Oprah Says I Shouldn’t Wear Crop Tops

Fashion trends can be tricky, and figuring out how to navigate the latest sartorial ins and outs can be a challenge, even for the most savvy. So when one reader wrote in to O, The Oprah Magazine, to inquire about how to best wear a crop top, the surprising answer she received was one that smacked of antiquated notions about fashion and bodies — “if (and only if!) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one.” This type of body-shaming is surprising from a publication run by Oprah Winfrey, as we've been there with her through her own physical ups and downs. And as Ms. O is currently plus-size, it's hard to imagine the editor that approved this piece telling her not to wear something based on her body. Sarah Chiwaya of Curvily agrees, saying, “The thing about this that really bothers me is that O framed this in terms of acceptable vs. unacceptable bodies, when they could have been offering helpful advice.” She added, “Frame it in terms of comfort, not restrictions. For example, if you are uncomfortable showing your belly, pair a longer crop with a high-waisted skirt so only a peek of skin is showing. Or if you don't like showing your back, wear a crop top under a semi-sheer kimono for a bit of coverage while keeping things light and fun.”
Not only is Oprah, without a doubt, one of the most powerful women in the game, she's also one of the most influential people in the world. She's idolized in pop culture as the aspirational “everywoman,” and for decades, people around the globe have flocked to purchase books that wear her seal of approval and products she endorses. With an impact felt so widely, it's shocking to see O body-shaming its readers. The truth is that crop tops, just like every item of clothing, can be worn by every type of body — it's all about how you choose to wear it. “If you want to have fun in a trend, dip your baby toe, or go balls to the wall, do it!" explains Marie Denee, blogger of The Curvy Fashionista. “As plus women have been subjected to so many rules, it's no wonder how buyers, brands, and designers have so much trouble figuring out what we like, now that we've embraced — and are in the process of embracing — our bodies. To blatantly give exhausted advice about a crop top is lazy. How about: Show options for different levels of comfort?”

Dear @oprahmagazine: #WhoGonCheckMeBoo?? #rockthecrop Thank you @styleit for bringing this to light!

A photo posted by IvoryJinelle (@ivoryjinelle) on

In response to O Magazine's body-shaming response, we'd like to offer that reader who posed the original question a much more positive answer: If (and only if!) you want to wear a crop top, then feel free to try one.

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