My Husband Gifted Me a Crop Top

Mia Hayes
6 min readDec 30, 2021

How a minuscule piece of clothing smashed my body image misogyny

Photo by Victor Hughes on Unsplash

It seemed innocent. A neatly folded piece of lilac fabric surrounded by shreds of wrapping paper. I looked up at my husband and smiled. His love language was gifts of love, and he always selected his presents thoughtfully.

But when I held up the shirt, half of it was missing. It wasn’t quite a sports bra, but it wasn’t a tank either.

My husband of 24 years had gifted me — a 45-year-old mother of three — a crop top. I raised my eyebrows and studied the shirt. It was a cute tank style, which I prefer, and the color was pretty, but half of it was missing.

“A crop top?” I asked as my parents and sons watched.

“Do you like it?” James asked. “It reminded me of you.”

I paused. How in the world did a miniature shirt remind him of me other than the fact that I’m lacking in the height department?

“It’s great!” I refolded the top and placed it on the coffee table in front of me. “Who’s next?”

After my family finished opening presents, we gorged on the ham strata I had made from Christmas Eve left-overs and then finished picking up. I gathered my presents and took them upstairs, and as I started to take the tags off the crop top to drop it in the laundry, James…



Mia Hayes

40-something trying to live several lifetimes at once. Stay-at-home author, mom, and wife.