"You're skinny, you can wear anything you want", is a statement made to me and girls with bodies like me on a daily basis. There are several things wrong with that statement. First, I am not a fan of strangers marveling at my body weight. I mean, is anyone? Yes, I may be thin and I may wear whatever I damn well please, but it doesn't come without a crowd of haters judging me on my size and style choice. Regardless of your size, no one is safe from those drunk on that hatorade. As it turns out, I am not a super model. I know, I know, hard to believe because everyone skinny should be "like a model or something," but I can't walk in high heels, I'm too short, and I'm sure there are a plethora of more reasons why that isn't my profession. Since I'm not a model, no one is giving me the expensive clothes made for skinny girls for free.
The backlash towards the Gap advertisement which featured a skinny model in a plaid, loose dress spiraled into some unnecessary skinny shaming. Reading comments like "Seriously, @Gap? In what world do people look like this? Perhaps you could select models who represent regular gals & not a skeletor ghost" on Twitter made me want to crawl under my bed with the bag of Funyons I was eating (um, yes because Funyons are amaze) and never come out again. Dude. This world! This world is the one the Gap lives in — where people come in all different shapes and sizes. Yeah, yeah, I get that the point IS that not everyone is that thin, but WTF, man?! I happen to be happily and healthily that thin and you know what?! I ain't no ghost.
I'm definitely not saying the trials and tribulations of a skinny girl are the same as a plus-sized gal — because they are not. I am 5'6. My weight tends to stay somewhere in the 110-120 pound range. Don't get it twisted, my bra size is a 34 AA, I certainly don't live a life without ridicule — and not everything fits me or looks good on me.
Here's my response to people who think you need to dress for your size regardless of if you are too large or too thin in their judgmental opinion: I'll do me and you do you. Here are 7 things I have been chastised for wearing as a skinny gal that, in reality, look awesome on just about anyone.
1. Skinny Jeans
I've a dear friend who once thought she was too skinny for skinny jeans. It was horribly depressing to watch her struggle to find boot-cut jeans in 2010. Eventually, she got over it and realized that skinny jeans are made to look good on everyone, regardless of your size. Unfortunately, I have only owned maybe three pairs because I usually can't get my size 10 foot through the opening of the bottom of the jeans. I've literally had to ask for help at Urban Outfitters, sweating and lying on the ground, near tears, just for a pair of black skinny jeans. If me and the three sales associates are able to get my foot through the hole, there is another issue: I happen to store my fat in my butt. Every pair of skinny jeans below $200? I literally have to stuff my butt inside, pull them up to find they are slightly too big in the waste and... oh look at that, they are too short as well. But when I find that perfect pair? It's oh so sweet.
2. Bathing Suits
The last time I wore a bathing suit, the guy I was dating said this to me: "Hey, a guy over there just asked me if he could sponsor you, he thought you were a starving African." Adding the "too skinny to wear a bathing suit" to my long list of reasons why I hate the beach.
3. Boyish Shorts
Hi, I'm wearing my dad's shorts, thanks for staring and have a great day. Actually, these shorts are boy shorts from American Apparel. I love them. Honestly, I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't look good in a pair of baggy short shorts, but yet several people have said "Oooh, I just think they aren't super flattering on you". Welp, they were on sale so now I own them. And I think I look great.
4. Baggy Shirts
I can't even entertain the idea of not wearing a baggy, buttoned-down shirt. They are the best cover-up during the warm months, throw it over a tank-top, a dress, or your favorite band tee, and you've got instant sexiness. That whole "it'll overwhelm your petite frame" thing is total BS, especially if you layer the shirt over a vintage-y dress.
5. Slouchy Pants
When I realized that all of the clothing from A Different World was coming back into style, I was on board instantly. I've always been in LOVE with Lisa Bonet's slouchy pants and shoulder pads: Let the good times roll! I thought to myself. However, just like the oversized shirts, people don't generally think baggy pants are for the thin among us. I tried on a pair at Topshop and my bestie Oo'd and Ahh'd, as I spun around the dressing room. "Pants like that are made for you, man. You should toooootally spend $70 on them". Wondering if they weren't quite baggy enough, I went into the store to ask for the next size up. The sales associate (also wearing the exact same pants) frowned and said, "I know, my friend has the same problem — they just aren't made for skinny girls." Oh... well, this is quite awkward. Actually, I am not here for your opinion at all, I just need another size... yeaaaaaa.
6. Low Cut Shirts
No one laughs harder when I appear dressed in a low top shirt than my own mother. Her excuse is that before she had children, she used to be my size as well. It ain't cute, mom! Stop laughing at me! I definitely went all throughout high school and most of college in band tees and big sweatshirts (sometimes, I ripped the sleeves off those sweatshirts, because I was cool like that). I only got over the anxiety brought on by low-cut shirts when I went to France and a creepy man pretending to be a modeling agent told me that clavicles were suggestive and classy. Thanks for the advice, weirdo!
7. Spandex Dresses
When I was a young tween, I'd stare fondly at Kelly Bundy in a spandex dress. I'd ask my mother for breasts for Christmas and she would always say they were coming, I just had to do well in math. They never came, despite my A's in Pre-Algebra. I am a grown adult that wears adorable child-sized, lacy bras that pull over my head. It was only within the last few years that I stopped shopping in the children's section, pretending I had a child that needed a training bra, and was able to find coverage at grown-up stores. I've literally hooked up with someone that asked me "What is this?!" Oh, it's just my child-bra, you can go ahead and pull it over my head and then we can just move on.
Every time I wear a spandex dress there is some jerk out there with hips and adult-sized breasts looking 10 times better than me. But you know what? The tight fabric actually creates the illusion of curves, so at least that's something.
Image: Justin Wolfe/Flickr; Giphy; Ackeil Rowley; Kristin Collins Jackson