I was doing laps around Target the other day, as bored twenty-something women are wont to do when I overheard a conversation that made me stop walking. Two young women around my age were sifting through summery tops in the junior’s section, and one of them said to the other, “I don’t understand why crop tops had to come back. No one can wear them. The only people whose stomachs are flat enough to wear crop tops are too young to be wearing crop tops.” Her friend sighed a solemn sigh and agreed. “When really thin girls wear them, they look like they’re trying too hard,” she said. “And when fat girls wear them, that’s just gross.”
Now, these random women had every right to be talking quietly to themselves at Target, and it’s not written anywhere that you can only share your opinions in public if they don’t suck, but their conversation still irked me. It’s shitty enough that our culture pits men against us, so why do we let those toxic ideas infiltrate our conversations with other women?
Why are we against each other’s bodies? Why are we always competing? And WHY are we terrified of girls showing off their stomachs?
It’s really lame to pretend like there are prerequisites for wearing something you like. You don’t have to think crop tops are cute (I don’t own any, and I don’t really see myself getting one in the near future), but you have to respect another chick’s right to feel cute in one. Having a certain body type doesn’t qualify you to wear fashionable clothes, and you don’t need permission to rock a crop top. Sam wrote a really cool post about why plus-size bodies deserve to wear bikinis, and a lot of her examples apply here, too. Clothes should make you feel how you want to feel—sexy, comfortable, warm, cool, modest, outgoing, reserved, fun. If the aesthetic you’re going for can be accomplished with a crop top, wear one. Your BMI doesn’t dictate your style.
If you’re interested in cropping it up, Joanna wrote up the perfect tutorial for picking one and styling it. There’s only one test you have to pass before you can pull off a certain look: ask yourself, Do I want to wear this? If your answer is yes, you’re golden.