Why Sydney Sweeney’s micromini outfit feels like a threat to body positivity: 'So coveted yet unachievable'

Sydney Sweeney brought the micromini trend to the MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV)
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Sydney Sweeney had her toned midriff on full display at the MTV Movie and TV awards where she wore a micro-miniskirt paired with a super-cropped collared top by Miu Miu. While the low-rise trend has already been seeing a resurgence, the red carpet moment is triggering a response from people who'd like to leave it in the past.

"What in the early 2000’s is this?" someone commented on a video posted to WhoWhatWear of the actress showing off her pink ensemble, made complete with rhinestone and buckle details on the skirt. Another wrote, "Not me thinking this was a throwback post."

Many likened the Euphoria star to Tara Reid, Paris Hilton and Elle MacPherson, who have worn similarly revealing looks in the past. Although Sweeney pulls it off beautifully, reluctance from onlookers to praise the outfit has less to do with the styling than it does the messaging about beauty and body standards.

"No shade to beautiful Sydney... but I'm sad we're seeing more of this ULTRA low rise waist and ULTRA flat tummy look again," one person commented on the Instagram post. "So coveted yet unachievable for so many of us with different builds."

"Watch body positivity go down the drain once the low rise fashion takes over again," and "Low rise NEVER AGAIIIN! Young generations: learn from the pst!! Don’t ruin your body!!!" wrote two others.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by body acceptance advocates who have watched the micro-miniskirt's comeback via Miu Miu after the high fashion brand put the itty bitty skirts on its runway in Paris in October. The trend is among others from the early 2000s that have seen a resurgence, however, it is seemingly the most exclusive.

"This set is created with this very thin body in mind. It's not created for plus and so that in and of itself is frustrating," Gianluca Russo, co-founder of the Power of Plus, previously told Yahoo Life. "A lot of it, too, feels very glorifying of a body type that we've been working against actively for many years now. The body type is very reminiscent of the early 2000s, when we had all these big conversations around anorexia and fashion and bulimia and how these models were treated back in the day, which is not great. And for a lot of people it feels kind of triggering."

Tyler McCall, editor-in-chief of Fashionista.com, also analyzed the trend on her social media in early March, writing that it "reminds me of the thin-at-any-cost mentality of the aughts."

According to reactions to Sweeney's look, the fixation and idealization of that specific body type remains.

"Sexy skinny," one person wrote in response to her look. "Love the abs and hips," another commented.

Although the low-rise skirt isn't at fault for the praise of Sweeney's figure, the instance lends itself to a larger conversation about the trend and the ways that it represents fatphobia in the fashion industry, according to Russo.

Sweeney was praised for her figure in the revealing look. (Photo: Getty Images)
Sweeney was praised for her figure in the revealing look. (Photo: Getty Images) (Amy Sussman via Getty Images)

"It's still operating on the same model, which is to let trends be dictated by people who are thin and then let it trickle down until it reaches size inclusivity rather than letting a plus-size body like Paloma or Precious [Lee] and Ashley [Graham] and all of them help to lead the trends," he explained, noting that microminis aren't only styled on slim bodies, but also remain exclusively accessible for that body type. "You would hope it would come back in a new inventive way and I think the way it came back was so reminiscent of the way it started, and that's kind of on this exclusionary model."

As a result, consumers are already worried about making their body fit into these trending styles, rather than finding clothes that fit their bodies.

"Millennials currently having a collective panic attack at the prospect of fitting back into low rise bottoms and crop tops," one person wrote. "We’ve been through it, let’s not bring it back," another pled.

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