Fashion Bashing and Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe attended the Golden Globes and was criticized for her body, her dress, and how the dress fit her body. Although she shouldn’t have had to deal with it, her response was brilliant and, if it were possible for me to be more of a fan of her, this would do it:

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Obviously I think all of the fat bashing comments about her are complete bullshit.  But there is something else that’s been bugging me as well. Before I get into this I know that this blog is controversial and there are many who will disagree with me and that’s totally ok.  I want to be clear that people have every right to do the things that I’m about to discuss, I’m not the boss of anyone else’s underpants and I’m not trying to tell anyone else how to live. My goal is, as always, to give people something to consider, whether they agree or disagree.

I’ve never been much of a fatshionista.  Several times I’ve dipped my toe in the pool and every time I’ve found the water way too hot.  The first time I joined a fat fashion oriented community on a popular blogging site.  It was the kind of place where people post an OOTD (Outfit of the Day) and other people give them compliments.  I thought it was pretty cool and I was getting up my courage to post my own OOTD when, two days after I joined, I got an e-mail from someone in the community who knew me from the blog (and seriously misjudged my personality) inviting me to join a secret community that was created to make fun of people in the original community for their fashion choices. To be crystal clear, this cruel community was made up of fat women who were members of the original community.  I thought about publishing the information in the first community, but I didn’t want to be responsible for the kind of hurt it could cause.  Maybe I should have done it, I still don’t know. I do know that I found it, and still find it,  disgusting.

I’ve seen fashion used as a weapon over and over again to make some fat women feel better about themselves by putting other fat women down for what they wear, or making general statements that seem both pretentious and over-stepping (“Why anyone would leave the house in sweat pants, I will never know” –  in what seems to me to be exactly the same way I have seen being thin used as a weapon to make those thin women feel better about themselves at the expense of fat women.)  That’s not to say that everyone involved in fatshion, or every thin woman, has done this – I’m specifically talking about those who do.

I’ve seen so much advice about fashion given by fat people to fat people insisting that we should ALL use fatshion to look as thin and young as possible. Every time I’m told that I need to choose something “flattering to hide my problem areas, and not look too old” or am encouraged to buy something to try to squish my body into a more acceptable shape, I can’t help but feel that it is buying into and reinforcing  the social stereotypes that are already used to shame, stigmatize and oppress me every day.

Gabourey Sidibe is one of the very, very, very few fat people who have made any kind of traction in Hollywood.  She has publicly had to deal with health concern trolls and fat bashers every step of the way (not to mention the racism that she has to deal with as a Woman of Color in a racist world).  I don’t understand why other fat people can’t allow her to dress as she wants without negative comments and offering to be her stylist like she isn’t smart or savvy or fashionable enough to get the job done on her own – like the fact that she is talented and has succeeded despite the bullshit that she has had to deal with means that she owes every fat person their definition of fashionable or she deserves to have her choices picked apart and criticized publicly.  Y’all, could we not?

Fat people are told over an over again that our bodies are wrong and that we don’t deserve to have access to affordable clothing that we like to wear. For many fat people fatshion is activism – wearing clothes they love in a world that tells us that the only appropriate use of clothes is to make ourselves seem more invisible and/or closer to the stereotype of beauty, is activism.

If I were Underpants Overlord (and I am fully aware that I am not), people would treat fashion like they should treat health – where we are each allowed to make choices for ourselves, and other people’s choices aren’t our business unless they ask us to make it our businesses.  Maybe if we don’t like Gabourey’s dress we could take a pass on wearing it, but respect her choice. (EDIT:  Several people have suggested that this situation is different because other people assist her in choices and dressing – her designer, stylist etc. –  I don’t actually think that matters, she chose to go out in that dress and I choose to respect that, if she doesn’t like what her staff did then she can say something but I’m not interested in criticizing her look because  I don’t think you can criticize her outfit without criticizing her.)

