|L to R: Octavia Spencer, Melissa McCarthy, Adele and Sherri Shepherd.|
As plus size women continue to gain more fame and carve out a presence in a world that so famously shuns them, more and more curvy celebrities are beginning to appear on red carpets as staples in the fashion world.
This year was no exception, with the delightful Melissa McCarthy earning both an Emmy and Oscar nod, and Octavia Spencer sweeping the awards show circuit for her role in “The Help.”
But I know that I’m not alone when I say that I feel that the fashion choices of this year’s plus nominees have been less than stellar.
On both social networks and other blogs, I’ve seen women discussing the disappointing fashion from the carpet last night. Like many of you, I too was appalled at the wardrobe choices of the plus size nominees.
But why should we care about the clothes they wear? Shouldn't we support the wardrobe choices of women who are carving out paths for themselves as minorities in the famously sizeist world of Hollywood?
From the poor construction, to the horrible sleeves and bust line of the dress, it screamed to me that she is a plus size woman trying to cover up and/or is unaware of how to dress her body. It saddened me to see such a beautiful woman hiding behind that gown.
Sherri Shepherd wore a similarly unfortunate gown. Sure, it had potential with a beautiful color and fantastic beadwork. But the gown’s deep V clearly showed Shepherd’s support bra - a choice I can't believe her stylist let through.
And then there was Octavia Spencer …
Her dress was pretty, well constructed and fit well. (Of course it did, it was designed by Tadashi Shoji, who has a history of making fabulously well-made dresses for ALL women). She famously said earlier in the season that other designers didn’t want to dress her or were incapable of doing so. So she stuck with Shoji for all of her gowns. As so, her awards season style was, at best, one-note.
Adele looked pretty at the Grammys and the Brit Awards. But if I see her in another black dress with long-sleeves, I think I’m going to cry.
The bottom line is that not one of these BEAUTIFUL and AMAZINGLY TALENTED women looked like they are going toe-to-toe with Jennifer Lopez, Viola Davis, Stacy Keibler, Michelle Williams or other red carpet stars.
Instead, they looked like how our critics think plus size women should look – covered up, good enough, in “something that fits” or “is slimming.”
It is the perfect explanation for why it’s so difficult for a plus size woman to buy a formal dress at department stores. Instead of fashionable, trendy options, she is left with nothing but dowdy, long-sleeved looks that make apologies for the bodies they are so blatantly trying to cover up.
There is simply no excuse for this anymore.
Fashion is meant to be aspirational – these women are given a unique chance to show that plus size women are beautiful, talented, sexy, creative and fashionable.
That was simply not achieved last night and I’m tired of seeing it.
How you look matters, whether you want to believe that or not. Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with wanting to hide certain body parts – we all do it. But when the world is watching you, it needs to not be done in such a way that you are saying to the world, “what you think of me and the judgments you pass on my body are deserved. Even I am embarrassed at how I look.”
It’s time for clothing choices to say, “I am here and you can’t stop me from shining.” I’m not going to sit here and say I loved the clothes just because they were on plus size women. That’s not good enough anymore.
If someone asked me to find 10 better dressed bloggers than these stars, I could do so in less than five minutes, and most of the time on a fraction of the budget. If we regular gals can do it, there's no reason they can't too.
It’s time plus size women stopped settling for “what fits” and started carving out a space for themselves as superstars in fashion and in the world.