There is a word in every fat fashion fan’s vocabulary that upon its utterance, whether by a TV style pundit, a designer or a well-meaning relative, never fails to strike a killing blow to any confidence we may have. The word is “flattering”.
Flattering. The word haunts us wherever we go. Shouting at us from our screens, omnipresent in the stares from 17 year old shop assistants, left in the comments of every article that dares to mention fatness and fashion in the same paragraph. This word, these three little syllables, have locked fat people – feminine fatties, dapper fatties, butch fatties – into a parallel universe of shame and despair, a world populated by an endless parade of diarrhoea brown calf length skirts, waterfall cardigans and hanky hems. To flatter is to hide, to minimise, to render obsolete. A way for fatties to move through the world, without actually being seen.
Flattering, a code word for elasticated necklines and empire waists. The idea that a belly and a bum means you’re not worthy of colour or fanciness. Of happiness."