A question that has come up a lot on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for people invested in style lately is, “Is this a fashionable person? Or are they just thin?”
You can see it everywhere, especially as influencer types who seem to spend all of their time either working out or lounging in very normcore attired get celebrated by magazines and on social media. Trust me: it’s a thing.
Of course, a thin person can be fashionable! But often when people say someone looks good in an outfit, they’re not really talking about the outfit. So many clothing companies do not include inclusive sizes or think about fits that look good on larger bodies, and it’s a problem. Fat people want to dress cute, too, dammit.
A TikTok star named Brooklyn Dallen has really been questioning this dynamic in a series of videos in which she wears whatever the latest fashionable look on Pinterest or Instagram is.
Dallen is beautiful, and she doesn’t have a flat stomach, which seems to be what a lot of these looks focus on.
To be honest, I think Dallen actually is proving that some of these looks are super fashionable because she looks great in them.
BuzzFeed interviewed Dallen, and she said that recreating Pinterest looks on TikTok is a trend, but she mostly saw thin women doing it.
“I’m sure I wasn’t the first plus-size person to do it, but I felt like with my specific body type and size, I could help a lot of my followers understand that they can wear anything they want and look great doing it!” she said.
“I chose Pinterest outfits specifically because it was already a trend, and I noticed that Pinterest is a platform where you generally only see the beauty standard body type being represented in fashion.”
She says that though she refers at times to flat stomachs as an “accessory” she doesn’t think thin women are unattractive or shouldn’t show off their bodies in ways that make them feel cute.
“I just want people to understand that it’s not the same for fat women,” she explains. “Our fat stomachs are systemically considered an imperfection, while a thin stomach is something that society would see as an elevation to an outfit. Fat women don’t have the privilege of accessorizing with their fat stomachs unless we want stares and rude comments.”
She also says she’s banished the word “flattering” from her vocabulary because it’s often code for disguising the bodies of fat women.
“Fat women have been ridiculed for ages for wearing crop tops, short skirts/shorts, and just anything that shows skin,” she told BuzzFeed. “Whereas skinny women are celebrated in these items because it shows off their thin bodies—which there’s nothing wrong with, it would just be nice to not be treated differently as a fat woman.”
Dallen says that the Body Positivity movement was started by Black women, and on TikTok there is a tendency to prioritize white creators. Also, mid-size women have sort of become the face of body positivity, which is not the direction it should be swinging.
“The body positive movement was started by fat Black women and was meant to give them representation because they lack(ed) that! I think we have tons of work to do with putting the bodies this movement was made for as the face of the movement, really uplifting them, and giving them the representation they deserve.”
“I hope that people take away the idea that all bodies should have access to fashion,” she added.