fashion

OPINION: 'The whole "sin for showing skin" idea needs to get in the bin. My clothes do not speak for how I should be treated.'

Bras N Things
Thanks to our brand partner, Bras N Things

I’m no stranger to showing a little skin.   

The first time I showed what most people would deem as "too much skin" I was at Brighton Pride in the UK. 

I walked around the city of Brighton in nothing but a sheer skirt, high-waisted underwear and sparkly pasties. 

The reaction that I received from complete strangers was so positive and body affirming that it started my body positivity journey. 

I was a size 22.

The next time I showed just as much skin was on my Instagram and the reception was far from positive. 

The hate comments, the fatphobia and worse, the DMs from people fetishising my body were relentless. 

I now use my Instagram account to inspire people to feel comfortable in their bodies regardless of how much or how little clothing they wear. 

Because the body that you have and what you decide to put on it, should not be an indicator for how you should be treated. Yet, clearly, even though it’s 2021 some people don’t seem to understand that.

I am the kind of fat person that goes out in a crop top and a miniskirt because it makes me feel sexy. 

I am the kind of fat person that will post photos of myself in lingerie on my social media because it helps me to feel empowered. 

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I am not the kind of fat person who shows skin to be sexualised or treated poorly because I have made the conscious decision to embrace my body. 

No woman or person should suffer because of what they’ve decided to wear.  

Bras N Things recently asked 1025 women what they think and feel about sex, sensuality and the freedom to express themselves. They found that 67% of them agree that women are overly sexualised and to combat that there is a whole community of people on the internet and in real life who are pushing back, reclaiming their bodies and celebrating their skin for the miraculous entities that they are. 

Hashtags like Bras N Things’ #IAmManyThings (and another I've seen is Jameela Jamil’s #iweigh) show women celebrating not only their bodies but everything else they have to offer the world. 

This kind of representation is vital to empowering others to love themselves and to showing society that there is more to a person than the skin that they are showing.

I am a woman who feels empowered when showing my skin. 

Sometimes people have trouble looking past that to see that there is more to me than meets the eye. 

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I was once in a group chat where I was regularly objectified by "friends" because of the way I dressed. 

It took one of my actual friends jumping in to point out that I have a Master's Degree and a brain for them to stop objectifying me. 

These women were lesbians. Misogyny exists in queer spaces too.

I’m two years into my self acceptance journey so I don’t post as many physically exposing pictures as I used to but when I do, the reaction is still the same, actually, since I joined TikTok, the comments have gotten worse. 

People on TikTok are brutal. Nevertheless, the pattern is the same; there’s a deluge of comments about how fat and disgusting I am followed by an influx of new male followers (whom I swiftly block). 

It’s an interesting existence to be simultaneously considered repulsive and a fetish. Yet I continue to post.

I continue to post because I am the author of my own story and my story does not end with the negative opinions of strangers on the internet. 

My story is one of highs and lows as deep as the rolls on my body, rolls that I flaunt every chance I get, because I can. 

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Because the more I show my body, the sexier I feel and the more normal (and hopefully empowered) other people in fat bodies will feel.

My hope is that society will start to accept women’s bodies the same way they have men's, or that we can ditch the constructs of a binary gender system all together.

I dream of a day where nipples can just be nipples, and women can feel safe walking down the street without being catcalled, or worse. 

I can’t wait for the day where I can post an empowered pic of myself and not simultaneously receive a message from a man fetishising me and also a message from a mum telling me that I’m setting a bad example for her daughter.

The bad example trope does upset me a little, it’s the equivalent of telling me I’m not a feminist because I “dress sexy”. 

I have a thirteen-year-old cousin that isn’t allowed to have me as a friend on her Facebook because her parents are worried about the influence I might have on her, like what I’m posting is illegal or scandalous. 

They don’t understand, and that’s okay, but what they don’t understand is that if I had seen people (women in particular) embracing their bodies at any size, ability, colour or sexual orientation that could’ve saved me years of self hatred and thousands of dollars worth of therapy.

Teaching young girls to be comfortable in their skin allows them to dress in a way that makes them feel more confident and empowered, rather than for the male gaze. 

Less time can be spent worrying about how other people will perceive them which means that the time can be spent smashing the patriarchy and raising strong, confident girls and women; generation after generation. 

It’s feminist systemic change and it starts with desexualising skin and accepting bodies as they are.

Here’s the thing: showing skin and wearing skimpy outfits isn’t sexual, it’s society that sexualises skin. 

You should be able to post whatever you like, wear whatever you like and embrace your body both in person and online.

You are the author of your own story and it starts with stepping into your power, feeling more confident and taking control. Because you are many things.

Where does your opinion sit on this? Tell us in a comment below.

Be the author of your own story, and find new things to explore about yourself in the new Bras N Things collection. Here's to feeling and being all that we are and all that we can be.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Bras N Things
Women aren't one-dimensional. So why should our stories be? We believe it's time we took control of the narrative. Owned our fantasies. Our desires. Our bodies. For all they are. And all they could be. There's always more to explore. More to express. More to be. Explore your Things.