Today I found myself in a heated debate on a page.
Someone had shared a photo of a woman from a website selling a plus size bikini. She is described on the website as being a size 18. There were a great many comments shocked by this fact and accusing the site of having edited the photos.
Now there really is an issue with websites editing and photo shopping their models, and I was cheered to see that so many had come to realise that not everything we see should be taken as fact.
But there then became a lot of:
“No way is she plus size, where is her belly”
“She is no way plus size. She looks like me and im a size 8!”
“She just looks like a normal healthy woman, not plus size”
“If she is plus size then I’m a whale”
It saddened me as I realised that these women weren’t actually criticising the model. They all accepted that she had a lovely figure.
But they were all under the misconception that plus size = fat/obese/ugly/undesirable. This woman couldn’t possibly be a true plus size woman as she was attractive and had a nice figure.
When I pointed out that yes, she was plus sized as in the UK a model between a size 12-18 is plus sized. And plus sized clothing ranges usually start at a 14, so this size 18 lady was definitely plus sized. There was outrage.
How could a size 14, or worse still a 12, be considered plus size. I also pointed out that most models are very tall, so their size will always look better proportioned than on some others. I shared the below photos of myself, size 22 and weighing roughly 20 stone, But also 6’1.
They weren’t angry that the fashion industry is compartmentalising us based on our sizes. They were horrified that seemingly slim women would be considered “plus size” because we inherently consider this to be a derogatory term.
It became clear that when people hear the term Plus size they imagine a very large, very overweight person. They imagine wobbly bits and someone that would not be considered aesthetically pleasing in the mainstream.
THIS IS WRONG!
Plus Size is merely the term for the collection of clothes.
When creating clothes it is possible to just “size up” a garment within the typical 8-14 range of sizes. But beyond that you need to re measure and adjust accordingly, as there needs to be adaptations to the cut and shape of the garment. Which is why when we order cheap things from china we are always left scratching our heads as to how we get them on!
Plus size isn’t a judgement. It isn’t a comment on your weight. It isn’t a way to describe yourself, your worth or how you look. It is nothing more than the tag you put into the search bar when narrowing down your pay day purchase list.
Now we would dearly love to see more achievable bodies within the fashion industry. And I think most would agree that seeing a lady with the odd lump and bump can only help us to imagine what an outfit will look like on ourselves. But we need to first remove this negativity from the idea of Plus size fashion.
When we understand that it is ok to be plus size. It is possible to be plus size and still have a toned body, a beautiful shape, a flat tummy and a beautiful face. Maybe then we will see that the plus size ranges don’t need to be hidden at the back. They don’t need to be online only, because god forbid we may want to try something on in the changing rooms.
We don’t get upset by the term Petite, or Tall, Plus Size is no different.
The label inside your dress is just that, a label. It doesn’t define or describe you!
Survivor, Crusader & General Wonder Woman.