The writers at Oprah’s magazine O made quite the fashion faux pas in their latest issue, by stating that readers should only wear crop tops ‘if (and only if!) you have a flat stomach’.
A Brooklyn-based writer Tamar Anitai spotted the controversial feature and quickly posted it to her Instagram, expressing her surprise ‘to see this level of #bodyshaming in Oprah magazine’. She added: ‘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.’
Similarly unhappy readers, inspired by Tamar’s words, were quick to hit back at the suggestion, taking to social media to post images of themselves showing off their midriffs in a variety of crop tops – flat stomachs or not.
Plus-sized model Tess Holliday was among the more high-profile women to join in the trend, which was started by blogger Sara Conley, whose article, Don’t Let O Magazine Tell You That You Can’t #RockTheCrop Top, about the issue ended with an open call for women to take to the web and post their own crop top selfies using the hashtag #rockthecrop.
‘Flat stomachs are like thigh gaps – we’re not all meant to have one,’ she wrote.
Dozens of women of all shapes and sizes have since come out in force to support the new movement.
‘Only women with flat stomachs can wear crop tops @O_Magazine – I beg to differ,’ wrote one user, showing off her mid-section in a black crop over a leopard skirt.
‘The minute I read it, I knew I had to #RocktheCrop,’ wrote another. ‘@O_Magazine we make our own rules!’
Plus-sized model Tess led even more women into the trend, posting a pouty mirror selfie in a crop top bearing the words ‘Barbie’ and ‘Perfect’.
‘Dear @Oprah anyone can wear a crop top. #effyourbeautystandards,’ she tweeted with the photo.
Oprah herself is no stranger to the crop top, and even appeared on a 2005 cover of her O Magazine when she was down to toned 160 pounds, wearing a light blue crop matched with blue sweatpants.
The same image was used again four years later in 2009 for a cover featuring the TV star who at the time admitted to gaining back 40 pounds since the photo was taken, asking: ‘How did I let this happen again?’
The cover also features the Oprah at the time, also wearing a matching work out outfit, but with a sweatshirt in place of the crop top worn by the slimmer version of herself.
Many of the #RocktheCrop tweets have been aimed at the writer of the article, O’s creative director Adam Glassman, who responded to one saying: ‘Bravo. And fun!’
Following the backlash, O Magazine have also released a statement saying: ‘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.