Writer: Lisa Schoenberger | The world we live in places a huge importance on our outward appearance. From being thin to being fat, the colour of your hair and eyes, the size of your lips, the shape of your face, your skin colour, your age, whether you have wrinkles or six pack abs, we are all judged and assumptions about us are made, rightly or wrongly solely on how we look.
And fashion and what we wear to cloth our bodies plays a huge part in forming these opinions. This isn’t something new, it has existed for centuries and the ideal that we feel we have to live up to only continues to increase as we see the impact that social media and living in a digital age has on our everyday lives. You never know when you will be caught on camera or video, it is literally everywhere.
This can be overwhelming for anyone and I see so many women who are so hard on themselves – wishing they were prettier, thinner, had a different body shape, fuller lips, whiter teeth, no freckles, blue eyes, a perkier butt etc., the list goes on and on. I personally find it very difficult to have a woman comment on my picture stating that they wish they were as “beautiful” as me. It makes me very sad because I truly believe that we are all beautiful in our own way, and that we are all meant to feel that way.
And as a fat woman I also feel that we have the pressure of abiding by this stupid set of “rules” that some idiot decided was the gospel for how fat women should dress. You know what I am talking about – basically do everything you can to hide and disappear. You can exist but only if you follow the rules. And god forbid, don’t do anything that would draw attention to yourself or your fat body!
As someone who has chosen to be in the public eye I see this every day and choose to ignore it. But recently there have been some situations I have encountered that have left me completely dumbfounded. I believe that fashion is supposed to be fun, that it is a way for us to express ourselves and our personality. Since we are all unique it is a celebration of our individuality. So with that you won’t necessarily like everything that a designer creates or a person wears but that’s ok. And you can have an opinion as long as it is given with respect and without malice.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case. So many women feel the need to be downright mean with their comments on a person’s outfit or siting that you clearly broke the “rules” like they are the gospel or something. But why is it necessary? Is that person hurting you with what they are wearing? NO! And of course I know it is very likely they are projecting their own insecurities onto someone else but it is shocking that something like fashion provokes such a strong negative emotional reaction.
I guess my point is that it is time to stop worrying about what others think and wear what makes YOU happy. Because you can try and please everyone else but in the end if you aren’t happy then what’s the point. As women it is in our DNA to please everyone around us and to put ourselves last. But if we are truly happy with ourselves then I think we will be better mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, friends etc. We deserve to be happy! We deserve to wear whatever the hell we want!
Case in point is this super cute t-shirt style dress from On The Plus Side, the Ava. Yep that’s right I am wearing a big floral pattern in super bright fun colours! This is my first OTPS piece and I absolutely loved seeing that they don’t shy away from giving us extended size gals fun options to choose from.
This dress is super comfortable and breathable because it is made of 100% cotton with a scoop neck, short sleeves and pockets! I love a piece that is easy to throw on and go but still looks stylish. I added some fun accessories with these flower earrings, bead bracelets and bejewelled flip flops. And I think the smile on my face says it all, I feel happy in this dress.
We can choose to worry about what others will think or we can choose to live our best life possible. Being fat does not mean you don’t deserve to enjoy life or love fashion. I know what my choice is, what will yours be?