If I encounter *one* more article listing rules for what women of x, y, z body type must wear in order to “flatter” themselves I will retch (extra retching if it’s an article directed at subculture fashion). If it were up to those article writers everyone over size 10 would live in shapeless tent dresses with one bow situated under the bust and never leave their homes. The whole idea of flattering is really dubious if you give it even half a second glance, and applying that same brush to alternative fashion styles is doubly revolting, I think, since subculture fashion is about rebellion and expression (not homogenizing people).
The myth of “flattering” is just part of the whole Acceptable/Unacceptable thing (again, this is my opinion). I’d be a lot less suspicious of it if it’s end goals were less about the made up notion of “thin/tall is best” and all the questions of privilege that accompany that.
In that mindset there is a privileged circle, and within that everyone is Acceptable and outside of it everyone else is Unacceptable and therefore needs to be changed or somehow fixed so they can become Acceptable (which they would *clearly* want as we should all be aspiring to that tiny circle of Acceptance, obviously *eye-roll*). This idea is dangerous (not to mention cruel and dehumanizing) as it means that anyone who- for the lottery of birth- cannot ever meet those standards will therefore always be Unacceptable and not access any of the privilege. People die every day trying to fit into those arbitrary standards.
So what those “wear x for x body type” articles are describing are just methods to seem more Acceptable, and therefore closer to the hallowed circle. When you choose not to participate in that, when you deliberately wear something “unflattering” (or not described on your body type’s list of approved items) you are reducing the power of that belief. You are rebelling against a system that wants to crush differences, wants to homogenize/control women, and categorize everything.
I want subculture fashion (and my own work in that) to be a safer space for all body types/ages/abilities because it’s time we stopped pretending any one type is “best”. Less focus on what is “flattering” and more on what’s exciting! That’s what really draws me back to lolita influences, as really that style isn’t about attracting a mate or being flattered by your clothes- it’s impractical, never invisible, and takes up lots of space- things we’re told to avoid. From goth’s pale makeup to punk’s tatters, to rave’s neon hues, subculture style has never really been about embodying the mainstream’s idea of “flattering”.
What makes humanity so incredible is that we are all so varied and unique, we all bring our own perspectives and outlooks to our art and image crafting, and that’s amazing, and worth celebrating. It’s time we stopped this comparative, mean trend and started encouraging and inspiring other people, celebrating real creativity instead of nitpicking and making up silly playground rules.
So wear what you like! Flattering, unflattering, loud, garish, muted, whatever- just enjoy it completely.