Every time you tell a woman to cover her chunky arms. When you question the health of a slim model or berate a fatter one. Every single time you tell a Mother to be discreet while feeding her baby. When you say those shorts are too short. Every time you decide that she should be doing life differently, you make it worse.

You add to the laundry list of things a woman should and shouldn’t do. You reaffirm in whatever small way that she is to be dictated to. Reaffirm that beauty matters more than her thoughts or ideas, her principles or her value. That she should be better, try harder, work longer, care more, eat less, give more.

On and on it goes. You should be a good girl, but fun, smart but don’t rock the boat, beautiful but not too beautiful, available but not slutty, accomplished in the boardroom, bedroom, kitchen, garage, and on the playing field.

Bullshit.

Follow the rules or don’t. Go after the having it all, or go after none of it. It’s the choice to be all or none of it that makes what our feminist fore-mothers did so freaking important. For what they did, I could not take my husband’s name without threats of him not marrying me because of it. And that’s just part of the list.

I wear what I want, on the body I have, and I’m proud of it. There are many, many doors of opportunity available to me if I want them. I can be a stay at home, work at home, work part-time, full-time mother if I wanted to or none of the above. The whole thing, it’s my choice.

It’s the privilege of being born in a society where my life isn’t under threat daily. It’s the privilege of being white, straight, and fairly conservative in my choices. But I’ll stand for you, if you want me, wherever I am needed.

Because it’s about being who I am and allowing others to be who they are. I mentioned feminism because it gets something of a bad wrap (oh lord, why?) and it’s about that and the way we treat, talk about, and assess our bodies. For women of all shapes and sizes, colours and creeds, background and differences, it’s about equality and graciousness. It’s about getting a god-damned life and butting out of other people’s business.

Gosh. 

This post proudly brought to you by a young, beautiful fat woman being absolutely hammered on the City Chic Facebook page. Again. By woman tearing each other down with their own insecurities showing. By women who don’t realise they are part of it. That they continue to maintain the ongoing cycle of you should do this, don’t do that, show this, don’t show that.

We need to put a stop to this shit.

*images via Unsplash

Tagged on:                 
  • Workingwomenaustralia

    It IS about being who you are – and being proud and embracing everything. Every single thing that one may deem an imperfection is what another deems a streak of beauty. Why can’t we be different AND be ok with that?

    • It’s my aim in life to welcome and celebrate difference. It’s my new thing. A new old thing, but my new thing. Stuff the rest. Calling it out where I see it. Game over.

  • Belinda @ Save Mum’s Sanity

    AMEN sister! Thank you for saying so eloquently what I have been caught up thinking in my head for the last little while. It makes me so god damn angry! Here’s hoping this message stops one ‘rule enforcer’ in their tracks … but my feeling is that those kinds of ‘arm chair’ critics will never get it unfortunately.

    • You’re welcome. I’m pretty sure they won’t. Like. Ever.

      I just let it spill out of my head onto the page. I was so freaken angry. Then I hit publish before I could get to it and nice it up a bit. I did correct some spelling since though. Haha.

  • So well said. Bravo! People need to get a life and stop worrying about everyone else’s. I’m sorry you’re being attacked. x

    • Thank you Corinne. Absolutely.

      It wasn’t me though. It was a young girl who works for City Chic. I was trying to leave a comment saying she looked amazing {which she did} and got caught up in the barrage of comments. Gah.

  • JahTeh

    This is why I’m not on facebook, it allows people to say things they wouldn’t say to your face. I’m big, hugely big and I make my own clothes, dye my hair and wear enough jewellery to sink the Titanic so you keep on the way you want to. Don’t forget small minds get smaller with every snippy comment.

    • I love you. And secretly hate you because I am too lazy to get lessons and learn how to sew. Thank you.

  • What a refreshing blog post! LOVING you and your gorgeousness, realness and attitude – Rebecca xx

  • Faith

    After a pretty crappy 18 months I have come to the conclusion that I personally, can’t have it all. It’s just not possible to be everything society says I should and can be. I can’t be the best mother and work the 60 hours a week I need to to excell in my job, its not possible for every woman to fall in love with a man who can financially support her while she’s a stay at home mum. It’s not possible to exercise every night after work while preparing home cooked meals in an apron I learned how to make on Pinterest. I can’t pay for full time day care so that I can work in the career I trained for AND have money for a new outfit every day. It’s too much! The expectations are too high. For now, I have to pick what’s most important. And that’s not easy.

    • It’s a hard pill to swallow that one. But no, you can’t have it all right now. I’m sure you’ll find what matters most, aim your efforts that way and go for it with all the gusto you have used to make it through 18 months {maybe more?} of being super woman. Love to you. They lied. Plain and simple.

      • Sorry my comment was a bit off topic lol! I just think there is a lot of pressure from every direction to be perfect at everything and what with this here interweb business, radom strangers are more than willing to point out your flaws, along with real life people too!

