Remember when women read fashion-advice columns to get fashion advice? Such as what might actually look good on their particular body type?
Those days are gone, ladies. Now, if you dare to give fashion advice that hints that some people shouldn't wear some fashions, you're going to be called out for "body-shaming."
Case in point: Adam Glassman, the fashion stylist for Oprah's O magazine, gets asked "Can I pull off a crop top?" (Yes, the muffin-top-baring crop top, fashion bane of the early 2000s, is baaack.) Glassman replies: "If (and only if) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one. For more coverage, layer the top over a longer shirt…."
Sound advice, especially if you remember the year 2003 as vividly as I do, when the crop-top, paired with Britney Spears low-rise hiphuggers, were ubiquitous, mostly on women who possessed neither Spears’s then-youthful age of 21 nor her age-21 svelte figure.
But that was then, and this is now. Plus-size blogger Sarah Conley got wind of Glassman’s counsel and let him have it:
I was shocked to see this kind of body shaming language from any magazine, much less named after a woman who has had her weight scrutinized throughout her career. Furthermore, I’d hoped in the era of the fatkini, plus size bloggers, and Instagram hashtags that we’ve moved beyond such narrow-minded thinking, but I can see now that it’s time for a show & tell….
Flat stomachs are like thigh gaps – we’re not all meant to have one. I know women who have worked out four hours a day, five days a week in pursuit of that dream only to be thwarted by genetics.
Now, if not all of us were meant to have flat stomachs, maybe not all of us were meant to wear crop tops that display our non-flat stomachs for all the world to see. Maybe we should try more flattering garments.
That kind of reasoning doesn’t go over with the “body-shaming” set, who not only believe that all women of all ages and sizes can wear all manner of revealing clothes, but think they should be out and proud about it. Soon enough, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr were aflame with large ladies using the hashtag #rockthecrop to post photos of themselves showing off many acres of bare flesh between their bosoms and their hips. I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to decide whether these women actually look attractive.
In the end, even O magazine got cowed, according to Buzzfeed:
BuzzFeed News reached out to O, The Oprah Magazine who said: “We support, encourage and empower all women to look great, feel confident and live their best lives – in this case, we could have expressed it better. We appreciate the feedback and will be more mindful going forward.”
Quite frankly, in my humble opinion, even Spears herself, now age 33 and a mother of two, is having trouble rocking that crop top. In April OK’s fashion critic, Treye Green commented on the outfit the no-longer-quite-svelte Spears wore to a video session:
But Spears’ outfit was a little more questionable as she hit the set in an ill-fitting leopard print crop top, distressed denim jeans and red sneakers. And her teased hair and neon earrings only added to the sartorial madness.
Fortunately for Green, blogger Conley apparently didn’t see that one.