With that in mind, let’s put those old rules in the bin where they belong – and learn to follow some new ones.
Flatter your figure
Wait, this sounds just like one of the old rules, doesn’t it? But this isn’t about dressing in a particular way to accentuate your best features and hide your worst (by the way, let’s also put ranking our features on a value scale in the bin, while we’re here). Instead, it means loving your body as it exists right now, and showing it love. Living in it, and enjoying it, and dressing for how it exists right now. Challenging every negative thought you have about it with a positive one.
Katie Parrott, a fat style Instagrammer based in Tasmania, recently shared that one of her mantras is “people know you’re fat already”. Trying to hide your body is a futile exercise, so you may as well embrace it.
“I think most fat people go through an awkward phase in their early years because we’re told by the media/society/sometimes our families to hide our bodies and wear clothing that doesn’t draw attention to our size,” Parrott says. “It’s been a long journey for me, but I now dress purely for myself.”
Follow feelings, not trends
Parrott and Loren Burton, a model and body positive Instagrammer, both agree that it’s important to dress for yourself first and foremost – specifically, what makes you happiest.
“Dressing should be fun,” Burton says, noting it’s up to an individual whether they want to flaunt or hide their curves – as long as it’s what makes them feel good. “I think a woman should always have at least one thing on her body that makes her feel amazing … It could be a lipstick, a hair clip, a purse, a shoe, or even a well-fitted bra.”
Parrott says how she dresses depends on her mood, but the constant is that she wears whatever she wants. “If I want to wear bright colours, I do. If I want to wear something with an oversized silhouette, or clashing prints, or completely neutral and monochrome, or tight and fitted, then I do.”
Just do you
Whatever style you’re into, the key is that it’s yours and not what anyone else tells you what you should or shouldn’t wear. That can take time to figure out, but experimenting is all part of the fun. Being gentle with yourself, wherever you’re at on your journey with your body, is the most crucial thing.
“My one biggest piece of advice is this: your body is normal. Whatever it looks like now, that is normal,” Parrott says. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, you can wear whatever you want as long as you are comfortable and happy in it.”
Finally, wear the damn bikini
Or don’t, if you don’t want to! Because the only rule that matters is this: it’s entirely up to you.
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