Who women dress to impress and what they wear to do it has long been a hot topic in fashion. Five-inch stilettos? Men, perhaps. Super trendy trousers? Women, probably. But what about dressing for ourselves—can't we wear stuff simply because we like it and feel good in it?
Not only can we, but we should! That's the empowering message behind the newly trending and super-empowering #wearwhatwewant tag. Usually when we dress for someone else, our primary concern is what they will think when they look at us. Things that can only be seen by looking in a mirror—is this a good color on me? Is this sexy? And, of course, is this flattering?
But have you ever thought about what exactly "flattering" means? At its most basic, it says that we should dress to highlight certain parts of us while hiding others. But the parts we're supposed hide are usually the ones that other people find most objectionable. It's a very subtle form of body shaming, and it's the logic that leads people to yell, "Ugh, I don't wanna see that!" at a larger woman in a crop top or "Put that away!" at a well-endowed woman in a low-cut top. Perhaps those women love their tummies and boobs. But what they think doesn't matter because it's not "flattering."
This way of thinking is the main reason body-positive activist Simone Mariposa started the hashtag #WeWearWhatWeWant. She wants to use it as a way to encourage women, especially those that society doesn't consider conventionally attractive, to wear whatever they think is beautiful.
"Every plus-size girl has had to bear the terrible brunt of being judged/policed for what we wear [and] how we wear it," Mariposa said on Twitter. "I no longer allow people to dictate what I should and shouldn't wear. It's okay for a plus-size woman to let her body breathe in her clothing."
Women have responded en masse, sending pictures of themselves slaying in outfits that others have deemed "unacceptable." Grinning women wearing gorgeous outfits including bralettes, rompers, short-shorts, bodycon dresses, bikinis, and more have popped up under the hashtag.
Mariposa celebrates every single one of these women, telling MIC that, "To know that women are gaining confidence through this hashtag makes me ecstatic beyond words. There is nothing more flattering for a woman to wear than her confidence, and it's her prerogative, and hers only, to dress her body however she chooses."
Can we get an AMEN? And also, one of every stunning dress she's modeling?