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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Opinion

Fashion trends should include all body types


a pile of clothes with receipts around them

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

With how fleeting and non-inclusive fashion trends are, people find themselves wanting to wear the newest fashion trends only to be shamed when the outfits don’t look the same on them as the models that wear them. 

The exclusion of plus-size bodies as well as other body types in fashion creates a lack of understanding of how clothes are meant to fit a person and leaves some of the public unsatisfied with their body. 

Instead, people should aim to wear clothes that fit their body types and make them feel confident rather than forcing themselves into clothes that do not match their physique. 

This is not to say that people should avoid fashion trends entirely or that plus-size bodies or other body types can not be fashionable. In fact, this is to broader a person’s understanding of fashion and what it means to wear clothes that make you feel confident. 

The most common body types people tend to learn about are the fruit and object metaphors. Some people are pear-shaped, others are apple-shaped and some strive to be the hourglass shape that plagues popular culture. 

However, this kind of metaphor creates the notion that there is an ‘ideal’ body type that people should strive for, hence, narrowing a person’s closet and lowering their self-esteem. 

Fashion is an objective art which is why there shouldn’t be a right or wrong when declaring something fashionable. 

A system of body types re-emerged in 2022 when the Kibbe body system introduced the idea of fashion through yin and yang: soft features versus hard features.

Rather than focusing on things like weight or measurements, it focuses on how you balance the sharpness and softness of your features which are depicted through five categories. A sharp jaw or the angular lines of your body would be counted as yang while a rounder face and a soft silhouette would be counted as yin. 

Even so, with any system that categorizes people into boxes, there is an issue with the Kibbe system. A question arises frequently within fashion: Is it really fashion or just clothes for skinny people? 

The subjectiveness of the Kibbe system creates tension. Something considered soft on one person might not translate to the other. 

This has to do with the idea that people do not view fat people as soft, delicate or beautiful. Fatphobia is the main reason plus-size individuals face shame and ridicule for wearing clothes that highlight their body shape. 

Fashion is subjective and it makes no sense to paint one body type as superior to the other. If anything, different body types should be admired as it extends the definition of what is fashionable and beautiful.

When it comes to choosing clothes to wear, people should be able to explore what fits their bodies best and find what’s the most comfortable for them without ridicule from others. 

Whether it’s through the Kibbe system or other mediums used to explore fashion and beauty, there is no limit to what a person can and cannot wear. 

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a journalism sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]

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