I was in the bottle store today and overheard two girls talking about clothes. The first one dolefully admitted to her friend that she would love to wear leopard-print tights but felt like she couldn’t because she was so fat. Obviously I was curious and looked around the corner to see what “fat” was to this girl. She was probably a size 12-14 at most. That’s crazy fat. Not. Her friend was about a size 8 and told her to stick with black tights. I wanted to go and shake them both out of their socially-constructed slumber and “witness” to them my testimony of wearing whatever the fuck I want!
It upsets me so much to see women of all shapes and sizes telling themselves and each other that they can’t wear something just because Cosmopolitan has articles on how to dress for each size. I hate this so much!! I hate the concept of “flattering” clothes. WHY should we be expected to wear something “flattering” all the damn time? Is it a woman’s obligation to look good for strangers? NO. Stop with this awful notion that a women has the responsibility to always look a certain way, because we DON’T. Prettiness is not a rent we must pay for occupying a space marked female*.
To me, fashion used to be about wearing “safe”clothes that would “flatter” my horrendous “pear-shaped” figure. Even at size 12-14, I dared not venture out in anything that wasn’t “A-Line” or black on the bottom. I had a pair of Glassons jeans that I wore around the house for smoking pot, or to quickly put on after dancing, and that’s about the extent of my history with jeans. Because magazines told me that my body wasn’t right for jeans. Oh, I could wear them – as long as I wore a flattering boot-cut that was about as “cutting-edge” as the school uniform department in Arthur Barnetts.
So here I am, after about 15 years of never wearing what I wanted. But now that’s changed, and the other day I actually bought a pair of leopard-print tights of my very own. I longed to tell this girl to get some and wear them happily, enjoying the way that fashion and merging clothes into an outfit makes us feel on an individual level. However I couldn’t because I know that if someone like me had said that to me a few years ago, I would have just dismissed her and judged her for being fat herself. The notion of women as ornaments needs to stop. The articles about “having it all” where you are expected to be carving out a lustrous career while having a family, putting gourmet food for your family on the table by 6pm every night, while finding the time to get your hair, nails and tan done professionally, need to die a gruesome death in the shredder of an editor’s office. I need to know that other women realise that all the so-called “empowering” messages women are being sent by media, marketing and magazines, are actually trapping us into social obligation even further. Think about it. Once upon a time, women were expected to look after their husbands socially, and keep the house and children in order. Now we are expected to have amazing careers, “inspiring” decor/food/home projects, ageless faces and stunning bodies on top of the aforementioned. Women who don’t have children, great careers and bleached assholes are seen by society as unattractive, homely, or failures. (That would be me, I think I’m comfortable enough with my readers to let you know that I don’t get my asshole bleached. Please don’t stop reading my blog, though.) You guys, society should have DROPPED the expectations of us, not updated our job descriptions and offered us less pay. Are we more empowered, or more boxed-in and run-down? Anyway, this post was about leopard-print tights, I just got onto a tangent because I’ve had a few wines and am passionate.
I can’t believe I went so long without expressing my own taste and creativity because I was worried that it wouldn’t be acceptable. It sickens me that I felt that I owed it to everybody else to look a certain way, and I am gutted that I never wore that amazing houndstooth miniskirt I got in my first year of uni. I loved the way it looked at the opshop when I tried it on, but was then too scared to wear it anywhere, and it ended up in the bin after a stellar career of being a guidance counsellor to all the other unworn clothes in my wardrobe.
So today I decided to do another of my wee “fatshion shows” to show a couple of ways that one can wear leopardprint tights in a fun way. Anyone, female, male, thin, fat, tall, short, caucasian, Mexican (ESPECIALLY Mexican!), wheelchair-bound, athletic, or just plain lazy.
1. Nothing says safari like leopard-print, a khaki shirt, and a LONDON singlet!!! I like to think of this look as “Urban Jungle”. As I have mentioned before, you can switch London in for other bustling metropolises, such as Bunbury and Milton.
2. Feel free to huss yourself up with a sheer blouse with nothing but a bra underneath. This blouse actually had an inbuilt singlet underneath, which “old Chelle” would happily have used, but I was like “fuck this noise!” and cut it out so that I could show a hint of somethin’-somethin’.
3. COLOURS! Block colours are rad, just put it on, add a vest and wear it n shit.
So, ladies please, PLEASE, if you see something in a store that you like, GET IT. AND ACTUALLY WEAR IT. Life is far too short to be worrying about whether that guy on the train is going to think less of you because you are a pear shape and you’re wearing tights as pants.
I love you all
Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxxxooooxoxoxox
*Erin (from ‘A Dress A Day’)