“Can I pull off a crop top?” My answer to Oprah Magazine

I refuse to let other’s opinions of my size, shape, age, skin colour or gender dictate what clothes are ‘appropriate’ for me.

I will wear what makes me happy.

Today on Facebook I saw a photo of a magazine piece that was titled “Q: Can I pull off a crop top?”. Their horrifying answer was “If (and only if) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one…”

Magazines, television and social media spreads this idea that we should or shouldn’t wear certain things. Sometimes the messages are coming from the people in our lives.

Apparently when we’re over a certain age, we need to be careful of hemlines, tight clothing, loud prints and becoming “mutton dressed as lamb”.

Apparently when we’re over a certain size, we need to be careful of tight clothing, exposing too much skin, and revealing any kind of bulge, skin dimples or wobbly bits.

You’ve seen all the “guidelines”.

A stranger once said to me “You’re so brave for wearing blue nail polish. I wish I was that brave”. I’ve never forgotten how sad I felt for her. How judged must she feel to not be able to summon the courage to wear what she really wanted to on her nails? Every day I witness true bravery. Wearing blue nail polish is not brave. What kind of messages are we’re sending our community about who they are allowed to be, if the simple act of wearing blue nail polish seems brave?

So when I saw that photo on Facebook today I had to leave this comment: “What you need to “pull off a crop top”: Simply the desire to do so. You want to wear one, wear it with pride! Boo to all those fashion rules. Wear whatever makes you feel happy and fabulous. Everyone else can go jump.”

You can choose to get excited about clothes and dressing up, or you can choose to not even care about it. Like me, you might even have moments of both! The point is, it’s totally your choice, and your worth is not based on the outfits you wear. You do not have to fit someone else’s opinion of what is ‘appropriate’ for your size, age, shape, gender or skin colour.

The next time you see such fashion advice – turn the page, scan past the post or change the channel. You are your own best stylist. And you can “pull off” anything.