It’s My Body and I’ll Wear Stripes if I Want To

01 stripes
(photo courtesy of Roaman’s)

Roman’s is an online plus size online retailer that I frequent; I also follow their page on Facebook to get information on new styles and upcoming sales. I’m not thrilled that they use smaller models and it’s difficult to determine how an outfit will look on me but that’s a post for a future day.

Last Friday, Roaman’s posted the above photo on their Facebook page and asked customers to help choose a stripe pattern for their t-shirt collection. I was a little dismayed at some of the responses:

Big folks don’t like stripes.

Big people usually try and stay away from strip. (sic)

Stripes that go across broad bodies like mine are not flattering at all.

Vertical is more slimming for a big girl.

Horizontal stripes fail to flatter the majority of plus size women.

No stripes please, they make us look bigger then what we are.

Big & Beautiful women need vertical stripes.

Stripes should be vertical for full figures.

Bigger women shouldnt wear these stripes at all, it empasizes ones figure. (sic)

Horizontal make you look wider!

NO horizontal stripes for BIG GIRLS, please!

Heavy set people don’t look good in stripes or big flowers.

Nobody looks good with stripes going around a big stomach or butt!

None of those stripes! Vertically for heavy women!!! It makes them look thinner!

Obviously, a lot of women don’t want to wear striped clothing and that’s OK. Even if their goal is to create the illusion that they’re smaller or hide their bodies, it’s their choice and their right. However, it’s not OK to try and dictate what ALL fat women, including me, should or should not wear.

Magazines are full of articles about dressing to “look 10 pounds slimmer”. Clothes have panels to restrain tummies and bulges. Stylists provide tips on how to “flatter” and “hide”. Stomachs, hips and thighs are “problem areas”. We’re inundated with the message that fat bodies are bad, slim bodies are good. If you have a fat body, you should do your very best to make it look as slim as possible.

Sadly, a lot of fat women believe that message. Many years ago I believed it too and dressed in dark, solid colors and over-sized tops in hopes of making the world think that I didn’t possess a big stomach, butt or boobs. Then, on the journey to accepting and loving my body, I discovered how fabulous it looked in bold patterns, horizontal or chevron stripes of various sizes, bright colors and stretchy knits that hugged my stomach, boobs and butt instead of hiding them.

I know people look at me and think “how could she wear that”? and that’s OK. My answer will always be because I feel comfortable and awesome.

To answer Roman’s question, my favorite is #2 although I like them all. To answer the respondents who claim that fat women shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes, I say wear what makes you feel comfortable and awesome. Just please don’t presume to speak for me… thanks!

(Feeling awesome in stripes with my kids on my 50th birthday and rocking one of my fave dresses)
02 stripes stripes

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