O Dear: A Letter to Oprah on Body Shaming

Dear Oprah,
This morning I logged into instagram and saw a picture from your magazine that was immediately disappointing.Oprah"s O Magazine body shames  over crop top fiasco

Are you aware that by publishing such a narrow-minded response to your reader’s question you are participating in body shaming and contributing to society’s damaging stereotypes about fashion and women’s bodies?

Everyday women encounter body shaming, but I never would have expected to see it occur in something with your name on it. As a curvy woman who has had ups and downs with your weight and publicly discussed struggling with weight loss, confidence, and sexist stereotypes, this type of statement is surprising, saddening, and unfortunately damaging due to your influence.

Furthermore, the response from your magazine was superficial and unconvincing:

“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.”

What happened to empowerment?

As a powerful, determined, and hard-working woman, you have affected so much change in the world. You have inspired many women to be confident in their femininity and strong in their convictions and intentions. You are well aware that women have unlimited potential to change the lives of those around them, and even those across the world, but the problem is that so many of us are caught up in trying to look a certain way just to feel like we are accepted by men, friends, family, and even strangers, that all of the meaningful opportunities that could improve the world lay to waste as we obsess about our looks.quote_5

The comment in O Magazine goes deeper than crop tops. It tells women that they have to look a certain way to wear certain clothes. It tells women that they need to carefully consider if their body is good enough or acceptable to be adorned in certain styles. Women literally kill themselves trying to obtain the “flat stomach” your publication feels is required to wear a crop top. Your magazine is perpetuating a dangerous stereotype that women should dress themselves based on the cruel societal expectations that strip women of their confidence and distract them from more important things. I expect more from you and your organizations. In fact, women all over the world expect more from you.

Imagine if your magazine had taken a different approach to answering the reader’s question about whether or not she should wear a crop top, a more empowering body positive approach:

“Taking fashion risks can be exciting. If you feel sexy in a crop top, go for it! Check out these examples of all shapes and sizes pulling off summer’s hottest trend.”

Isn’t that so much more empowering? Doesn’t that inspire and uplift the way women everywhere can appreciate?

You have so much influence, don’t use it to body shame women who deserve to feel confident no matter what they wear and what size they are.

Lowery Johnson
Creator of WellnessDarling.com
and Curvy Crop Top Supporter

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