I think it’s fine to comment on the way mainstream media treats fat people, and the clothing choices that exist for fat people.  I think it’s fine to comment on fashion trends and how they intersect with sizeism etc. I think that it’s possible to discuss all of these things without criticizing individual choices.  And maybe it would be cool if we could let fat people go out into the world wearing clothes they choose without fear of fashion bashing.

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Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm  Comments (76)  

76 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Underpants Overlord” … love it!

    What’s dumb is that it was simply an unattractive dress on a beautiful woman, yet so many focused on her size, rather than the dumpiness of the dress. As a celebrity, one knows that they will be under scrutiny, and held to task for decisions that may not be solely one’s own (in this case a designer and then the stylist who changed the dress from its original form). I love how Gabby just whacked back with such wit in less than 140 characters, though. ;)

    • Hi Gael,

      It’s fine if you don’t like the dress, but I would hesitate to state your preferences as if they are global fashion truths, and I would still suggest that if you don’t like the dress you can choose not to wear it rather than criticizing people who may have different fashion preferences than you. I don’t actually think it matters that she had people helping her, she chose to go out in that dress and I choose to respect that, if she doesn’t like what her staff did then she can say something but I’m not interested in criticizing her look because I don’t think you can criticize her outfit without criticizing her. I also don’t accept the argument that because someone wants to act for a living they should just accept the they will be publicly scrutinized and criticized, or that because scrutiny happens that makes it right – I think it’s exactly that scrutiny that leads to body policing, fashion bashing, and the acceptance of a single stereotype of beauty and I would personally much rather fight that system that try to find ways to justify it.

      ~Ragen

      • It’s all opinion. Everything people post regarding the fashion choices of various celebrities — including Gabourey — is opinion… slapping an IMHO to make that point is sorta superfluous, IMHO. ;)

        That said, I can dislike a dress that a public figure wears and comment on it without it being misconstrued as a personal attack. I believe one CAN criticize a fashion choice or hairdo or whatever without it being a personal attack. Heck, my mother always told me when she didn’t like what I was wearing, and it wasn’t always a solicited opinion [lol]. It didn’t mean she didn’t respect me and/or my choices. Everyone has their opinion, and disagreeing with them or their choices is not automatically “bashing” — be it fashion, size, ethnicity, politics, or whatever.

        I’ve had my share of folks critiquing my performance clothing, and, frankly, I learned a lot from those comments (good and bad). Sometimes it takes someone else’s eyes to catch what we might miss. Besides, if we all agreed, life would be so much less interesting.

        So I’m gonna go with Charles Wesley on this and say that we can respectfully “…agree to differ.”

        • To be honest, I think there’s a difference between solicited and unsolicited opinions or advice. It also matters whether it comes from a stranger or from somebody I know.

    • I totally agree with your opinion about it being an unattractive dress on an attractive woman. However, I don’t agree with the scrutiny issue. Peace!

    • Having an opinion on something is one thing; voicing it is something altogether different. Why are we, in this society, so concerned with having the “right” to break others down in our words? Yes, it’s absolutely our right to think what we want and no one can take that away from us. When we choose to speak those words, however, we also take upon us the consequences of hurting or offending others. We are responsible for our words, so why are we so intent on using them to harm others instead of building them up?

  2. I kind of lost my interest in what anyone said about fashion years ago. What happened was I was looking through a book by someone who was supposed to be a fashion guru and it was criticizing Oscar fashions. At one point was a dress that was heartily bashed. Later, a very similar dress worn by a different person at a different point in time was highly praised.

    I rolled my eyes, put the book down and never listened to anyone else again. I still have my own opinions, but I try to keep them to myself unless specifically asked.

    I think we should do away with all fashion bashing. Any of it puts a person’s looks above who they are and what they accomplish. Also, it needlessly makes someone feel bad. What is the point of that?

    That being said, I do wish there were more options for large women in all our various shapes.

    • Me, too. I saw a cute hairstyle in a movie, figured out how to fix my own hair that way, proudly wore it to school… and was made fun of the whole day.

