Flattery, either it gets you everywhere or nowhere. When it comes to fashion, I think it’s bullshit. There are so many fashion rules constantly telling us what looks best and what’s most flattering. From the best bathing suit for your body to the best haircut for your face. It’s a vicious cycle that encourages us to seek validation from others. Because that’s what’s most important right? If you want to be included you have to conform. It’s complete bullshit.
In the world of fashion, it’s always about finding the most flatter cuts, the colors that compliment your skin tone. Silhouettes that hide your flaws and accentuate your attributes. But isn’t fashion also supposed to be a fun way to express yourself and your personality? Imagine living your life in a body that society deems shameful. Then searching for “flattering” fashion only to find that the things available in your size are tents so ugly you wouldn’t sleep in them on a rainy day. I say Fuck Flattering! Wear what you want. You shouldn’t live your life so eager to please others that you put what you want on the back burner.
I had this custom illustration created by Paola, the Bopo Illustrator. It’s one of my favorite photos of myself. My bold hair blends in perfectly with the bright background. I look strong and sexy with my arm rolls and stretch marks front and center. I haven’t always been so comfortable exposing either.
In high school, I participated in Powder Puff, an all-girls football game where the junior class challenges the senior class. The winning team gets bragging rights. Each group created a hit-list with not-so-nice nicknames of the girls they’re gunning for on game day. That hit list is posted all over school. My nickname, Annette Tire-Belly Richmond, because even as a high school cheerleader, I was the biggest on the team and had stretch marks. Don’t get me wrong we had some not-so-nice nicknames for the girls on the opposing team. But it’s funny how I struggle to remember the mean names we made up for them but can’t ever forget the one made up for me.
Seeing my arm rolls and stretch marks in this photo makes me happy that I decided to wear what I felt fabulous in. Not something that hid my insecurities and sense of style along with it. Which inspired me to share other incredible fashion rule breakers who are showing other fat girls that it’s more than okay to take a fashion risk. It’s encouraged.
Fashion Rule: Don’t Wear White After Labor Day
Fashion Rule: Don’t Wear Horizontal Stripes
Fashion Rule: Don’t Mix Prints
Fashion Rule: Don’t Bare Your Fat Belly
Fashion Rule: Don’t Bare Your Bare Arms
Fashion Rule: Don’t Wear Leggings Outside The Gym
Fashion Rule: Don’t Wear Long Skirts/Dresses If You’re Short
Fashion Rule: Don’t Wear Sequins During The Day
Fashion Rule: Don’t Show Your Bra
Fashion Rule: Don’t Wear Lingerie Outside The Bedroom
Fashion Rule: Don’t Double Denim
Fashion Rule: Don’t Flaunt Your Flaws
Fat girls are tired of being told to hide their bodies. Whether it’s said verbally or with a lack of clothing options. We want to be able to express ourselves through fashion but it’s not an even playing field as far as quality brands and quantity of retailers. Regardless many of us are breaking ALL of the fashion rules. We’re willing to take risks and want to see more brands and retailers who willing to invest in our community by creating quality products that fit our beautiful bodies.