with me. I refuse to engage in your game. I don't dress for you. I don't dress for him. I most certainly don't dress to hide my "flaws" because in my opinion, I don't have any. And I know you want to argue this honey, but unfortunately your opinion doesn't count.
I have been bending over backwards to follow these ubiquitous guidelines. The list of things "I wore but hated" is miles long. The list of things "I didn't wear that I loved" is even longer still. All so I would look "better". Like, as long as I wore this dress they wouldn't know I was fat. But if I wore the other... they would be able to tell. Who, exactly, did I think I was fooling?
Its taken me 26 years to get to the place where I think twice before passing over something I love because I'm afraid it will be "unflattering". I think it was Lesley that spoke to the hate behind the word "unflattering". How its a passive aggressive term we use to tell someone else they look terrible. We blame the issue on the garment, but our message is personal to the wearer. Its the same concept when we use it against ourselves, which is why the consensus is to fuck flattering all together.
I have stayed away from outfit posts for the most part because I really couldn't give a fuck less about clothes on their own merit. This leads me to believe that others feel the same way. However, recently I have started to discover the hidden power behind purchasing and wearing items that have been off limit to me my entire life. Things I've longed to wear, but wouldn't allow myself to. Because it would accentuate my underarms. Because it would show too much thigh. Because someone would be able to see my scandalous cleavage. Because it's too loud. Because it's too masculine. Because it's a drop waist. Because it's ugly. Because it's tight. Because it's loose. Because it's metallic. Because of all the wrong reasons.
Clothing has started to embolden me. It has started to empower me; more power than "Holyshityoulookgreat". It's starting to become a statement. It's starting to become a way that I say what I want, when I want, for no one save me. And THIS, I feel, is worth blogging about.
But know this: what I wear in these posts will not be radical for most, but it is for me.
Like today: I went to my usual weekend meetings at my favorite coffee shop in a Batman hoodie. Not extreme for most, but for me it felt glorious. I suppressed my knee jerk reaction to dress up and rolled out of bed into this instead. It was masculine and shapeless on top and I felt nerdy, and sexy, and comfortable all at the same time. It was wonderful! Oh, and it has a fucking Batman mask for a hood... ears and all. Look me in the eye and tell me its not amazing.
Because I work in a kitchen, I don't dress up as often as I used to... so I usually jump at the chance to get creative on the weekends. While I love a shiny dress, I also love a graphic sweater and today was made for the latter. And you know what else? I accomplished a lot this morning in my outfit. I secured the perfect venue for my upcoming art show, took gifts to the post office, met with a favorite friend, designed a page, enjoyed breakfast, and more. Superhero stuff for sure.
Ladies (and gents), I hope you wear whatever you love. Ignore the rules, ignore the shoulds, ignore the should nots, and embrace what you deem perfect. This simple action is packed with more empowerment than you would believe. "I hate wearing things I love!" said no one ever.
And just so you have something to look forward to, I'll let you know that I'll be wearing a gold skirt, pink tutu, and NYE outfit in the near future. Gold and tulle forever.