On Wednesday, December 3rd, the city of New York celebrated a long time tradition by holding the tree lighting ceremony for the tree outside of Rockefeller Center. To kick off the ceremony, Aretha Franklin sung to the crowd in front of a stellar choir. Although, Aretha, still turns heads with her amazing voice, the topic of conversation was Aretha’s outfit. Aretha’s outfit was immaculate as usual but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was whether or not a woman her size should be wearing that type of outfit?
The conversation was interesting to say the least. Some say she shouldn’t because of the obvious, her size. A woman that size is more prone to all sort of wardrobe malfunctions (ie breasts or other parts shaking or popping out). Can you imagine Aretha, wearing a halter top? Well, someone informed me that they saw today’s Aretha wearing a halter top and even a mini skirt on television. The questions posed here is, “is it just too much?”
On the other side, some may say, “You go girl!” Aretha, although she is larger now in her later years, is still, none the less, representing for all the truly fuller figured women. Way too often, skinny women are given a blank check to wear whatever they want, whenever they want, without regard to how appropriate. Then when a more full sized woman dares to wear a nice form fitting outfit, we immediately cry, “foul” and try to criticize her for her lack of taste or for ignoring any sense of appropriateness. Often times, we as a society go so far as to try to convince more fuller figured women that since nobody could possibly like or be attracted to them that they should cover themselves up in sweat pants and hooded sweatshirts.
This attitude has severely impacted the ability of more fuller, figured women to share and express their own style. Most of the time, fuller figured women voluntarily dress down their curves and sexiness just so they don’t offend others. Although seeing a woman Aretha’s size in a halter top could definitely be distracting, yet, despite this, fuller figured women deserve the right to express their sexiness for others to see and more importantly for themselves.
Ironically enough, our society’s non acceptance of fuller figured women, not only stifles there own sense of style but also helps to develop a low self esteem. This makes them an easier mark for inconsiderate men who may prey upon the low self esteem that we develop in these women. This is by far the biggest tragedy that full figured women face.
In recent years, there has been a small shift and a slight increase in the acceptance of more fuller figured women. Believe it or not, there are even some “so called” full figured models today. Yet even these women usually fall in the size range of an 8 or 9, while the average woman in America is about a size 12-14. In addition to this, now it is not uncommon to find clothing lines for more fuller figured women outside of specialty stores such as Lane Bryant. So things are changing.
Where do you stand on this issue? Should full figured women cover it up or show it off? Why do you think so many would jump at the chance to criticize a woman Aretha’s size for wearing a halter top but not a woman of a smaller size? Why are we so reluctant to encourage full figured women to embrace their sexiness? What do you think society is afraid to embrace full figured women?