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The Strawberry Dress: Subliminally Problematic By Samiha Charles

Anyone on Tiktok, Instagram, or even Twitter knows about the strawberry dress. The original Lirika Matoshi Strawberry Midi Dress is made of polyamide pink tulle with the strawberries speckled in PVC glitter and It’s almost become the prime necessity for the cottage core aesthetic, despite it costing $490.00. But some people have found it to be problematic, as it seems to be highly favored on skinny women than it does on plus-sized women. Now before discussing this let me reiterate that anyone can have fashionable tastes regardless of size, race, and gender. It’s up to the person creating the trend to own it and claim it as such and market it to others with similar tastes.

Plus-sized fashionista Tess Holiday had something to say on August 1 about the new trend. She found it amusing that when she wore the same outfit months ago to the Grammys, she was listed as one of the worst dressed there. However, on skinny women, it’s an opposite opinion.

Source: Instagram

Thousands of people liked her post and re-shared it, thus, not only sparking the discussion about underlying fatphobia that still lingers in our society, but this has also allowed other plus-sized women to come out and channel their softcore on social media as well. But the dress isn’t necessarily the problem or the catalyst to fatphobia awareness and the plus-sized movement. In fact, for years, women, some men, and non-binaries have been trying to feel happy and comfortable in their own bodies without society mocking them or imposing Eurocentric beauty standards. And it’s not hard to notice their ideals either, social media influencers and algorithms on Instagram and TikTok have made it difficult for women to feel secure or beautiful themselves. When you see IG video ads about how to lose weight or TikTok constantly promoting skinny young white teenagers, it’s pretty evident that there is still an outdated beauty standard that is being pushed through the media. Despite the billboards and Nike mannequins changing their images to appeal to women of bigger sizes, we’re still living in a society where one size gets globalized as stunning, a trendsetter, and “healthy,” while the other sizes are deemed, lazy, unattractive, and unhealthy.

While the strawberry dress is only a small instance of just how ingrained fatphobia is, we can also use Lizzo as an example. Since the start of her career, Lizzo has negatively been subjected to the spotlight for showing her body in bathing suits on TikTok and publicly at basketball games. She received so much slander and even had some of her videos removed and considered “inappropriate,” when in fact, she was simply doing what other skinny women have been doing for so long. She later came out on social media responding to her video being taken down saying, “TikTok keeps taking down my videos with me in my bathing suits but allows other videos with girls in bathing suits. I wonder why? TikTok… we need to talk.”

It raises some questions that address these issues: What is the obsessive infatuation with being skinny, and why is being fat such a negative thing? And where is the middle ground between accepting fatness and de-idolizing skinniness and unreal body standards?

Let us know in the comments what you think!

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