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Does my body look fit enough to wear a crop top? That's the question some women are unfortunately contemplating, one that was again triggered this week because of a recent style advice item in O, The Oprah Magazine.
In the magazine's latest issue, creative director Adam Glassman was asked by one reader: "Can I pull off a crop top?"
His response: "If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one."
The response from women around the world, who say they love The Oprah Magazine for its messages of empowerment and body-positivity, was swift and simple: the magazine's "style tip" was plain and simple body shaming.
One of those who voiced their opinion about the advice was fashion blogger and writer Tamar Anitai of Fashion Binge. She told TODAY.com that she was flipping through her copy of Oprah Magazine when she came across the statement. Anitai immediately shared her feelings of discontent with the magazine's participation in body shaming on Instagram.
"Women's bodies are commoditized and scrutinized from the minute we wake up, before we get out of bed in the morning," Anitai wrote in an email to TODAY.com. "It's endless and exhausting. It's so hard to get out of the narrow mind set of "normal" bodies and sizes, and the mental and physical damage that can do to young women can last a lifetime."
Anitai said that whether women feel comfortable in the crop-top trend is beside the point. "Women should feel inspired and proud to wear anything that makes them feel strong and beautiful without being told there are rules for any body types," she said.
Like Anitai, many women were quick to take to social media to voice their distaste with the magazine's tip and even started the hashtag #rockthecrop which accompanies now thousands of social media posts of women of all shapes and sizes sporting the crop top in their own signature style.
Plus size model Tess Holliday, who recently covered People Magazine and launched the #SimplyBikini movement, took to Instagram with two posts in support of all women having the confidence to flaunt a crop top.
Holliday told TODAY.com that she was disappointed to see such a statement come from Oprah's magazine.
"Oprah is a plus size woman herself, so many women in that community look up to her," she wrote in an email. "So to have something derogatory like the statement of 'only wearing a crop top if your stomach is flat' was a punch in the stomach. It's never okay to tell others what to do with their bodies, or how we should look, etc."
In response to the outcry of women around the globe, O Magazine issued the following statement: "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.”
And as for how to rock that crop top trend, there are plenty of options for all sizes, shapes ages and settings.
"One of the greatest things to happen to my wardrobe has been the rise in popularity of crop tops," wrote one fashion blogger named Sarah Conley, in apost on her site Style It. "For a lot of women they actually help us to create shape and a defined waist. Don’t even get me started on how well they pair with a midi skirt, high waist pants, and even with trousers in a creative office," wrote
Inspired to #rockthecrop on your own? We have tips on how to do it at any age.
And check out these women of all sizes rocking the look: