Low Maintenance vs Sloppy

Know what’s supe cute? Being low maintainence, apparently. 

Know who doesn’t get to take part in that look? Fat people.

The woman pictured is just wearing jeans (or jeggings), a tee, and a sweater. She’s considered cute, stylish, and low maintainence. Because she’s thin, white, and conventionally attractive. This is nothing personal against that woman or her clothing choices, but she’s a prime example of the double standard. 

Take that same outfit and put it on a fat woman, or a woman of color, or a woman who in any way doesn’t conform to Eurocentric beauty standards. She’s no longer easygoing and cute. She’s sloppy, lazy, not taking pride in her appearance, or some other disparaging description. Depending on where she goes in this outfit, she may end up on a site like People of Walmart, dedicated to mocking and bullying her appearance. 

If you’re thin, white, and pretty, it requires very little effort to come across as stylish. For the rest of us, though? We have to put in ten times the effort and will still be seen by some as slovenly and hideous. 

If this double standard were simply from random people, that would be bad enough, but not necessarily the end of the world. But it also rears its ugly head in damaging ways. At work, the fat person might be told they’re violating dress codes when a thin person in the same outfit is not. If you’re in sweats and you go to the doctor, you might not have your complaints taken seriously. If you fly in comfy clothes you might be the target of more stares and rudeness. But a thin person in leggings and a tee is just being relaxed for the flight. 

It’s not right. People in the same clothes should be judged the same regardless of size, race, beauty, or anything. It sounds trivial but when it can result in professional and health repercussions, it’s not. 


You Already Have a Bikini Body (If You Want To)

I’m going to share a little secret, though I actually hope it’s NOT a secret anymore:

You don’t have to look a certain way to wear the swimsuit of your choosing. 

If you want to cover up, go for it, but if you want to wear a string bikini, you can do that as well. 

You don’t have to starve yourself or spend hours at the gym as some kind of barter system for the honor of hitting the beach in a two-piece. 

The #fatkini movement has been around for a few years now, which is awesome. Not only is the notion that wearing what makes you comfortable is perfectly OK, but also that means stores have realized they can sell two piece bathing suits in a wide range of sizes. 

Places like ModCloth, Swimsuits for all, and Forever 21 all carry plus size bikinis, some of which are pretty affordable. Most of the major plus size retailers like Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Simply Be, and Torrid are in on the game. While things aren’t perfect (options dwindle dramatically above a size 24 or so and high waists are still the norm, indicating we should still be covering our bellies), there are a lot more choices and the idea of a plus size person showing more skin has gained a lot of popularity. We can hope things will only continue to improve from here.  

Snakeskin Pants at Any Size

When I was in high school, during one of the many diet scamsprograms I tried, someone asked for little goals, no matter how silly. I had seen a pair of faux snakeskin pants at Hot Topic, that only went up to a junior’s size 13 or so, so I said I wanted to be able to buy those. 

I never got those pants, which is fine because they probably would have fit for all of an hour before I put weight back on. Such is the cycle for 97% of us. 

Recently, I popped into an Ashley Stewart (there’s one right across from my gym, which is very dangerous) and guess what they had on the racks? 

Faux snakeskin pants!

Very similar to the ones I had wanted as a teenager, but in the full AS size range. If I wanted them now, I could have them without torturing myself dieting!

I opted not to try them on this time. But now my lack of snakeskin pants is based on my OWN choices, not someone else’s decision to stop making something at an arbitrary size point. 

It was a nice reminder: you don’t have to be a certain size to have fun, to wear what you like, or to just live your life. Wear (faux!) snakeskin or (real) sparkles or mini skirts or whatever if you want to. You don’t have to put everything on hold until you starve yourself down to be temporarily smaller. Live NOW.