I’m tired of hearing people’s respectability politics. Part of that includes the idea that if you’re a woman/if you’re black/if you’re plus size, you must adhere to a certain dress code in order to be taken seriously (or have your life valued). It’s dismissive of the larger societal, systemic problems that in no way stem from our clothing choices.
I’m constantly told by readers and followers on social media that they wish they had my body. It’s meant to be flattering, but really it makes me sad. I’m not flattered. I want to break barriers and help people feel like they can break the rules, not leave them feeling like because they don’t look like me, they have to stick to them. One thing I hear often is “I wish I had your flat stomach!” It’s true that depending on the lighting, angles, shapewear etc, that my tummy can look flatter than it actually is, but I promise it’s there. We shouldn’t feel like we can’t wear body con skirts or dresses because we’re afraid it will be seen, like its mere existence is shameful. In the body positive world, we call it ‘rocking the VBO’ (visible belly outline). It’s okay. Your body is okay.
Photos by Sylvia G.