“That designer should be fired,” they said… “Not flattering at all,” they said… “Even the model looks unhappy to be wearing it,” they said… But what did Alysse Delassandro, designer (and said “unhappy” model) of the controversial Ready To Stare Convertible Cupcake Dress say…?
“Fuck you to flattering fat girl clothes,” and I couldn’t agree more!
I saw it on Facebook first, back around the time her holiday collection launched — the nasty comments, all because a designer dared to challenge society’s idea of what plus size fashion should be.
Even though I’ve learned not to be surprised by the closed-mindedness of people on the Internet, I couldn’t help but be a little bit shocked that so many plus size women themselves couldn’t see how empowering a statement this dress (which can also be worn as a skirt) truly was.
I get it though, I don’t feel this way personally, but I get it — we, as fat women, have fought so hard to wear form fitting clothes and be accepted by society, that the idea of wearing a piece that hides our curves seems scary — but it’s not.
In fact, it’s probably no more scary than the first time a fat woman wore a bodycon dress, which, newsflash — angry conformists everywhere probably had a problem with too!
What Alysse has done, is go up against the standard, which was once a controversy itself, and say, it’s time to forge further and conquer new territory in plus size fashion! It’s time to step out of these stagnant waters and allow ourselves to accept that we have a right to wear any style a thin person can, whether society deems it “flattering” or not!
All of that aside, I love this dress. I loved it even as my eyes were drawn down into vitriol being spewed in the comments section, and not just because I think everything Alysse touches turns to gaudy, yellow gold (in the most perfect possible sense, of course) but because it’s playful, bold, and one of the most couture plus size pieces I’ve seen this year.
So as it comes to a close, and we ready ourselves to stare 2016 in the face, I wish you all very happy holidays, as I prance through the snow in festive red, woven with gold, that, like its name suggests, looks good enough to eat!
Dress, Ready To Stare – here
Shoes, Shoes Of Prey, designed by me- design your own here
Necklace, Forever 21+ – old, similar
Shawl coat, Forever 21+ – old, similar
Dear woman who tried to shame my body today,
There are a few things I’d like to say to you — a few things that I think you need to know; and I will lace my words with an excessive amount of photos of my glorious bod in a hot pink, see-through dress and bright red bikini, because I think it would do you good to see more of the body you decided to pick apart on social media today.
As a blogger, in one of my weekly contributions to another blog, I was asking followers to help me pick between three outfits that I chose for an upcoming date night with my husband. I think I looked really cute in all of them, for the record — and, sometimes a girl just wants a little feedback!
I answered you so politely when you criticized body. I told you that “I love my belly, my big butt, and my cellulite, as does my hubby! They’re part of me — no need to hide them! 😊 It’s not about looking thinner. The beauty of body acceptance is learning to love our flaws! ❤️”
You’re welcome to disagree with my view points and clothing choices all you want, but never once did I mention anything about your thoughts on my outfits. I also didn’t get upset… In fact, I think I gave a pretty polite and friendly response that spoke only of how I wasn’t ashamed of my body parts that you seemed to feel weren’t attractive.
You, a plus size woman yourself, stated that you were entitled to your opinion, then proceeded to tell me that loving my body was a copout because I am too lazy to try to better myself and my health. (Really, you said it!)
When I, again very politely, explained that I am in very good health, and wished you would realize that your comment was judgemental and uncalled for, you said that I must not be as secure as I claim to be because I was being defensive and over-sensitive.
You went on to say that that you had balls, and stood by your opinion… And that I shouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t like it — somehow believing that it is your right to police my body, call me names, be blatantly rude, and that, because I have a blog, I’m not supposed to call you on it.
Others jumped to my defence, but you attacked them too, and laughed at the whole situation, referring to a comment I had posted for someone else, explaining to them how taking back the word ‘fat’ had empowered me.
I politely excused myself from the conversation, stating that your perseverance was admirable, that you had so much potential, and I wished you could have used it to uplift your fellow women rather than tear them down.
Soon after, your comment was removed. Obviously nobody was in agreement with your insults disguised as opinions, and false sense of entitlement… So, my apologies if the events may seem a little out of sequence, because again, your comment was deleted, which took all of your, my, and everyone else’s carefully crafted rebuttals with it, leaving me with only my tear-filled (sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on that) memories to refer to. You are entitled to your opinion, let’s just get that out of the way so you don’t have to say it again, but I will not let you believe, when you attack my body and character then accuse me of being insecure when I respond, that I can’t see right through your smug facade, to a woman who is filled with self-doubt, insecurity, envy and fear.
I will also not allow you make me love myself any less than I did before reading your enlightening comments — in fact, they’ve made me love myself more! You see, when you show your true colours, and they’re dim, grey and muddy, they make mine shine much brighter.
