My roommate has a big stack of fashion magazines in the bathroom, and each one has an article on "dressing for different body shapes." Fair enough, we're all unique flowers. But each section is about how to minimize your different body shape as much as possible. Big breasts need to be strapped down, small ones need to be propped up. If your ass is round draw attention upward, if your ass is flat draw attention downward. Short women need to look taller and tall women need to look shorter. Dammit, ladies, you've got to be average!
Just once I'd like to see something about emphasizing your differences. About how to actually flatter a big ass or flat chest, instead of trying to hide it. About how to be exactly the height and weight you are.
We all know what an empire waist (example) means, right? It means "big belly." Moreso, though, it means "big belly and I'm hiding it."
I went shopping for clothes the other day and I found a top I really liked, but the "large" was tight around the shoulders and they didn't stock an XL. So I decided, hey, see if they have the same thing in the plus-size section. I went to the "women's sizes" area, and... holy muumuus Batman! It was nothing but tents! Not just in the superlarge sizes, but even in an 18 the clothing had gone through some horrible metamorphosis from "fashion" to "modesty drape." Apparently once you get up to that size you're expected to give up on the min-maxing and just try to minimize your whole damn self.
(This isn't just fat-girl's-lament, either; I worked with a woman who was so tall and slender we called her "the giraffe" and she mostly wore men's clothing out of sheer desperation of finding anything to fit her--things that fit her waist didn't cover it, and things that covered her hung like tents. In her case it may have been statistical rarity more than societal expectations, but it's worth noting that InStyle magazine recommends tall women do not wear heels or close-fitted pant legs, that'd make them look tall.)
Men's clothing seems so linear. If you're bigger, wear bigger clothes, duhhh. (Also, they get "big and tall" stores, which is fairly descriptive, rather than having to be "kings" or "gentlemen" or some other batshit euphemism.) Women's clothing gotta play all these games.
I'm me. Big-bellied, small-chest-and-assed, short, broad-shouldered, me. I don't wish to be anyone else and I'll look best showing off what I do have, not putting on vertical stripes and a padded bra and hoping people are fooled into thinking I'm "normal."
And if you hear that description and think "but that body shape just doesn't look good uncorrected," I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.