OMG, That looks so flattering on you! What does that mean? I guess, it means it makes you look more conventionally attractive. If we strip that down even more, essentially it means you look slimmer/smaller… right? We hear it all the time.
“I want something that flatters me” is what I see women say on clothing websites or platforms. “This dress will flatter your figure” is what’s usually seen on website product descriptions. It’s like an underlying message that being slimmer is better. I don’t support this message. I support the message that everyone has the right to be happy as they are and that’s that.
The thing is, I use the word flattering a lot in my vocabulary. As an example, I love this Yours Clothing floral wrap dress. The floral print is just enough without it looking too autumnal and it’s a perfect fit. I would also call it a really ‘flattering‘ dress. Why? For several reasons.
Firstly, it’s just the right height for me. I’m not a fan of my knees, not really. So this dress is just the right midi length to cover them in the summer. It’s also the perfect cut to have a little swish to it as I walk. I love that the fabric doesn’t pull on my arms, meaning it’s comfortable and stops me tugging and pulling at it. The way the dress skims over my body, not hugging in anywhere but still giving me shape. The way the colours in the dress compliment the auburn in my hair. All of that to me is flattering. It’s nothing about being made to look smaller. Because trust me, no matter what you wear or how you wear it, you still have the same body.
I read this Bustle article where it really does hit the nail on the head. The term flattering is ‘body policing wrapped in the illusion of a compliment’ Flattering is when “What you’re wearing minimizes the parts of you that society says are ‘flaws’ and plays up what society says are ‘assets.‘”
That’ SO true!
So from now on, I’m going to try and use the word flattering as little as possible. I’m going to try and ban it from my vocabulary when it comes to peoples bodies or clothing. Because at the end of the day, just like the article said, It’s hard to push the message out that being slim makes you more beautiful than someone who is plus size or fat. It’s happening on social platforms slowly, but it will take a long time. So for now, while I help share that everyone is beautiful, I’ll still wear the things that I feel ‘flatter me’ and I want you to know, that if I slip up and use the term flattering, it doesn’t mean it will make you look slimmer. I mean it will work with what you have to make you feel more confident. That something is comfortable and makes me feel relaxed and positive.
I challenge you to join me and drop the term flattering from your vocabulary too. It’s the small things that make a difference so let’s do it!