Bought the fall style watch issue of People magazine a few days ago, and read it. (Yes, I can build a campfire from scratch, and yes, I also like to know what the fall nailpolish trends are. Sue me.) Was happily reading along (ooh, cap toe shoes! ew, neon!), and then came to the “Play up your shape!” section.
Now, ok, I sew and I wear clothes, both things which have convinced me that some cuts and styles are better on some body types, and some are better than others. Fine. We are not made in cookie cutter molds, and thank heaven for that. I also understand that some women struggle with conceptualizing what works well for them and what doesn’t, fine. Thus, we have the “Play up your shape!” section.
What I read*-
A) “Curvy”- “Don’t go too bare. Very low-cut, short, or sheer clothing is too much for your body.”
B) “Plus”- “Plus-size women sometimes shy away from vibrant pieces…to keep from appearing bigger. But with the right fit, a waist-defining belt, and coordinating pumps, she makes it work!”
C) “Boyish”- “…loose knitwear won’t make you appear more shapely. But the look is still totally stylish, and by embracing her boyishness, she makes it work!”
What I heard-
A) “Be careful. Your body is already too much for our restrictive society. Don’t wear anything that might make your sexuality any more threatening than it already is.”
B) “It’s true, you’re fat, so you really shouldn’t think that you can wear what everyone else wears. And really, you are already rightfully ashamed about this. But don’t worry; you can still sometimes look like you might be attractive! To someone! We think!”
C) “You’re not a real woman. We can’t imagine why you would embrace looking like anything other than our ideal, but someone famous has, so, clearly we should acknowledge that!”
What I would rather have seen-
A) “The most important thing is how you feel in your clothes- make sure to get pieces that fit well, and that make you feel good. If you’re uncomfortable, you’re not going to look good, no matter how expensive your label.”
B) “Find a style or two that you really like- military? Boho? Prep school chic? Then find a way to rock it in age-appropriate and work-appropriate ways. Is it on trend? Who cares? If you like it, you’ll make it work.”
C) “Signature pieces are where it’s at. What do you love? A spyglass? Stars? Ruffles? Stripes? Seek out something that really makes you happy, and then wear it. Wear it as much as you want. Wear it until it breaks/gets lost/bores you. Repeat.”
PS- “Plus-size” is not a shape.
*All actual quotes taken from People magazine, August 2012 issue.