Thank God for the Daily News. Even amid David Paterson’s endless slew of strike-outs, they alone have the journalistic valor to lead the truly necessary investigation in this town: “Do Your Clothes Make You Look Fat?”
According to writer Charla Krupp, and her litany of hilariously ironclad commandments: Yes.
For every individual body type, an empirical yes; we ladies are all swathing ourselves the most terribly unflattering combinations imaginable, which only diminish our chances of finding inner contentment, professional fulfillment, and/or the husband who can buy us both. God, water buffalo, step away from the cookie dough — and the satin, apparently.
According to Krupp’s running, wafer-thin food analogy, “Most of us have all three categories — high fat, low fat, and no fat — of clothes hanging in our closets.” Sure, if “most of us” are narcissistic stereotypes who are also waging Krupp’s obsessive, unhealthy war against food; “We are constantly monitoring what we put in our mouths,” she explains, with the wealth of expert conviction that she’s earned from, apparently, being a woman.
“Now, if you stayed no-fat all day, when the dessert cart rolls up,” Krupp says, “you may feel like you can indulge in one perfect chocolate-chip cookie.” She goes on to explain that this “strategic” eating attitude is applicable to the closet because certain pieces we own are “high-fat”–bright colors, pleated skirts, tube tops, bikinis. And certain fabrics — well, almost all fabrics — are equally disastrous to our sweets-stuffed silhouettes: “corduroy, crushed velvet, metallic, leather, patent leather, suede, down, mohair, angora, brocade, taffeta, boucle, sequins, satin, beading, quilted, embroidery, tulle, fringe, flannel, terry clothe, toile, fur (real or fake), chiffon, horizontal stripes and big prints — houndstooth, floral, plaids, Pucci-esque.” Oh, and there’s a fun quiz, in case you’d like a more interactive way to discover your unforgivable body and fashion foibles.
What’s left to wear, then? Just your high-caloric tears, it seems. Krupp, proud author of How to Never Look Fat Again, isn’t endorsing any attitude that has not been more delicately splayed across all women’s magazines covers. But she’s doing women a disservice by pushing a needlessly negative attitude and rigid ideals that only fit a mythical, never fully explained body type — there’s never the option here of not needing to dress skinner, because you definitely could be.
Krupp’s is a condescending, cartoonish strain of self-obsession I’ve yet to discover in any woman with confidence and actual, individual style. It’s ridiculous to argue that anything looks bad on every body type (except maybe an Eagles t-shirt), because all of her ballyhooed pieces and fabrics are used to great success in tasteful, flattering pieces every damn day.
It would be pointless to ask what counts as “fat,” anyway, in this scenario — we can rest assured that Krupp’s idea of form conformity is convenient and unsupported anywhere in the article; whatever her notion of “thin” is, it’s never elaborated nor defended. She trumpets, “Curating a personal style by what looks good on someone else leaves you with a closetful of pieces you don’t feel good in,” thereby revealing a truly glorious lack of self-awareness.
Oh, and it’s also worth noting that the single approved garment, affixed with a “Get It!” bubble, is by Banana Republic, a fixture in the Daily News‘s regular, promotional fashion spreads. But skepticism probably makes you look fat, too.