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Fuck Flattering.

October 17, 2011

Yes, Nike isn’t doing anything groundbreaking – it’s jumping on board with advertising campaigns such as Dove’s campaign for real beauty and Nivea, and possibly many other fashion and beauty companies who are promoting real beauty, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something commendable.

I love this Nike campaign, particularly the thunder thighs ad, because girl my thighs are a thing to be reckoned with. They are big, and they are muscular from years of playing sport, and they will never fit into a size 8 pair of pants, but that doesn’t make them bad. I’ve been reading a lot of body/gender/sex positive books and articles lately, and it’s been getting me all fired up about how all my insecurities are actually things that are okay. If any of you read  The Rumpus you might be familiar with Sugar, one of my new favourite interweb writers and she’s basically summed up my feelings about myself perfectly;

“You don’t have to be young. You don’t have to be thin. You don’t have to be “hot” in a way that some dumbfuckedly narrow mindset has construed that word. You don’t have to have taut flesh or a tight ass or an eternally upright set of tits.”

When I read those words, I was so relieved. It felt like permission not to be perfect, and I’ve been trying to really focus on the idea of that ever since. There are many, many girls on the internet who can sum this idea up better than I can; try Feministe, I Am Offended Because, Cartoon Heart or Rookie Mag if you want to get all fired up with feministe bolshyness.

But my main point is just to give everyone a gentle reminder that fashion is fun – it shouldn’t make you feel like shit. Don’t let wearing a size 10/12/14/16/18/20/22/24/26 make you feel bad just because it wasn’t the size you were once upon a time.  There’s no shame in needing to go up or down a size from store to store (because guess what? There’s no regulation about sizing and they’re really just doing whatever they want with those labels). You are not the wrong size for the pants, the pants are the wrong size for you. You are perfect.

It’s perfectly fine to wear short shorts if you have thick thighs, just like it’s okay to wear a sheer shirt if you are a size 18 or a size 8. If you feel good in what you’re wearing – that is the only thing that matters. So don’t let other people’s opinion of you, or fashion’s opinion of what is ‘flattering’ get you down. Fuck Flattering.

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