We all know the media can be notoriously cruel to celebrities who struggle with their weight, and no one knows this more than Oprah Winfrey. The talk show queen has been hounded by the tabloids and the media for years, and has spoken honestly about her lifelong struggles with body acceptance in an attempt to inspire other women to feel great in their own skin.
What's so puzzling, though, is that the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, contains an eyebrow-raising fashion tip that has been widely criticized for bodyshaming, stating that women should wear crop tops "if (and only if!)" they have flat stomachs.
Um, no. Fortunately, writer—and former MTV News editor!—Tamar Anitai posted the following photo on her Instagram after flipping through the magazine’s latest issue, accompanied by the following statement:
"Surprised to see this level of #bodyshaming in Oprah magazine. The feature is about women feeling healthy. Part of health is self-esteem and that's intrinsically connected to body image. Stop telling women what they CAN'T wear. We can wear and do and be ANYTHING that makes us feel strong, powerful, passionate and in charge of our own destinies. I hope young women and women of any age don't feel like they're restricted by editorially imposed fashion "rules." The only rules are there are no rules. Wear what you love, what makes you feel confident, and own it. Confidence is power, and it's contagious."
Fashion blogger and plus-size style maven Sarah Conley added her own thoughts in a blog post stating that she’d hoped that “in the era of the fatkini, plus size bloggers, and Instagram hashtags that we’ve moved beyond such narrow-minded thinking.” Not only does she call out this type of bodyshaming as outdated and unacceptable, but she also points out that the crop top is one of the “greatest things to happen to [her] wardrobe,” a piece of clothing that’s both trendy and helping to create a defined waistline. Many Twitter and Instagram users agreed, submitting their most badass crop-top selfies under the hashtag #rockthecrop.
We love every single one of these images—an awesome reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and fashion is not limited to one specific body type. Fortunately, the folks at O Magazine agree, stating in a statement posted on People.com: "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."
As for the woman who brought the body-shaming comment to light? She says the response has been "absolutely staggering." Anitai told MTV News, "I've seen midriffs of every shape, size, color and make. From Malaysia to the Midwest. And an impressive amount of middle fingers. I've been so inspired by women I know and women I don't know emailing and posting these articles on Facebook and Instagram saying thank you and telling me they're reminding their little girls that there are no rules when it comes to bodies other than love and respect. It's clear that if you try telling women what they CAN'T do, we're going to respond with fists and selfies. And navels. If you don't like it, step aside. If you don't, join in!"