How Do You Escape A Pandemic? With A Strawberry Dress
Why everyone is talking about this fruit-inspired picnic gown.
( @prosenkilde wearing the strawberry dress / via @lirika.matoshi on Instagram)
Strawberry Shortcake called, and she wants her dress back. Imagine what a Disney princess would wear if she went strawberry picking in Wonderland. That’s the strawberry dress — a baby pink mid-length dress with layers of fluffy tulle, puffed out sleeves and adorned with glitzy, you guessed it, strawberries.
The Internet has been blowing up recently over designer Lirika Matoshi’s now infamous strawberry dress. It’s been available since 2019, but only recently has it gained social media traction with thousands of #StrawberryDress posts of either people wearing the dress or countless artists drawing fictional characters sporting it, too.
But in a world where we can barely leave our houses due to the global pandemic, how did this go-to picnic outfit gain such popularity?
The fact that such a bold, flowy statement gown could gain so much traction during a worldwide lockdown seems extremely ironic. Where can you go in a dress so magical and childlike? Your living room? To the grocery store?
For most people who purchased the dress, it doesn’t matter. It’s a form of escapism, according to model Shaanti Chaitram who has modeled the dress for a photographer friend last winter.
“The world has so much craziness in the world,” she said in an interview. “It’s nice to pretend to be on a perpetually perfect picnic in the middle of a meadow,”
And she’s not alone in that thought.
Recent college grad Makayla Smith said she bought the dress all the way back in March and could already tell how many people were going to like it.
She said she theorized that the dreaminess of the bright dress is what made it such a sensation during these dull times. She said the dress “exemplified [her] quirky spirit” and that she feels “like a little kid in the candy store,” or “a kid playing dress-up,” while wearing it.
The pretty-in-pink dress is a chance to live a little, and play a little, during these tough times. And if that involves wearing a tulle dress covered in fruit made of glitter, then so be it.
According to both Smith and Chaitram, the construction of the dress is built in a way that is flattering on everyone, from the ruffles on the shoulders, to the contrasting light pink and dark reds and the daring deep v-neck.
However, not everyone agrees. In fact, for every two people that love the strawberry dress, there seems to be one who actively despises it with a passion.
With pictures of people of various backgrounds, body types, and skin tones sporting this dress, there’s been some controversy about the dress’s double standards. Model Tess Holliday took to Instagram to call out the fatphobia and stigmas in regards to the now Tik Tok famous gown.
According to Holliday, when she wore the dress back in January, it “had [her] on worst dressed lists… but now [because] a bunch of skinny [people] wore it on Tik Tok everyone cares.” She further went on to say “our society hates fat people, especially when we are winning.”
Despite the dress’ versatility on various body shapes and sizes, the general perception of the dress looking cute, or like a hot mess, has unfortunately boiled down to an “ideal” body type accepted by society. Even though the strawberry dress itself should be a beacon of inclusivity for everyone, it also led to harmful hypocrisy and criticism of the curvy body types who don it.
Regardless of your personal thoughts on the dress, there’s no denying that it’s taken the world by storm to a fantasy world of pretty pastels and fairy-like flow. In a world as seemingly demoralized and gloomy as it is right now, a little bit of fruity fun could be exactly what the people need.
Maya Lang is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She enjoys playing guitar, staying up far too late, and daydreaming about living in the '80s. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and movie recommendations.