        • No, not at all. It made sense to me. And with this clarification, it’s perfect. LOVE this last bit. Love, love it.

  • Jocelyn ~ Mama’s Style

    wonderfully put! couldn’t agree more!

  • rinniez13

    Well said! Its so sad that we can’t even support one another and yet we expect men to treat us well, we (women collectively) need to show the men (generalising) how its done… get your act together ladies!

    • Thank you R. You know what, in my life, I have only ever encountered the occasional man like this. The woman though, they’re everywhere. Sad but true in my experience.

      • rinniez13

        I think its true as men get older, but less so in highschool/college. I think we may even be regressing as i see plenty of guys my age talk about women like they are trash. Either way, everyone should just stop the trash talking and learn to give a compliment where its deserved… or better yet as (everyone’s) mum used to say “if you don’t have anything nice to say (comment on facebook), don’t say anything at all (click to next page and quit trolling)”.

        • Absolutely. High school/College aged guys are the worst. It’s a pack thing. Thank god they grow out of it or someone beats it out of them. 😉

          Your mum was right.

  • Ezmae Reid

    It makes me so angry that people would go and put their insecurities onto another on a public forum! The first thing I thought when I saw the picture was Damn she looks amazing, I want those leggings and I love how edgy and confident she looks! Then I started reading the comments and it was awful! Why do they think it is okay to put down someone at all let alone on the internet for all too see. Glad you had a rant, I had one at home hehe.

    • Yes! That’s how I ended up seeing it. As a rule I don’t visit the page any more unless there is a new release happening. Otherwise, forget it. I don’t need that. No one does. I still think those leggings were hot!

  • sheribombblog

    This is something I will sadly never understand. It’s natural, to a degree, as human beings to see another person & instantly assess them. We make assumptions about them based on visible identifiers. Some good, some not so good. Sometimes we are right. Sometimes we are completely wrong. Whichever the case may be, what makes people think that they are so perfect it gives them the right to sit there, judge people & voice an unnecessary & often hurtful opinion? It only reflects badly on them. Ugly words are said by people who are ugly on the inside. And that is a fate far worse than anything that can befall your outward appearance.

    • Agreed. It’s part of the filtering or programming or something. It’s the brain to mouth {or in the most often cases, keyboard} part I don’t get. Assess, sure, but be aware you’re doing it and be aware that not every thought that runs through your head is golden.

      Great addition Sherri. You are one smart lady. xo

  • Wait. What? Who’s getting hassled? You? Let me at ’em….

    • Not me Melissa. A lovely lady named Jess from City Chic HQ. But still, let ME at ’em. 😉

      • Which post?

        • The one I was talking about was removed.

          • Martina Hart

            I was just about to go check the post. But I think I know the one. I was in CC Miranda today talking about the sleeveless issue with Tegan in there. We agreed its nice to have the choice and I admired some of the new lines Jess has added this season. Then I saw the leggin post today and thought Wow, I wouldnt wear it but good on her. And inst it wonderful that she has the choice of young funky fashion for her body. Good on you Melissa. We need to be much more supportive and respectful of each other.

            • I now have a copy of the image on my page, one of the girls sent it over to me. It’s such a funky, modern and very young outfit. The stripe leggings like that have been in ALL the standard range stores for a while now, it’s about time the plus size girls got their chance to wear them if they want to.

              Unfortunately the way a lot of people on that page act, it’s like they were tying them down and making them wear them! The comment that stuck in my head is the one that said something along the lines of ‘I have more respect for myself than to go out in public looking like that’. I HATED THAT ONE. Hated it. What a horrible, deeming thing to say. Hence the rant came from there.

  • I love this post!! Good on you. I think you are awesome. Rachel xx

  • ‘ken oath. Solidarity sister. Wear what u like, support other women to do the same, love who you want, work where you like, mother how you see fit. sisterhood stuff!!!!! Awesome post.

  • Deb @ home life simplified

    love this post Melissa – for all women everywhere

  • I used to manage the CC fb page, it’s a nightmare and those women made my blood boil. Sorry you’re mixed up in the nasty end of it 🙁

    • I was barely brushed in it all but geez Louise did it fire me up. I don’t know how you did it. I would’ve been deleting and banning all over the shop. Haha.

  • Amy Wells

    Best. Post. Ever. ( Also, that is the correct use of ‘ rein’ . job well done! )

    • THANK YOU.

      And yay, right!? Go me. Turning a corner and all that on the spelling thing. This time.

  • Very well said hon. As we are a reflection of each other, when judgement is passed, judgement is reflected back at ourselves.