      One week later, the popular girl came to school in the same hairstyle and was praised for her “daring originality.”

      I guess “daring originality” translates into “ripping off the fat girl we made fun of last week,” and while I still like clothes, I haven’t exactly had oodles of respect for trends or “trendsetters” since then.

      • Yeah, that kind of bullshit is pretty horrible.

      • Ugh. And I’ll bet you looked fierce in it!

  3. When I see a fat woman on a red carpet or some similarly public place, all I want to do is cheer and take notes. Cheer, because a sister made it there, and take notes, because she has found and sustained the courage wwithin herself to be so visible. Shame on anyone who cannot see the beauty in that.

  4. I am currently working on sewing and knitting my own wardrobe- in fact I am part of a ready to wear fast in the sewing community. But it is not a hardship to me not to buy clothes, because there are really none to buy anyway. I am over 6 ft tall, plus sized and middle aged. That triple whammy severely limits my choices.

    Anyway, my point was supposed to be, that I am totally befuddled when people talk about articles of clothing as if they could magically make my belly invisible. I think the only magic to be had is in well fitting clothing, because then I feel awesome, but past that there is no way for me to avoid being fat in public.

    • I agree, well fitting clothes are magic! It does amazing things for my confidence to not be constantly be adjusting or rearranging and just wear my clothes.

  5. The dress was modified by Sidibe’s stylist without the designer’s input, and the designer has spoken out about this (posted a photo of the original design to Instagram). I wonder if part of the issue here is the *stylist* buying into stereotypes about how to dress and style fat women. The unmodified dress seems like it would have better suited Sidibe’s personality–it was more in line with some of the fierce choices she’s made for red carpet wear in the past. I feel like the dress got dumbed down by the stylist and made way less awesome, simply in terms of design.

    I see no problem with acknowledging that some types of clothing are particularly well-suited to my frame and my shape. I just wouldn’t let that particular knowledge prevent me from choosing to wear whatever the heck I wanna wear. But I don’t have to wear red carpet, either. Dressing for awards shows and other major events is rarely a one-person effort; some of this wasn’t Sidibe’s choice. I hate how these things always boil down to “what was she thinking?” (Nearly always a she, of course.) Well, maybe some of it wasn’t her, anyway!

    If there’s one thing your critique misses, it’s that this wasn’t just one person pulling on a dress. These choices aren’t made in isolation. She needs a new stylist, maybe, but that’s easily fixed before her next red carpet appearance.

  6. Wow, she is awesome! I am definitely relating to this! All the models for plus size clothing are not only much smaller than I but they have these perfectly flat stomachs. All the “curves” are confined to acceptable areas like hips, chest or rear. Now, I’ve got a booty that means business but not much up top to balance it out. My belly was always my “problem area” and now that I’ve had a kid? Yeah, I still look pregnant… So when I see this goddess rockin’ this dress, not wearing a tent to try to hide her belly (although she absolutely could/should if she wants to) it gives me hope! Maybe I can be that accepting of my new body some day. Or maybe I’ll just buy some mumu’s and say EFF YOU beauty standards! :)

  7. I’m GOBSMACKED about that “secret community in a community” thing. I would have blistered her ears if I’d had that offer made to me. What a twisted and rotten thing to do!!

    I’ve had some of these same kinds of questions about “critiquing” fatshion – or fashion of any sort, actually. I’ve started shying away from communities where it’s all about that or about trying so hard to glam yourself up, although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing that if you truly choose to, but how often is it truly a personal choice and not just a reaction to a society that says “a woman is not beautiful if she is not made up and glamorous”? I’m not sure I’m any closer to answering that question because it’s hard to know where the line between “my actual choice” and “my guilty reaction to not measuring up” exists.

    • At least you’re asking the question. Too many women simply accept it as “that’s the way it is.” I’m fine with whatever women choose, as long as they realize it IS a choice.

