Hi, I'm Kristin. Like a lot of people, I was very sad to see Queen Oprah's namesake magazine announce that we are forbidden from wearing crop tops this summer unless we have flat stomachs:
The good news is that since then, many people on Instagram have proven that you can #RockTheCrop no matter who you are.
But what is it REALLY like to wear a crop top in your everyday life, especially if you are a plus-size woman?
Is it actually as freeing and fabulous as it looks on Instagram?
So to find out, I decided to go AN ENTIRE WEEK wearing crop tops.
DAY 1: In which I go to a music festival.
Oh, right, there's also the part where you need WAY more sunscreen than you think.
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE SUN.
I also found that as the day went on, I was more and more inclined to pull my shirt down.
DAY 2: My first day at work in a crop top.
When I go to get dressed this morning, I spent 20 minutes in a dead panic trying to put an outfit together.
I anxiously asked my co-worker if she thought that wearing a crop top is unprofessional. She then stood up, and revealed that she was wearing a crop top herself.
Which, whoops, sorry co-worker — but yeah, point taken: Most people really have better things to do than worry about what the hell is going on over on your stomach.
But every time someone gives me an unprompted compliment about my outfit, instead of just saying "thank you," I keep blurting out something along the lines of: SORRY THIS OUTFIT IS FOR A POST ALSO SORRY. Like, I am literally apologizing to everyone for having to look at me, and it feels necessary.
Day 3: When I got completely consumed by my fear of being trolled.
I reluctantly scan the comments on this post — lots of comments ogling my other other co-workers, but nothing bad about me.
In retrospect, not a huge surprise. BuzzFeed commenters are generally a cool, generous, and respectful group.
But I also knew that nothing horrible was said about me because this post must have flown under the radar of one message board in particular that enjoys harassing and bullying larger people. I could already envision what they'd say about the pictures in this post. They will call me things that are honestly too vile to repeat here. They will refer to me using "it" pronouns, because to them, I am not human.
This is a part of my (amazing) job, and I accept it. But it's always hard to do keep doing anything — especially wear crop tops — when you know that people hate you for it.
DAY 4: In which I switch from beginner to advanced.
Of course, when I first walk into the office, the actual cast of The Maze Runner is standing right there in the lobby. Here is a dramatic re-creation of how I handled this:
Whenever sitting, I would hunch over and try to hide myself as much as possible.
Day 5: In which my nerves are starting to get frayed.
DAY 6: In which I do not "dress to impress."
My friend emails them to make a reservation, and gets a response back that says we should come early and "dress to impress":
And hey, how better to dress to impress at an '80s-themed bar than with a crop top?
When they open, the bouncer takes a reaaalllly long look at our beautiful crew of humans, tells us that the bar is full tonight, and turns us away.
Look, this isn't my first Los Angeles rodeo. I know you can't show up to a bar with limited capacity without a buying a table AND with two boys in your group and expect to get in. Many important business factors are in play here — and lots that have nothing to do with me.
That said — holy shit, it was such a long look! — it was probably five seconds, but when someone is staring at you in silence it feels like they are personally giving you a CAT scan.
But I didn't realize until MUCH later that I had not once this evening gone into a silent freakout shame spiral about my crop top.
Not while I was getting ready. Not while I was waiting in line. Not during the epic stare-a-thon. Not while we were walking away. Not at all.
I celebrated by taking a drunk selfie in the bathroom at another bar, because this is America and I can do what I want.
Day 7: In which I celebrate my total lack of fucks at our fantasy football draft.
Confession: I overslept and had to choose between coming up with a new outfit for this day and doing some fantasy football research, and I chose fantasy football research, and threw on what I had last night. I know, gross. But I stand by this decision. Let he who has never done this in an emergency cast the first fashion stone.
Today, I learned that crop tops are just super useful — I was in a room with 10 people during a very hot day in L.A. and it seriously made all the difference in the world to be wearing just a little bit less.