fashion

'The bodycon dress was everywhere in 2007. Here's why I'm not ready for it to come back.'

Do you remember the bodycon dress? Well, it's back! 

The iconic tight dress that fits like a second skin, designed to cling to every part of your body like, well, cling wrap, will soon be everywhere. 

Are you ready? Because I don't think I am. 

Watch: How to improve your daughter's body image. Post continues after video. 


Video via Mamamia.

It's a pretty confronting dress to wear; it shows off everything. When it first entered my universe, I was an insecure teenager who wanted to have a body like Britney Spears. The bodycon dress was a firm reminder that I didn't have that body, so I hated it.

It's tight by design and rests on every piece of fat and bone you have to offer it. It has a way of emphasising whatever you're insecure about, because it's designed not to gloss over anything.  

In an ideal world, I'd have nothing to be insecure about. I truly believe every body is beautiful and worth showing off, and I've come a long way from that insecure teenage girl. 

But something about this dress bothers me.

Kim Kardashian in 2007, in an Herve Leger bandage dress. Image: Getty.

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You might remember the style best from seeing it on Kim Kardashian. She practically wore the iconic Herve Leger "bandage" dress as a uniform in the early 2000s; all the Kardashians did. But they weren't the only ones - that dress was on every starlet at the time, from Lindsay Lohan to Rihanna to Blake Lively.

Locally, it was the dress every Australian soap star wore while promoting their newly launched music career. 

If you were going to a nightclub and you were a celebrity, you probably wore this style at some point. 

It was the unofficial uniform of the young and hot, and I always felt absolutely awful in it. Of course I wasn't wearing the Herve Leger version. Maybe some designer quality would have helped. Instead, my bodycon dresses were from Supre, and you could usually pick up two for $30, and I felt nothing short of gross in them. 

You have to remember that when this dress first became a thing, it was when flat stomachs were the beauty standard. I didn't have one, and this dress didn't let me forget that. 

There were so many tears in change rooms because I was so frustrated that I didn't look like Paris Hilton, and now the dress is back to test me again. 

Jessica Simpson in 2006. Image: Getty.

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I think my stress at the resurgence of the bodycon dress stems from the fact that it still dredges up the same issues. This annoys me because I've put so much work into learning to love my body. I try to practice both body positivity and body confidence every single day, and on my worse days, I try to settle for body neutrality. It bothers me that this dress still has a hold over me. I want to be at the point where I head out and buy a bodycon dress and feel fabulous, but I'm not.  

I know it's okay to not feel great in a particular style of clothing or trend. But I'm also frustrated because I know if I saw another woman that was similar in size and shape in a bodycon dress, I'd think she looked great - so why can't I be so kind to myself?  

Listen to our fashion podcast, What Are You Wearing?, where we discuss fatphobia in Australia's style industry. Post continues after audio.


For me, seeing the dress come back, it still doesn't look quite right. But this was how I felt about baggy jeans a few months ago, and now I'm obsessed. Styles tend to look wrong until they start to look very right. 

Perhaps the bodycon dress just isn't for me. Maybe it's a style of clothing that I don't feel like my best self in, but as it reemerges, and I start seeing it more and more, I know what will happen. 

Eventually I'll begin to think it looks cool again, and then I'll want in. I'm hoping that when I get to that point and finally buy one, I'll have found the confidence to feel fabulous in it. 

For more from Mary Rose, follow her on Instagram. 

Feature Image: Getty/Instagram/@khloekardashian/Mamamia.

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