      My mother didn’t wear makeup except for lipstick, so when I was growing up I didn’t wear it because I didn’t know how. After high school, I looked around and realized no men were wearing cosmetics to be considered acceptable, so I consciously decided then and there I didn’t want to use them either. Looking back now, I don’t think that decision hurt me in any way. I’ve always been employed and have had a number of romantic relationships, all sans makeup.

    • My friend actually directed me to the secret community because things were being said about me there. It served to make me much less interested in interacting with said original community… but I still stand by the thing that was the worst thing about me, according to them… a lot of people look great with bettie page bangs, and when someone asks for hair advice and I think it is right for them, I will suggest bettie bangs every time! They changed my life so I want to share the fringe benefits. =P

      • Oh, that’s so hurtful and disgusting. I’m so sorry they had to be so ugly. *hugs* GOOD FOR YOU for knowing it’s their problem and not yours.

  8. Gabourey Sidibe freaking rocks.

    I sometimes like to wear things that emphasize the fact that my belly is bigger than my bustline – which autocorrect keeps trying to turn into ‘bustling’ for some annoying reason – just because it throws people that I would want to follow the actual curves of my body rather than fight them.

    I have always been small-busted. I was when I was thin, and I am now that I am fat. I have never had an hourglass figure and I never will, so why pretend that I do? That’s way too much work for something that’s never going to be, for my preference.

    If someone else wants to see if they can pull off the visual illusion, they are more than welcome to do so. But for me? My belly is my most prominent feature. I prefer to go with my reality than try to mold myself into a shape I’m not. Sort of the way I have always worn what I liked within my means rather than what happens to be fashionable or expected.

    • You make some good points here that I never thought about. <3

  9. I didn’t see Gabourey at the GG but from the picture above, I think she looks fabulous. I did see Melissa McCarthy and thought to myself I hate how many fat women only wear black. But of course that is her choice and if she’s happy, so am I.

    It’s fun for me to see what women with a lot of money wear to award shows, but fashion is way low on my list of personal priorities. I aim for comfort because that’s more important to me than other peoples opinions.

    • TBH, I loved wearing black for formal events even before I got fat. It might be because I’m an art-fart (helloooo stereotyped black turtleneck!) or because black is associated with the tux (sophistication, dignity) in a formal setting. Not to mention that it’s hard to get dirty. Hell, if I could afford to have a woman-tailored tux made for myself, I’d totally do it. :)

  10. Love the tweet, love the dress. Mostly love the dress because that’s how I would look in it…belly out. And it makes me feel like, “hey, maybe there is fashion hope for me!”

  11. That is a really pretty dress that I would probably wear myself! Reminds me of a dress I have now, the first dress I have gotten in years. I’m working on accepting my own body so I think it’s great to see someone with a similar body type being so visible. But ack, the body/fashion snarking needs to stop! I hate how mean people can get with these subjects. So sad.

  12. I wish I could use fashion as activism – but my fashion is entirely determined by THE CLOTHES I CAN AFFORD THAT FIT ME. Yeah, it’s great that MeanGirl1 can afford that $150 dress and those $100 shoes and more on accessories, makeup and hair…. but $150 is more than I spend most YEARS on clothes. I wear clothes until they can’t be worn any more, unless there’s some special occasion. This particularly applies to shoes, which are expensive. So go ahead, MeanGirl#1 and 2 and talk about how ugly my (oh my god comfortable) favorite sweater is. Go ahead and make fun of my tennis shoes that I’ve been wearing every day for a year. When you have to decide between “pay the electric bill” or “have fashionable clothes” … well, you know what I’m choosing.

    • I hear ya. I’ve resown clothes (over and over again) and I wear my shoes until they fall apart!

  13. I enjoy fashion and some fashion blogs, both thin and fat, but I agree that it’s not something that people should be critical about. As far as I’m concerned, the only people one should give fashion advice to are people who’ve asked – like a friend on a shopping trip who says “do you think this looks good on me?”

    I wear clothes that make me happy and make me feel beautiful. For me, that means it’s colorful and includes ways to highlight my handknits. I like makeup because I like playing with color. I don’t understand women judging other women’s clothing or makeup choices.

