#plus size retailers
As a plus size woman, 260 lbs 5’11”, I’m not exactly the standard of beauty. Does this make me not beautiful or take away from my beauty because I’m not the standard? Absolutely not! I do want to discuss with you all how I feel about the plus size industry and how passionate I have grown to see a change.
Many brands of clothing would have you believe that you need to loose weight to be stylish. Many major brands only carry straight sizes. Straight sizes are the average 1-10 or s-xl sizes. Stores that do carry both straight and plus size clothing will rarely advertise it. Plus size clothing at a mixed sizes store will often be hidden in the back of a store, wedged between other departments like children or home goods, while others won’t even dedicate floor space, these stores would rather not see you at all but don’t mind taking your money online (. Target).
My issues with plus size retailers is a list that grows longer and longer everyday. Why, as plus size women, must we accept being told we have to buy first, try on later (shopping online) or told to go to the back of the store, or speciality store? Plus size women account for 64% of the american population and yet we are segregated. We accept it since, lets face it, we can’t all walk around naked or with sheets draped over us. We accept the fact that we are told to shop like those that shop for porn. The good videos are in the back, behind the curtain, online, we want your money, we just don’t want you to bother the other shoppers with what your buying. Its as if retailers believe if their customers see a “fat” women shopping their store won’t be trendy, or appealing. Studies have shown that heavier individuals are thought of to be lazy, sloppy, smell bad. How horrible is that? So stores will either cut their losses and not cater to 64% more income or hide it.
Open up the current issue of vogue, cosmopolitan, Elle. Any magazine really, you’ll find two things: one will be mini articles with plus size women included into how to wear (insert clothing article here). Secondly, flip through the ads and you’ll be hard pressed to find the plus size retailers or straight size retailers that carry plus size advertising. You would be surprised at how many higher end stores carry plus sizes secretly.
Personally, my struggle with plus size clothing began when I was a teenager. I would go shopping with my friends only to discover the only items available to me in most stores are accessories and socks. I would watch my friends try on all different styles of clothing when I knew that all racks were hands off to me. Why even bother browsing when I would only walk out empty handed. I would cry about it. I wanted to look like other teen girls but I dressed like a Tom boy- oversized old navy shirts and ill fitting Lane Bryant Pants, I had obvious self esteem issues. It’s one thing to feel ugly all the time because you don’t like your body, face, hair, boobs, ass, it’s a whole other issue when every store reminds you that you don’t belong. I didn’t come to terms with my size or how I looked until my early 20s and I was 2 sizes larger than I was in high school. There are so many young girls and women who want to feel confident, want to love their bodies, want to spend some money and get a cute outfit, but can’t and are, instead, fed constant Images of very thin, blow average, women in advertisements, television shows, music videos etc. to reinforce the idea that its you, not them, that have something wrong with them. Even plus size models on plus size sites look like average, everyday women. Why are these average beautiful women labeled plus size?
This all brings me to my final issue: my experience with shopping. Recently I saw a great pattern on a skirt, it was Tetris, I’m a bit of an old school video game nerd, however an extra large was the circumference of my head. I bought two skirts and two tops and made a skater type skirt dress.
What do you think?