What you thought would stop me really just propelled me forward, and reaffirmed how important my blogging truly is.
So what I’m really saying here, is thank you. Thank you for making me feel even more beautiful, secure, and important today.
I know your intention was to make yourself feel better by trying to bring me down, so I’m sorry (not sorry) that I couldn’t help, but I would gladly love to offer you a compliment if you ever decide to actually post a profile picture of yourself one day. I’m sure you have all kinds of beauty that you just don’t see when you look in the mirror.
And lastly, even though your attempts at hurting me failed miserably, I hope you come to understand that not everyone is as strong and confident as me. Not everyone will be able to take something wonderfully positive away from the experience of having a person try to publicly humiliate them; and not everyone will understand that your attempts at trashing their self-esteem, are really just projections of your own insecurities.
Bikini, Addition Elle – here
I’ve never had to worry about being accused of stealing because I lingered in a convenience store. I’ve never worried about finding an affordable place to live in the neighbourhood of my choosing, surrounded by folks who look like me. I’ve always been able to flag down a cab when I needed one, and I’ve never had to think twice about walking down the street with a hoodie on.
I’m white — and if anyone here thinks that this has nothing to do with that, then please, carefully take note and be open to feeling uncomfortable in your whiteness (should that be the case), or kindly excuse yourselves from this space.
Everyday I look through my newsfeed and I’m appalled. I’m appalled not only by the heinous, racially driven crimes being committed by civilians, but by those whose purpose it is to serve and protect. I’m also appalled by my fellow Caucasians’ shameful ignorance when denying their white privilege — taking offence when someone states that black lives matter, as if somehow this means that theirs don’t.
I have black friends. We’ve all heard that line — but I do, really, and it never made me think that deeply about racism. In fact, even having a black husband didn’t really open my eyes like one might imagine it would. I’m telling you this even though it makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed by my own personal ignorance.
I only realized it in the past few years — how easy my life had been. Sure, growing up fat came with its own set of difficulties, and I’ve felt sorry for myself on many occasions, but it’s nothing compared to the hurdles faced by those who are growing up black.
My epiphany came when I had my youngest son. See, I have four children, two of whom are white, two of whom are mixed. My 12 year-old daughter is 1/4 black, and although she is incredibly proud of her heritage, and does not hesitate to proclaim her blackness — with her pale skin, dirty blonde, wavy hair, and light blue eyes, she is not visibly black. My four-year-old son, however, is.
Before him, I never had any fears sending my white children off to their white school, in our white neighbourhood. I never had to go shop in that tiny, dusty “black products” section of Walmart to find something to untangle their natural hair. I never had to worry that, because of their skin colour, someone might try and hurt one of my babies.
I am speaking from underneath the veil of white privilege, this is without question, and my experiences will never be the same as those of a black mother, but I am terrified to even imagine the ache of seeing my child face discrimination, struggle to overcome prejudice, or the heartbreak I would feel to lose him because he was walking home from the store, while black.
Recently, I discussed exactly this, with good friend, and blogging beauty, Ramona, of Tall Tales by Ramona O. In fact, we talked about a whole lot of things concerning white privilege, racism, and unity. We decided that since we’d be meeting up in New York City last weekend, that we’d use our time there to put together a collab – something meaningful, about more than just fashion and plus size style.
As I rolled into New York, I turned on the news in my hotel room only to hear of the horrible Charleston Massacre the day before. It was a huge reminder of all my discussions with Ramona, and of how much we need change.
As a woman who was born with, as the brilliant activist and writer, Pia Schiavo-Campo states in her article for Ravishly, “the kind of unearned privilege that keeps you from being harassed or gunned down by police officers” — my role in fighting racism is important, and regardless of your skin tone, so is yours!!!
Show how you believe that Black Lives Matter! Silence is consent, so be vocal, get in people’s faces, and don’t stand for any racism, no matter how “innocent” it may seem. Get educated on black culture and racism if you’re not, and educate others if you are.
Be aware of your own attitudes, and if you’re white, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to show your support for unity — because I am willing to bet… there is no comfort zone for black Americans who are watching their brothers, sisters, sons & daughters, families, friends, and community members being racially profiled, discriminated against, beaten and shot down because they are “the wrong colour.”
And here are some great pieces to help you learn more on white privilege and racism:
5 Ways to Unpack White Privilege: The Tess Holliday Incident by Pia Schiavo-Campo
And you can also check out all of Pia’s blogging amazingness on MixedFatChick.com.
Mesh crop top, Penningtons – here
Lace bralette (under), Addition Elle – here
Skirt, Forever 21+ – old, similar
Shoes, Jessica Simpson from Addition Elle – old, love these