  14. I love Gabourey’s response so much.

  15. Camryn Manheim had some choice words about fashion when fat. When she was being dressed for awards shows, she would only wear designers who ALREADY made plus size clothes- no making custom clothes for her that she couldn’t have bought otherwise.

    • Do you remember Camryn holding her award above her head and saying, “THIS IS FOR ALL THE FAT GIRLS!” It really was the first time a big girl had won anything.

  16. I like clothing and adornment and beautiful things (especially hatties and costumes) but my definition of beautiful is my own and I don’t require The Rule Book of Ludicrous Dos & Don’ts which seems to be specially designed to mask (attempt to make legitimate) the systemic hate, bigotry and critical commentary that is the foundation of the fashion industry. The frenzy around red carpet events is, to me, just another version of the women-who-don’t-want-to-get-raped- shouldn’t-wear-skimpy-clothing/go out after dark/speak/breathe/exist argument. And speaks to the wider oppression of the individual at the hands of the mob.This situation is equally redundant to me and one of the reasons I only skirt round the edges of “fashion”. The trollish and bullying behaviour turns me cold and I refuse to reward this nonsense by financially supporting it. So I don’t watch this on tv, I don’t buy these magazines, I am incredibly selective in my purchasing and I’m not interested in any little behind the scenes high school type clique that are too gutless to own their bullshit. I’ll wear what I like, when I like, wherever the hell I like and I fully support everyone, whatever their circumstances, doing the same. IF you’ve got a problem with that, I invite you to stand in front of my face and speak your venomous nonsense and we’ll see what happens.

    • Love it!

      • Thank you!

    • Jayem, I totally agree with most everything you said! You rock!

      • Only most? LOL! Thanks Cindy! You rock too!

  17. I am a fan of Ms..Sidibe My first uncensored reaction to her in that dress was, “VaVaVaVoom!” Which is such an old and sexist exclamation of appreciation it has confused the spell checker.

    I don’t know what the original dress looked like so I don’t know if this interpretation is better or not. My only annoyance is that whoever did the dress didn’t think enough of Ms. Sidibe to be sure her panty lines didn’t show. Any other celebrity wouldn’t have had to go through that. She’s had to deal with this sort of slight before. But at least this time she got a real dress instead of an ill fitting coat.

  18. If anyone wants to see her unaltered dress, here is a link:

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/golden-globes-2014-red-carpet-fashion-gabourey-sidibe-cried-about-cruel-weight-comments-1432207

    • Thanks for the link! It doesn’t actually look that different–as far as I can tell, it was just altered to fit her body, not changed substantially in terms of design.

      • That looks significantly altered to me, actually. The sleeves were shortened instead of trailing, and the neckline and beading detail were raised, which is why the beads sit *over* her breasts instead of under them and the soft pleating of the skirt got lost. Truthully, I’d be firing my stylist.

        • Truthfully, even. My kingdom for an “edit” button. ;)

  19. I so needed this post today, thank you :)
    Just yesterday a pic appeared on my FB. One of my “friends” (actually in “real life” a friend of a loose friend) had taken a picture of a woman on the street (and my guess is, she didn’t ask this woman if she was ok with being photographed). It showed her and a friend from behind, wearing something most people would call “unflattering” – and said FB-person that had uploaded it, asked others to “comment”. And these comments were just disgusting. Virtually pointing fingers, ROFLs and LOLs, “That’s why I am on a diet” or “Now I have to throw up my lunch”.
    I called them out on their behaviour, totally expecting to be “unfriended” (so what?) or called names – but nothing happened. No one reacted to my comment, it is still there, the pic is still there – and more people laughed about the woman on the pic since then. Just makes me sad…

    • I can never decide if FB makes people “nice” as a group less empathetic, or if it merely brings out how lacking in empathy so many “nice” people are to begin with.

