I may not be someone that wears what is considered ‘plus size’ clothing, but I often find myself disgusted at how much we are fed the ‘perfect’ body size ideal. Their flawless skin, tiny waists and perfect boobs are something we can only really aspire to, and feel belittled by. Recently the online retailer Wish took it in their wisdom to advertise plus size shorts in possibly the most harmful way you can. The shorts – which come in sizes XXXL to XXXXXL – are shown on a slim model who can fit herself into just one of the legs. Not dissimilar to a listing by AliExpress last year which showed a woman wearing just one half of a pair of plus size leggings, Wish have taken no consideration into who they’re targeting.
What irritates me the most is the lack of respect in addressing different consumers. Who would want to buy into a company that might as well be shouting a playground fat jibe at its audience? Oh haha, look how this typically slim model can fit into just ONE of your trouser legs, doesn’t that make you feel good? Next they’ll be encouraging consumers to lose weight in order to take up less wardrobe space with their XXXL jeans.
I remember when Debenhams made the move to include size 16 mannequins into its range. And when the BBC suggested a size 16 is ‘plus size’ – warning bells should already have been ringing all over the place. Maybe we should get our ‘ideal’ in order and take notice of what is now the average dress size in the first place. As we sit in a consumer pool ready for advertisers to dive into we are already aware that we’ve been sectioned off to fit whatever we must need next. However, despite the thought put into dividing us all into consumer groups, there is little consideration paid to the effects of how we’re being sold the next must need handbag, designer perfume or leather jacket. We continue to be bombarded by images of tall, slender women with thigh gaps and flawless complexions before being seduced by rugged men with six packs and chiseled jaws we can only aspire our future husbands to have.
But isn’t it about time we stopped calling women plus size in the first place? Just last year, models launched a campaign for the fashion industry to drop the label, but it seems it still very much exists. The second we step foot into a clothes shop we need to define ourselves by our size. Are you an 8? 12? 18? Petite? Tall? Plus size? Yes, they’re supposed to be helpful, pointing us in the right direction for our body type, but is implying that a woman’s size is ‘plus’ simply doing more harm than good? Would you open a restaurant and set your menu to normal and plus size portions? Of course not. Yes, lighter options are available, yes you can add stuff, we could be here all day, but those terms alone are pretty insulting.
We should be empowered to be ourselves, not afraid to ask a shop assistant if they stock ‘plus size’ in store. In the modelling industry they’re even quicker to pigeon hole models above their ideal into this category, and to be honest with you, something drastic needs to change.
An Unknown Sauce
Not So Unknown // @TheSukiSays