A plus-size woman embarked on a social experiment in which she wore crop tops for a week to see how she was treated and how she felt about herself.
Two months ago, a post in Oprah's O! Magazine declared the crop top only suitable for those with "flat stomachs". This sparked a global trend with the hashtag #RockTheCrop, in which people of all shapes and sizes posted pictures of themselves online 'rocking the crop' tops.
Buzzfeed writer Kristin Chirico took the trend a step further, by setting herself a crop top challenge. Chirico decided to wear a crop top every day for a week "as a plus size woman" and record how the experiment made her feel.
"Wearing a crop top as a plus-size person is against the rules of fashion, so I wanted to see what would happen if I smashed that rule to pieces".
During this week, Chirico attended a music festival (crop top heaven!), hid behind her desk at work, got turned away from a nightclub and worked up the courage to head to the gym in a crop top.
Chirico noted that the decision to wear crop tops every day made her outfit choices much harder, and the process of getting ready longer as a result.
"I spent 20 minutes in a dead panic trying to put an outfit together.... Wearing a no-no trend is stressful".
Chirico started the week "mostly just slinking over to my desk and trying not to be seen" but by the last day, realised "that I had not once this evening gone into a silent freakout shame spiral about my crop top".
Among the lessons learned were that crop tops are "super useful" in the LA heat and that while wearing a crop top to the gym does result in a lot of men "staring for way too long", crop tops helped her feel "breezier than normal... both in terms of my torso and my general attitude toward haters".
Chirico acknowledges that the experiment is "scary" at first and asks others to encourage their friends when they try a new fashion trend.
"Let’s make the world a less scary place to be fabulous".
Independent Style wants to extend the Crop Top Challenge to you. Send us your #RockTheCrop pics on Twitter (@Indo_Style_) to be added to the gallery above.