      Then again, I bailed on another board because I was disgusted with people signing off on this kind of shit using their real names, too. Somehow it’s easier for me to live with when it’s trolls under pretend names. :/

      • Actually I was quite disappointed by mentioned loose friend of mine who wrote several mean comments under said pic. I had thought she was quite nice every time I met her… now I wonder what she talks about me behind my back :-/

        • Yeah, I’d wonder about that, too. I’d also not want to turn my back on her, for fear of becoming her clique’s next photo-victim.

        • Yep. If she’s comfortable saying that about a stranger in public, she’d be saying worse about me behind closed doors. I’ve had too much experience with people like that to think otherwise.

  20. Reblogged this on Sly Fawkes and commented:
    She slapped those clowns down in one smooth stroke. I love this woman!
    It seems that women are encouraged to be hateful towards other women, and it needs to stop.
    When I was in school, people not wearing the “right clothes” were ridiculed. Most of the people wearing the “right clothes” were in the upper middle class. I developed a real attitude towards these people. I backlashed by dressing in clothes that would get me noticed. I either wore very bright, colorful outfits or I wore headbanger or punk clothing. (I was born in 1965, thus went to high school in the 1980’s.) I once had a guy sneer at me “go back to Hollywood, Bitch!”
    I responded “with pleasure.”
    The narrow minds don’t know how to handle those who buck the system.

  21. I’m not sure that it’s a ‘fat’ issue. Some of the cheap women’s magazines in the UK have whole sections slagging off ‘celebrities’ for all sorts of reasons – their clothes, their hair, their make-up etc. I don’t buy the magazines partly because I don’t think this is acceptable. Sure, if you’re a journalist running a piece on your favourite gowns or what, in your view, are your favourite hairstyles then fair enough to leave out the ones you’re not keen on. However, to criticise someone’s choices, and (worse) encourage others to do the same (“haha, look at her – doesn’t she look ridiculous………”), simply because it’s not the dress/make-up/hair-do that you’d choose, is not on in my view.

  22. Hi there, Regan,

    As per usual, Ms. Sidibe has shown her usual élan by smacking down the haters. I think instead that instead of showing the usual insecurity, it would have been a nice change if the Twitterdom had commented on what a brilliant job the photographer did of immortalizing Gabourey. I am speaking of the great photo that shows Gabourey at a three-quarter turn, really showing off the drape and the elegance of the gown.

    I for one think that as long as the Fashion Media can set loose a cat fight among the insecure by throwing a red herring into the already-inadequate-feeling pool of celebrity-watching Myrmidons, we will always have to deal with this tedious side show of name-calling, finger-pointing and “and I wouldn’t have chosen…” statements.

    As Underpants Overlord, you hardly need me to restate that my feelings about Ms. Sidibe’s choices are beside the point since I don’t have to make them. However, I would like to add that I am a larger than normal woman, dancer, and athlete. Last year, I was fitted for a costume, and asked the designer to let out the mermaid style skirt a little for a nicer fall. The designer said, “You could wear Spanxx to hide your bulges.” Um. Where to start? Let’s see: 1.) Those “bulges” are my thighs. The same thighs that carried me through a marathon for Aids research in 2002. They aren’t a mistake; they are my support. 2.) Your custom designed costume is supposed be made to fit MY body, not the other way around. See to it. 3.) If reason has anything to do with it, I will not ever wear anything called “Spanxx.”

    Thanks for this blog. I always find inspiration here.

  23. I just hate that famous women are judged only by their clothes instead of for their acting, politics, decisions, or contributions. You know, the things that really matter.

    But I still appreciate what you’re saying.

  24. This is why the entirety of the fashion industry just pretty much makes me tired. I don’t care that much about what *I* wear — beyond comfort and a general sense of thinking I look okay — much less what anyone else wears. I’ll only be the Fashion Underpants Lord to the extent I would prefer folks cover up *their* underpants. And even then, I wouldn’t tell them so unless I thought it was an accident they might want to know about.

    Ms. Sidibe was entirely correct — all those making hurtful comments about her need to absorb the fact that she didn’t know they were trashing her at the time. Because she was busy being AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES, not home at her computer mocking other people.

