As I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across an interesting post on The Fold Line group. Anna Forsaeus wrote: “A little OT, but here goes: How do you guys feel about “flattering” when it comes to clothing? I have started to loathe the word, because I feel it restricts me. It wasn’t up until I turned 50 a few years ago that I started to try and rid myself of the concept. I am a plus size (another concept to discuss…) woman with an hourglass figure, and I’ve always been told, and thought, that I should emphasize my waist. BUT I HATE WEARING CLOTHES THAT EMPHASIZES MY WAIST! (Sorry, didn’t mean to scream). I find them uncomfortable and not at all my style. My style icons are fierce women with an androgynous take on their outfits. However, I still struggle with this. Anyone else?” Ms Forsaeus linked to this story in the Guardian, and her post on Facebook received a lot of feedback. It made me think of my own clothing, as well as how I judge others.
This point is generally where I have a conversation with myself about body autonomy. Other people are in charge of their bodies, and I am in charge of mine. It’s not for me to judge other people for how they look, what they wear, or how they decide to present themselves physically to the world. If someone is overweight, it’s simply not my business. I am dieting and exercising like crazy these days. But that’s my concern. I’m not dieting and exercising because people like Bill Maher think I need to as a civic duty.
To make mental comments about what others wear can be a dangerous step into making mental comments about what others can and can’t do. Judging can lead to ableist, sexist, racist, ageist, and transphobic thoughts. You know what I mean:
“She’s too old to wear that”
“Is that a man wearing a dress”
“No man is going to find her attractive in that”
“He’s too lazy to put on anything but sweatpants”
Don’t be that person. Don’t be that person to yourself, either. Celebrate yourself! Ask yourself, do I wear clothing for myself, or for other people? I think I’d like to be the person who wears what I want to wear because I love it. Full length cape? Ok! Sequins? Absolutely! I’m sewing a dress (above photo) and I’m not sure what it will look like on me when I’m done. But that will be for me to decide. Do I like it, or do I not? Does it make me feel good when I wear it? Forget “flattering” and focus on being kind to yourself and others. Kindness is the most important thing you can wear.