Alicia McCarvell is challenging what it means to wear “flattering” clothing.
On Tuesday, the Canadian influencer took to Instagram to share a videos of herself mulling over two outfit choices ahead of a Taylor Swift Eras Tour concert. She paired the post with a body positive message about dressing how she wants, not in what’s “flattering” for her body type by societal beauty standards.
in the Instagram Reels, the social media star first posed in a light gray denim ensemble. She paired “option one” with a black strapless top, a silver sequined cowboy hat and black platform slides with homemade lettering that read “Eras” on one shoe and “Tour” on the other.
Element about the outfit since she was worried she’d be too warm with an all-denim look at the show, McCarvell took off her jacket but wasn’t a fan of the rest of the look.
Then, she swapped her jeans for a black leather skirt and added on a sheer black cardigan, which eventually became her final outfit for the concert.
In her caption, McCarvell was open to suggestions on where she could wear her first option. However, she also got candid about dressing for confidence and joy.
“I challenge you not to use the word ‘flattering,'” she said penned. “What does that even mean?”
The Halifax-based influencer explained that for her, “flattering” clothing has always just meant garments that show “less of my fat,” or look “as close to the beauty standards as possible.”
“I am trying really hard to move away from making decisions for my clothing based on how flat my stomach looks, or how it outlines my belly is or if you can see my belly button,” she continued. “I’m now trying to choose the things that make me feel confident, sexy and happy.”
McCarvell’s post quickly garnered praise from fans for bringing up an important conversation.
“This is a great word to challenge,” one Instagram user weighed in. “As a very small/skinny human, I don’t think I’ve ever had someone refer to something on me as ‘flattering,’ which says a lot. Appreciate you bringing this conversation up!”
“This is such a good reminder. We shouldn’t dress for our body type, we should dress in clothes we like! Normalize bellies!” someone else wrote.
another added: “You preached a whole sermon about the usage of ‘flattering’ here. Thank you, I needed it.”
“I’ve started using the phrase feeling my best. This outfit makes me feel my best, or that outfit doesn’t make me feel good or confident which helps me to change it from a fatphobic place,” a fan chimed in.
In January, McCarvell penned an emotional letter to himself on Instagram apologizing for the times she hasn’t loved her body.
“Dear belly,” she wrote, alongside a set of mirror selfies where she posed in unzipped black jeans and a black tank