  25. We live in one weird-ass society. Nothing points to this better than the phenomenon of meaningless award ceremonies featuring women who spend more on one piece of clothing than I likely make in a year. They wear it exactly once to be paraded in the paper as alleged “news.” Then all of us unshapely, unprosperous folk are supposed to alleviate our own daily boredom and frustration by picking these images and people to shreds.

    Sidibe can and should wear whatever the hell she wants, and meddlers should stop getting bent out of shape (pun intended) about it. For cryin’ out loud, people. It’s just a damn costume.

  26. I think more people should try to adhere to the old adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I may have my opinions about a dress a celebrity wore (be it Gabourey, or anyone else, for that matter), but unless they specifically ask for my opinion, I will keep it to myself. I think the internet gives people the anonymity they need to say nasty things, without realizing that they might be acting like an ass, and they might be hurting someone’s feelings. I try to consider that there is an actual human being on the end of my internet connection, that has actual feelings, and may be hurt by what I say. I don’t always use the best judgment either, but I try.

    As far as fashion, or fatshion goes, I think it’s important to not judge an entire group of people, or what people label themselves, by a few of the group’s members. There are fat people in the fashion community that subscribe to the “rules” of fashion and think everyone should wear spanxx and go on diets and be a “good fatty” and what not, and then there are other people (fat or not) that think people should just wear what makes them happy. For me, participating in fashion (my way) helps my mental health. When I think I look good, I feel good. It’s easier to accept my body, when I dress it well (what I consider well). I think others could get this out of it, also. On the other hand, if someone feels good while not participating in fashion, that’s fine too. Basically, to each their own. I just want people to be happy. I’m one of those people that considers fatshion to be activism. I often wear things that some people would say are “inappropriate” for my body type and/or age, but I don’t care because I like them, or it’s hot and I’m not going to be forced to wear full pants when it’s 100 degrees. I sort-of jokingly say I try to be as offensive as possible in the way I dress. It’s my way of being more visible, I guess. Or maybe I’m just daring someone to say something so I can tell them what’s what.

    • Me too! You should have heard the hooha that went on when I said quite plainly I was going to be wearing a strapless gown for my wedding and not covering my upper arms OR wearing my hair down. Not to mention the part where I declined shape wear. You’d have thought I’d said I planned to eat small babies at the reception or something. It upset everyone from the people selling the gowns, to the dressmaker who altered it, to the photographer, to my great aunt. I made good and sure to wave my arms around a lot at the wedding just to freak everyone out. Fun times!

  27. This may be totally beside the point, but have you seen how the lovely Robert Downey Jr. accepted one of his awards? He is often seen in jeans and sneakers. I really wish there wasn’t that double standard that has women of any size shiver on red carpets in winter in thin dresses and wobble uncomfortably in high heels, while men can get away with “comfortable” clothes. Like jeans and sneakers, even when “fashionably” paired with a nice jacket. Have there been any instances of male actors being critizised for the way they dress? Am I just not aware of any?

  28. Great post :D

  29. Brilliant. Love your voice. Way to stand up for what you believe and get us thinking! ^.^ I really enjoyed your post.

  30. i had heard about this, about her and her tweet and i didn’t actually see a picture of her until now… reading your post. i have no opinion on what other folks wear — no matter their size. i don’t (not that i can recall anyway) them criticize their choices or bash them in any way. i rock what i rock and i feel no need to justify my choices. i certainly don’t feel the need to request justification from another person. bravo to her! brava to you! thank you for sharing this. very eye-opening.

  31. Reblogged this on ellen0catherine0scherer.

  32. As a plus sized woman I really feel her plight on a visceral level. From the moment I saw her grace the red carpet I immediately thought, “My God, they’re going to have a field day with her and this dress”. I projected my personal fears onto her and cringed, hoping she wouldn’t hear the terrible comments. So, the next day when I saw that she’s responded I clicked the link expecting some rant but I was delighted to see how flawlessly she handled this. It gave me pride. I’ve pretty much had it up to here with intelligent, creative, and talented women being turned into punch lines because of fabrics, hair, and face paint (some call it make-up). Kudos to you Gabourey for granting some much need perspective on this issue and claiming pride for yourself and for me in the process. Flawless.

