It's happened. The crop top bustier has returned. In reading up on this spring's hottest trend, a number of articles (like this one) were quick to give veiled warnings that this look is for "toned midriffs" only. Sorry, Fashionisers, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one.
Yesterday I left my house in a bustier-style bikini top and pedal pushers (you're welcome, San Francisco). I spent all afternoon - from 12 to 6 - going to Ocean Beach, eating a fruit and yogurt bowl, tanning in a tulip garden, walking through half of Golden Gate Park, finishing Jim Thompson's 1952 crime noir novel - all with my midriff bared. And oh-my-lemon-bars it was ah-mazing. I was reminded of Emily Anderson's chapter in Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion when she says: "The feeling of cool air on my belly... was intoxicating."
One thing became clear yesterday: it's time to liberate that belly.
Show me the belly at www.facebook.com/hotandheavy.
Keywords: plus size fashion, curvy fashion, fatshion, plus size bustier
4/10/2013 04:44:42 am
Thank you for this post--this might be one of the only times I want to follow a trend because it's a trend--but all in the name of protest against body fascism!
4/10/2013 05:27:04 am
I love the phrase "body fascism." I'm also a huge fan of calling fascism when I see it. I have complex feelings about fashion trends, etc. When something on trend inspires me and I wear it, I'm seeking to (1) gain pleasure (which I see as political) and (2) destabilize and re-envision the aesthetic and the meaning. I'm sure, however, that my adoption of popular looks can be interpreted as an apologetic attempt at trying to "pass" as a good consumer who's "trying" to look respectable. In that way, I think that people may perceive that I am reiterating the problematic politics/ideas behind mainstream fashion (valid critique). At the end of the day I'm not responsible for their interpretation of my art, but there's a lot there to dissect and deconstruct.
4/14/2013 02:59:26 am
wow! this is my first time visiting this blog and i am so happy it exists. body fascism" is an EXCELLENT term by the way- since fascism describes precisely the overt and covert means by which prescriptive governance of our bodies and minds is perpetuated. kudus to the midriff-baring top. it always thrilling to see someone beyond the childhood years rejoicing in their body. the pleasure is shared indefinitely. the self and political empowerment is intoxicating! you made this look both sexy AND powerful. the fact that you touch upon the concern associated with trying to "pass as respectable" is well-received. my first thought was "she is doing this so tastefully," which, having nothing to do with your size, referred simply to how much is revealed in relationship to the look as whole. I long for looks that suggest "less is more." we so often see so much of thin bodies that it is obvious that we've become hyper-focused on the size of the wearer, rather than what is being worn and how. what makes it look best is NOT the size of the wearer. to often thin becomes an automatic "looks good" substitute, as in "as long as you're thin, this looks good" and no one notices perhaps the "acceptably exposed" patch of skin, or belly button, doesn't look good FOR THE SAKE OF THE LOOK. we need fashion to be what it is: the art of dress. it is not the art of dressing thin bodies.
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Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.