With all the progress the fashion industry has made regarding body acceptance, every so often, something comes along and reminds us that there is still a long way to go.
A Q&A in the April 2015 issue of O Magazine that advised women they should only wear crop tops if they have a flat stomach is the most recent reminder.
Surprised to see this level of #bodyshaming (👎🏻) in Oprah magazine. The feature is about women feeling healthy. Part of health is self-esteem and that's intrinsically connected to body image. Stop telling women what they CAN'T wear. We can wear and do and be ANYTHING that makes us feel strong, powerful, passionate and in charge of our own destinies. I hope young women and women of any age don't feel like they're restricted by editorially imposed fashion "rules." The only rules are there are no rules. Wear what you love, what makes you feel confident, and own it. Confidence is power, and it's contagious. 👊🏽👊🏾👊🏿👊🏻👊🏼👊
Plus-size fashion, beauty and tech blogger Sarah Conley caught wind of the article, and had some choice words to say in response. "Not only is the answer they give to their reader body-shaming, but it's totally inaccurate! Crop tops come in all silhouettes and can work for everyone. It's just a matter of finding the perfect one for your body," Conley told The Huffington Post.
From there, Conley called on her over 22,000 Twitter followers to share images of themselves wearing crop tops using the caption #RockTheCrop. Her goal was simple, to prove to O Magazine that women of all shapes and sizes can - and should -wear whatever makes them happy.
Well-known bloggers and other followers of Conley's blog have since started tagging snaps with the #RockTheCrop hashtag, along with messages of support and disappointment that something like this ended up in the magazine in the first place.
The news even spread to plus-size model Tess Holliday, who took to social media in response using her trademark hashtag #effyourbeautystandards.
CAN I PULL OFF A CROP TOP? "If and only if you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one." -- via @oprahmagazine I'm tired of listening to other people dictate what is and isn't okay to wear on MY body. If you want to wear a crop top then go on my lovelies. Perfection is fiction, live your best life right now! #RockTheCrop #freethebelly #effyourbeautystandards #curvesalamode #bodyimage #mybodymyrules #myswakstyle #pullingoffacroptop #celebratemysize #rockthecroptop
Conley even reached out to Adam Glassman, creative director at O via Twitter, to tell him she "took matters into her own hands." Glassman simply replied "Bravo. And fun!"
As for who she thinks should and shouldn't wear crop tops, Conley says the only person who can make that decision is you.
"If you don't want to wear a crop top, it's totally your prerogative, but you can't stop me from wearing one," she told The Huffington Post.
In an email to The Huffington Post, a spokesperson from O Magazine acknowledged that the article could have been worded differently. "We support, encourage and empower all women to look great, feel confident and live their best lives – in this case, we could have expressed it better. We appreciate the feedback and will be more mindful going forward,” they said.
Click here to see more beautiful women showing off their crop tops.