  • We get angry with men for viewing us as objects, but honestly, we are our own worst enemies. Too busy comparing and looking over the fence, and then, when threatened, we tear into that person and pride ourselves on our ability to make them “wrong” or “less” and really I think we are making ourselves less and we are doing wrong. Imagine the power we would wield if we owned our differences and celebrated those in others?
    If anything, women, we’re powerful, but we are also super protective, and that means that sometimes we aren’t using that power in the best of ways.

    • Just imagine using all our powers for good instead of evil. No one’s perfect but there is such a waste of incredible power out there.

  • and this is why I love you.

  • Martina Hart

    On the same theme, I was reading a magazine website yesterday and the obligatory “see the fashion duds from the Golden Globes” article came up. It took all my self control not to click. I dont think any woman needs my negative attiude towards her for HOW SHE LOOKS. And if I send critical thoughts her way, how can I expect positive ones to come my way. Thanks for your eloquent words

    • I love looking at the dresses. I hate the hot or not, who wore it better thing. Thank you, I’m glad they came out eloquent rather than super mushed up and ranty. they very well could have.

  • very_jane

    You are HOT, and don’t you forget it xox

  • Patrick weseman

    There is a good documentary called Miss Representation that you should check out. It is about the how the media is critical of women for being who they are. You should really see it. I showed it to my students and they liked it.

  • Great post – well said.

  • lisa | renovating italy

    I still remember my almost ninety year old Nana refusing to wear sleeveless dresses in her old age because she didn’t want anyone to see her ‘chooky’ arms, no matter what the temperature her arms were always covered. My own ‘chooky’ arms can happily flap in the wind, she taught me a valuable lesson, and one that you clearly know deep down to the soul Melissa ‘I wear what I want, on the body I have, and I’m proud of it.’ xx

    • I see it all the time, everywhere. I think SELP, Sammy {ha!} and then the ILP gave me a lot of freedom about who I am, then came fashion blogging… Get those arms out lady. Love to you all. xo

  • It seems like no matter what we do, we are wrong. If we’re fat, we’re too fat. If we’re thin, we’re too thin. If we breastfeed, we’re indiscrete. If we don’t breastfeed, we are bad mothers. If we stay at home, we’re a failure to feminism. If we go to work, we’re failures as wives and mothers. It seems that the more choice we are given, the more mistakes we’re seen to make. It fucking sucks.

    I’m annoyed today, too. Can you tell? x

    • I can tell a little, but you express it beautifully.

      I think it takes mistakes in life to know what will serve you best. It will take stuff ups, knock downs and huge messes to figure that out for yourself. What’s needed is a little more generosity with those of us still figuring it out. Which, I assert, is most of us. Great comment.

  • Great post Suger, but I’m going to continue to assert my opinion that shorts should be longer than the wearer’s vagina 😉

    • Thanks Melanie. Haha. You can have your opinion, sure, but it’s not up to you to decide for them. Unless your their mother, then knock yourself out. For a while anyway. 😉

  • Awesome post! Just this morning I was verbally attacked by a family member about my latest post. She has made me feel bad about not feeling bad about myself. I understand that it is her trying to project her hang ups, but still…She went so far as to attack me, to my mother. The more I refused to engage in the argument, the meaner she became. She is incredulous that I should be allowed to be fat and happy. I shouldn’t have to defend my life choices, or opinions. No one should.

    • I think for some people they can’t get past themselves and see a happy person is a happy person. You can’t take that away from them. Not even by demanding they adhere to any form of standard or ideal you believe in. Mean is a red flag for someone else’s issues. I’ve discussed my weight with concerned people in the past and not one was ever mean, just curious. Mean is about her.

  • Gin @ ginplustonic

    Your best post yet. You brought a tear to my eye, thank you saying it all.

  • Pingback: T.H.I.N.K – before you speak | Plus Sized Positivity()

  • Michelle

    Woah it is snarky and mean on that facebook page! The level of whingeing is outstanding – her hair is too dry, why does she not smile! Sheesh. Good on you for writing a post about it!

  • Katie Spijkerman

    holy moly this has been a popular post! I’m more than sure that it has made at least one person realise that they need to stop and think before opening their mouth.

    Unfortunately, the internet/texting/email – technology in general have become a breeding ground for nastiness – people can say things they’d never normally say to someones face when they are hiding behind a computer screen.

    I bet 99% of the girls who left mean comments on the CC page wouldn’t dare say the things they did to someones face. Either that or their mother didn’t teach them that if they have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

    Honestly, the City Chic page has become such whiney, bitchy place! not a week goes by without someone making a less than complimentary comment about a CC model, a complaint is made about the models not being big enough, the clothing being too expensive or the lack of sleeves… every damn week!!

    Other people can wear what they want, it doesn’t impact me in any way !

    • Yeah, apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a load of bull. Thanks for your freaking AWESOME comment. I agree, it absolutely doesn’t impact on you or me OR anybody what others wear.

  • Fo shiz.

  • sexysammie

    So true!