Ready to Stare, the body positive indie fashion brand offering up hot threads for women, got a lot of negative comments about a photo of their saucy red holiday dress shared by Plus Model Mag’s Instagram on Monday.
#Repost @readytostare ・・・ I’m obsessed with this @shopreadytostare collection. I’ve been working on it since April. I’m obsessed with how it breaks the rules of what fat girls should wear and I hope y’all love it! Everything is limited edition so if you like it, get it! www.readytostare.com ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ ❄️❄️❄️ Modeled by myself and @aprilraquel92 /// Photo by @lindaford946 /// Hair by @thomasstylle /// Makeup by @erinthomasmua #celebratemysize #plusmodelmag
The photo got comments such as, “Maybe a belt would help with the red dress? Just not flattering like that…”, “Beautiful girls, unflattering clothes.”, and “But why is she wearing a skirt like a dress?!” They reacted as though the red dress was a world-ending fashion disaster, a shapeless setback for all of those pushing the fashion options forward for women over a size 12. The magazine later followed up with a photo of the model in the same dress, except with a blingy gold belt cinched around her waist.
Check out our PMM News Recap www.plus-model-mag.com #pmmblog #plussizefashion #plusfashion #news #eleven60 #holidayfashion #indiedesigners #celebratemysize #plusmodelmag A photo posted by plusmodelmag (@plusmodelmag) on
Suddenly, all was right in the world. “Much better! Just needed a little waist definition with a belt,” one commenter said. “That red dress doesn’t look like a big skirt anymore,” another commenter subtly noted. Apparently the magical belt transformed the dress into something people would call fashion.
But some commenters weren’t pleased with the reactions the dress was getting. Blogger Sarah Chiwaya of Curvily posted a detailed message on Instagram questioning the need to cinch the waist and the wild idea that maybe a shapeless dress does appeal to certain women.
Fashion is deeply personal, which is why I’m of the mindset that, if you want to wear it, do it. If wrapping yourself up in a burlap sack and walking through the streets of SoHo makes you feel good, go for it. That’s all on you, and that’s none of my business. Likewise, if someone wants to wear this perfectly fine red dress with OR WITHOUT a shiny waist accessory, that’s cool. Body-centered fashion jargon such as “flattering” that gets thrown around is irrelevant. Fashion rules are just suggestions, and a lot of times they are unwanted. It all boils down to what floats your boat.
This dress is not pushing anything backwards. It’s just ONE option for you to wear when you get in a cheese cube fight with your cousin at the Christmas Eve family gathering. And isn’t that what we all want– options? I’ve certainly seen similar dresses offered in straight sizes, so why the backlash on Ready to Stare’s move to make this silhouette available to all?
Not all women want to have a cinched waist and not all women want to float around in a sack dress. But that’s the world for you — people, being people, have different tastes. So, let’s just stop assuming that “waist defining” is a goal that every woman’s trying to achieve with her wardrobe.