We’re joining Modcloth in the call for truth in fashion.
Dear fashion industry,
I know you’re shocked to receive a letter from me. According to you, plus size people like me don’t even exist!
Or maybe you know we exist, but think we’re happy wearing shapeless, boring clothing every day of our lives?
Or maybe you know we exist and you even (perhaps reluctantly?) cater to plus sizes… but you don’t want to acknowledge us in your ads?
Bodies are all sorts of different shapes. Plus size bodies are all sorts of different shapes, too. And it’s time for you to accept that your customers are frustrated.
The demand for fashionable plus size clothing is undeniable. But what’s more, I think, is the demand for positive, varied representation of fat bodies in fashion advertisements. Recently, more and more mainstream retailers have begun to offer plus size lines. But there remains a disconnect between the sizes offered, and the sizes shown. ModCloth has rounded up some stats about plus size women and their relationship to the fashion industry:
- 69% of plus size women think most fashion trends do not work for their body type
- When asked “How often do you see women who look like you reflected in fashion advertising?” 78% of plus size Women said they “never” or “rarely” see women like them reflected in fashion
- When asked how often they would usually use the following phrases to describe their reactions to fashion advertising, 51% of plus size women said “It makes me feel excluded” and 52% of plus size women said “I can’t relate to this”
- When asked their biggest challenge/struggle when shopping for clothing, 88% of plus size women said “finding items that fit me well and flatter my body”
- 85% of plus size women said it is hard (very or somewhat) to find garments that fit them well
- Only 21% of plus size women say they usually find clothing that makes them feel like the best version of themselves
Often, the plus size models fall within a narrow range of smaller plus sizes, despite the brand offering up to size 28 or beyond. Rarely do we see round tummies, folds, cellulite, small breasts, or large waists. Positive representation of fat bodies beyond size 18 and of varied proportion is important. My point isn’t to shame anyone of any size, but to encourage brands in the fashion industry who make clothing up to size 28+ to show off how great size 28+ people look in that clothing.
That stores exist and offer fashionable clothing for bigger sizes is great! Now let’s make it so that their models accurately display the range of available sizes, too.