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Plus Size Clothing and size diversity- Epic failure or Natural Consequence?


Retailer tries to sell Plus Size Leggings with thin model .

So I get so annoyed when I see plus size clothing brands showcase clothing on non-plus size models. That isn't helpful to me in anyway. Athleta brand experienced a huge backlash against their very noticeable lack of plus size models for their plus size line, last summer. Why wouldn't brands want to showcase plus size models?

The answer is the very backwards idea that plus women want to imagine themselves as thin and don't want to be reminded of their size. So.... do brands like Athleta just want to pretend plus size women don't exist? They would prefer it yes, if you could kindly just thrown on whatever you think is your size, no need to see it on someone who actually looks like you.

The problem is that when EVERY brand tries to be "aspirational" (gag me with a spoon 😤) they forget that many plus size lines aren't even carried in stores, so actual representation of different body types makes a difference in someone's purchasing decision. So if retailers want better sales :
1.) Put plus size lines IN STORES already.
2.) Get some real got dang women not professional models to do some fit modeling for you.
I don't understand how they don't get it, if you want people to buy your clothes, let us see how they will fit OUR bodies, not how YOU think WE wish our bodies would look.

Now let's also finally kill the other obstacle to representation; showing plus size bodies does not mean that we are glorifying obesity. Glorifying obesity would mean that we are shouting from the rooftops that now all women MUST have a BMI over 35 to be deemed fuckable. (You know kind of the way we very unhealthily scream at women to be thin?)

No one is suggesting this. What people are asking for is to please admit the truth, women over a size 16 exist and are deserving of the spotlight, just because someone may not fit your beauty standards doesn't mean they don't have a right to feel good about themselves. You don't have to agree with someone's life choices to admit they have the right to exist both in and out of the public eye.
What I like about the body positivity movement is that is proclaims "all bodies are valid", and you'll brook no argument from me. I'm a proponent of healthy living, not thin living. (See previous post on my thoughts on "Fat acceptance").

Size diversity isn't just a good social idea to help people of all sizes feel included, it's a pragmatic business decision and differentiation among your competitors. My economics training tells me that brands who are in a saturated market (like say clothing for example) will be at the mercy of supply and demand and fall victim to their product become a commodity with a lower profitability unless they can find a way to differentiate their product.

Imagine if there was a brand of clothing which had an ample size range and showcased this by using various size models and actually even used models closer to the average height of most women instead of tall, amazonian like women. Wouldn't you remember that brand? Wouldn't you wait eagerly to see what that company's new look book was like? I would and so would millions of other plus size women.

-Stefanie Hines
CGINTW






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