Let’s give it up for the midriff. Crop tops have been a staple for the past few seasons, and as a fashion editor, I love seeing how women of all shapes and sizes style them.
But if you let the editors of O, The Oprah Magazine tell it, there are certain conditions for which you can pull off a belly-baring look. In a recent issue, the magazine published a style Q&A in which it was suggested that readers only wear a crop top "If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach."
Seriously. It pains me to even re-post the words.
A screen shot of the piece began circulating on Instagram earlier this week, with a growing chorus of women using #RocktheCrop to voice their grievances against the mag’s apparent body shaming of women with realistic body proportions, namely, women with curves.
I think the most irritating aspect is that O Magazine is under the tutelage of none other than Oprah Winfrey, a woman who has publicly talked about her own body insecurities and whose life work has been dedicated to championing self-love and acceptance for women around the world. So, then, how does this type of snafu happen?
The magazine has swiftly backtracked on its choice words, saying in a statement, “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."
But here’s the real deal: telling a woman which body type is appropriate for specific garments strips away her confidence. You’re telling her sorry, lady, your curves will never be enough. And with the ubiquitous images of Photoshopped fantasy inundating us online, on TV, in films, and at the newsstands, we’re sick and tired of being bullied about bodies and we deserve to feel good about our every last curve.
I’m not a size two. I’d probably fall into the “average” body type by mainstream standards. More often than not, though, a soft fold of my tummy pokes out over the top button of my shorts, and I’m fine by it, because I’m a person before I’m a “body type.”
Now, go forth and rock that top with pride.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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