Everybody from the magazines to our mothers are constantly telling us to “dress to flatter our figures” in one way or another. Whether you’re skinny, fat, tall, short, or somewhere in the middle, there are rules to what you can and can’t wear. And it’s all a huge myth.
The idea of “dressing to one’s figure” is always a little confusing to begin with because, as the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty means a different thing to every person, and even though there may be a few across-the-board standards that most women almost always try to comply with, we tend to see women just simply trying to change their body with clothing. If you’re skinny, you’re told dress to look curvier, but if you’re curvy, you’re told to dress to slim down. Everyone is basically trying to attain something different than what they have. The “rules” for what your body should look like are not even based on a common goal, but rather trying to make yourself look like you have a different body type based on others’ preferences.
The most prominent problem with this notion is that trying to change how you look isn’t good for you! Trying constantly to make your body look a certain way (that your body probably isn’t meant to look like) does terrible things to your self esteem. We must recognize that everyone is beautiful and there is no reason to change your body. Clothes and fashion, above all else, are supposed to be fun, comfortable, and a way to feel good about yourself. Those things are so much harder to attain when you’re dressing yourself every day with a set of ridiculous rules in mind.
Honestly, it’s 2016! It’s time to stop giving a hoot what anybody says and wear whatever you want. Let your tummy see the daylight in that crop top! Tall girls, dare to wear heels! It’s your body, and it’s beautiful.
Jamie Kahn is a writer, band member, dancer, and soldier for body positivity. She can be followed on Twitter: @jams_pixie and Instagram: jam_pixie. You can give her band a listen here: fatalepa.bandcamp.com