This month the interwebs had a melt-down yet again about how someone of a bigger size chose to present herself at an event.

MY goodness, a pregnant woman wears a tight, brightly coloured dress and you would swear she whipped out a pole, stripped down and did a little dance on the bodies of dead puppies, while dressed in nothing more than cellophane and a string of pearls.

Come on, interweb. Grow up.

But this article isn’t about an isolated incident. What I would like to discuss, is this thing we seem to all love to do – the telling everyone else in the world what they can or can’t do/be/wear based entirely on our own tastes and opinions. 

Seriously, what is up with that?

I would expect this dictatorship culture from Hitler or North Korea, but taking to your Twitter feed to condemn how the girl next door wears her hair? 

No wonder we have such a problem in our society with women who don’t value themselves. Who are afraid to go out and try something new, not because they think they’ll fail, but they are not sure they are strong enough to face the constant drive-by comments from helpful individuals permanently lined up in the front row of their life, hoping for an execution to wet their sharp little knitting needles. 

No wonder there are so many out there, myself included, who fight a constant battle with not feeling ‘good enough’ when we look in the mirror.

And don’t think that that problem will ever stay skin-deep. It has the ability to grow like a cancer and infect all other areas – destroying everything in its wake.

If you are told all your life that you shouldn’t wear something because you are not the right shape or size for it (what is the right size exactly? Human sized?), or that you can’t get dressed up like Batman for the party, damnit, you’re a girl – then how do we ever expect people to grab onto their own beautiful individuality and take the world to the next level of wonder and exploration through their own journey of discovery?

Never a new thing was ever invented by the children of the corn.

While I am all for constructive criticism (it would be helpful to have a little guidance when torn between two identical plants, one that will make a lovely cup of tea and the other that will kill you in a stone-cold second) there is a big difference between offering actual advice that adds value, and atomic-grade nastiness designed to tear apart then revel in the ashes of the cruel visual victory.

A ‘Fashion Victim’ by name and by nature is not the thing doing the victimizing, is it? So ask yourself, who is behind the smoking gun?

Don’t think that just because you mean well (?) or were just joking or voicing your opinion (which is your right) when making these sweeping statements from your perfectly-poised pedestal in the heavenly clouds of ‘always-looks-and-dresses-exactly-right’-dom that you are not part of the MeanGirl problem.

You are the one holding the gun. And you are hurting us all.

Let me give you a mild example.

Growing up, people constantly said to me, ‘You shouldn’t go in the sun – you don’t want to get any more freckles!’ I was even given a cream by my grandmother to try and ‘fade’ the flecks on my skin. She couldn’t help it. She was given the same advice by her mother when she was young. Not many people actually said ‘Your freckles are ugly’, but the sentiment always led to that.

So guess what. I grew up hating my freckles. Believing they were ugly, and that they made me ugly. Hating the way I looked, because, of course, I never did manage to avoid getting more and never did discover the miracle-whip to clear them right off. 

So eventually, when I finally met someone who actually liked my freckles and told me so (and I thought they were bat-crazy for it) it took a long time to shift my own belief, one that had been years in the making, that freckles were bad. 

I now always tell my nieces how beautiful their freckles are, re-naming them ‘sun kisses’ to try break the cycle.

The importance of which, I believe, will not just be a girl who doesn’t hate the way her skin looks, but who will not be crippled with a self-loathing that will potentially seep from her skin down to her core, as is the way of these things.

Now how do you think a woman who is naturally pre-disposed to a larger frame grows up feeling about herself in a world that fat-shames? Or one who put on a few extra kilos after she hit 30?

How do you think it affects her when so many people feel they have the right to point fingers at others, telling the ‘fat’ girl what she can’t wear because of her size? How do you think her story is going to end?

Freckle-shaming is never going to have any good results. Neither is fat-shaming or style-shaming.

Having a lofty opinion on someone else’s physic or attire doesn’t do anything to better the world, but it sure shows you up for the controlling, trigger-happy bigot that you actually are. 

If we continue to go around telling pregnant woman they can’t wear tight clothing, or larger people they shouldn’t wear this or that, we are never going to break free from the downward spiral of negativity and legalism.

As long as we keep telling people what not to do or wear because we don’t like it, we will never get to enjoy a free society ourselves.

Variety is the spice of life, interweb. If you don’t like something, then don’t you wear it. Problem solved.

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