While flipping through the April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, writer/editor Tamar Anitai stumbled upon some very troubling advice in a style Q&A with the magazine’s Creative Director, Adam Glassman. When posed the question, “Can I pull off a crop top?”, Glassman responded, “If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one.”
Anitai was shocked that the magazine would publish such exclusionary, body-negative advice — and took to Instagram to express her concerns.
“Surprised to see this level of #bodyshaming in Oprah magazine,” she wrote. “The feature is about women feeling healthy. Part of health is self-esteem and that’s intrinsically connected to body image.”
“Stop telling women what they CAN’T wear,” she continued. “We can wear and do and be ANYTHING that makes us feel strong, powerful, passionate and in charge of our own destinies. I hope young women and women of any age don’t feel like they’re restricted by editorially imposed fashion ‘rules.’ The only rules are there are no rules. Wear what you love, what makes you feel confident, and own it. Confidence is power, and it’s contagious.”
From there, the Q&A went viral — and the Internet’s response has been all kinds of badass. In an awesome turn of events, women have even started sharing photos of themselves rocking crop tops via the hashtag #RockTheCrop — perfectly proving that people of all shapes and sizes can pull off the look.
— MurderOfGoths (@MurderOfGoths) July 9, 2015
— BKJ (@FatabulouslyMe) July 9, 2015
The success of the movement is in part thanks to Anitai’s friend, blogger Sarah Conley. After Anitai tagged her in the original Instagram post, Conley decided to write a response of her own, which she then posted to her blog.
“I was shocked to see this kind of body shaming language from any magazine, much less one named after a woman who has had her weight scrutinized throughout her career,” she wrote. “Furthermore, I’d hoped in the era of the fatkini, plus size bloggers, and Instagram hashtags that we’ve moved beyond such narrow-minded thinking, but I can see now that it’s time for a show & tell.”
From there, she shared a few of her favorite posts under the #RockTheCrop hashtag — and encouraged women of all shapes and sizes to join the movement by posting their photos. Unsurprisingly, the results have been absolutely glorious.
As if it all weren’t amazing enough, even model (and collective life hero) Tess Holliday has joined the conversation, adding her own #effyourbeautystandards hashtag to the mix.
O responded to the backlash with the following statement to Buzzfeed earlier today:
“We support, encourage and empower all women to look great, feel confident and live their best lives – in this case, we could have expressed it better. We appreciate the feedback and will be more mindful going forward.”
As we’ve discussed before, the only thing you need to have a bikini-ready body is a bikini — and likewise, the only thing you need to have a crop top-ready body is a crop top. If wearing a crop top makes you feel awesome, then nothing should stop you from rocking the heck out of one.
“Flat stomachs are like thigh gaps – we’re not all meant to have one,” Conley wrote in her post. “I know women who have worked out four hours a day, five days a week in pursuit of that dream only to be thwarted by genetics.”
The good news, Conley goes on to say, is that genetics need not stop you from wearing whatever you want — and #RockTheCrop is proof of just how true that is. Join the movement (and the conversation) by following #RockTheCrop on Instagram and Twitter.
(Images via Twitter.)