  33. I really, really enjoyed this post. And I can’t help but feel that fire in me that lights when someone really hits on one of the things that irk me about people. I sometimes see things like this, where women bash other women for fashion, or weight, or whatever, and I literally feel steam rise to the top of my head. Not everyone in the world is going to be thin. It may not be “healthy” but it is, in fact, life. Who says that bigger women can’t sport the same fashions as the anorexic looking models, and not be just as proud while doing it? Who came up with the idea that “heroine chic” was beautiful in the first place? By today’s standards, Marilyn Monroe would be considered a “Plus size model”. Women like Gabourey need to be in television, movies, and fashion magazines. Why? Because they are beautiful just the way they are, and too many women suffer from eating disorders, anxiety, and depression because society has made them think otherwise. You don’t have to find it attractive, but respect and understand that many people DO. We weren’t all meant to look the same, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She looks gorgeous in that dress because her confidence shines on her face, and because she is a beautiful girl in a beautiful dress. Her response is priceless, and she should be revered as a role model to young girls. Not just overweight young girls, but ALL young girls who need to be taught that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Fashion bashing is just one more way that females drag other females down, and further the prejudices created by society about how people should look and dress. I say, you don’t have to like what anyone else is wearing, but, I do not understand how females can like an outfit or a dress, until a “fat girl” puts it on…..If you don’t like it, don’t look!
    WTG Gabourey!! And VERY NICE blog to go along with such an epic quote!!

  34. I agree! This is unacceptable. NY times just released a full 5-6 pg article on internet bullying. What has this world come to?!

  35. I thought Gabourey looked lovely in that dress.

  36. Reblogged this on Dont tell me, just let me be.

  37. I love this!

  38. Reblogged this on dodongyetwah and commented:
    hahaha!I love this very much!

  39. Reblogged this on Nefny’s Blog and commented:
    Well, here’s a little something to think about.

  40. Reblogged this on Bag Lady Boutique and commented:
    It was her appearance that got her in the position that others wish they were. Her dream job. I particularly didn’t like that dress for her and I am certain those that have criticized her have issues in their lives. One need to think before they criticize. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Reblogged this on theartofartblog and commented:
    love

  42. I totally agree with this post, it’s not about what people wear, how much makeup they apply, how wealthy they are, or how pretty. To me, true beauty is on the inside, in your personality, that’s why good people will always be more beautiful than nasty people with pretty bodies.

  43. I haven’t seen any of Gabourey’s movies, but after a tweet like that I am definitely a fan. I wish people could just get past people’s physical appearance already, and it goes to both sides of the spectrum too…just because someone is what society considers ‘fat’ doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy and on the flip side just because someone is ‘skinny’ doesn’t automatically make them healthy.

  44. I adore that your blog is controversial. :)

  45. I loved this because I had no idea what the big deal is as someone that doesn’t have a dress size in the single digits I was glad to see her wear something that she liked plus that color looked good on her. Everyone in the media just wants to look at the negative. I’m glad she responded in such a positive way.

  46. I had no idea this had happened. Now that I do, I’m glad Sidibe responded as she did.

    We give fashion way too much importance, when all it should be about it, its sole purpose, is to make people feel good about wearing something they think is nice and makes them look good.

    If someone is wearing something that is unflattering, how does that become my business? I mean, if the wearer is happy about it, why should I even have a say about it?

    Yes, I know, Sidibe is a public figure and she knows she will be under intense scrutiny (probably more than most because of her figure) and I can see how people say that maybe she should be more careful about what she chooses to wear. That being said, I believe she is free to wear whatever she likes and it’s no one else’s business.

  47. Well put!


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