Gina Vaynshteyn
October 19, 2014 11:30 am

Marie Claire recently published a book that encourages women to feel better about their bodies, how they look in clothes, and what they can do to banish insecure fashion moments (mine is with the romper, I just can’t with the romper you guys). The title of said book? Dress Skinny. *Raises eyebrow* Um, is that like, an order, Marie Claire? Because it kinda feels like it. A book that attempts to show women how to feel like their “best selves” should probably not equate feeling good and beautiful to “skinny.” Because while I feel that Marie Claire has great intentions, not every woman aspires to thinness to feel great about themselves.

Let’s back track a sec. I’m not saying “skinny” is bad. No way. I’m pretty skinny-ish myself, and I am not okay with skinny-shaming in general. Or any shaming! Let’s just stop with the shaming, okay? Our bodies come in different shapes and sizes, and it would be problematic and disparaging to narrow down what “beautiful” and “healthy” is to one size. So let’s please get that notion out of the way.

What I find uncomfortable about Marie Claire’s new book title, is that it suggests we’ve been dressing “wrong” this entire time. We’ve been choosing clothes that are unflattering. Unbecoming. Clothes that make us feel. . .not un-beautiful, but un-skinny. “Dress Skinny” means that we’ve been dressing fat, and I have to disagree with that message, because you know what? I have squeezed into a pair of jeans during that oh-so wonderful time of the month, and I have experienced hateful thoughts about my bloating and my butt. I have thought, “Ugh, this makes me look fat.” But I also realize that kind of thinking isn’t healthy. Thinking like that is treating my body like it has a problem that needs to be fixed. No one wants to feel like they need to be fixed.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea behind this book. The preview for it boasts, “Just as Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider writes in her introduction to Marie Claire’s new tome. . .everybody has those days: You wake up, pull something on, pull another something on, and curse your entire wardrobe because nothing works.” The books features “inspirational” photos of celebrities and models who provide insight and fashion tips. It almost feels like a “we’re all in this together” collaborative project (which I think was supposed to be the point).

But we’re not all in this together if we keep telling women to dress skinny.

Image via Marie Claire

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