Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fat Girls' Fashion

So I'm checking out CNN yesterday and what do I see?  An article imploring fashion designers to stop ignoring the "fluffy" population.  It was a good article that made some good points.  The article is here for those interested.  For those who aren't link happy...I'll hit a couple of things that struck me which also include the comments to the article.  My opinions are below them in BLUE.

That is why, six years ago, Urshel decided that Kleinfeld -- now known for being the store showcased in TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" and "SYTTD: Big Bliss" -- would stock plus-size dress samples, which brides could order up to a size 32.
Yes!  Even fat people get married...go figure.  But seriously...this makes me hope that Kleinfeld's stays in business a VERY long time.  

She thinks the designers and retailers don't get it. She thinks they don't respect the plus-sized customer. Furthermore, she thinks they are leaving gobs of big-girl cash on the table.
Most definitely!  We know they don't respect the plus sized consumer because if they did, they would sell plus sized clothes.  Even at my heaviest, I would've spent more money on clothes if they were fashionable and actually better quality.

DeVoe says designers -- she cites Jean Paul Gautier -- think runways are about fantasy and "nobody fantasizes about being fat."
Duh!  Of course no one fantasizes about being fat but you know what they do fantasize about?  Feeling sexy, desirable and fashionable in their own skin.  Everyone woman fantasizes about this regardless of her size.  

It makes you wonder about the higher math. The average-sized woman in America is either a 14 or 16 -- depending on who you ask and what style she's got on (and sometimes which afternoon she's trying it on). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she weighs 164.7 pounds.
Two things with this one.  If, according to the article, 16% of sales is plus size clothing but fat people hold 28% of the purchasing power, where is the rest of the money going?  Nowhere.  That's the point.  I'm still wearing clothes I wore 6 years ago.  Fashionable?  No.  But what was my motivation to get out there and be humiliated in store after store when nothing fit?  Or to go the stores where the clothes DO fit but they're ugly or cheaply made?  A little side note...anyone see the average woman weighs 164.7 lbs?  Does anyone also notice that I'm only about 6 lbs from AVERAGE??  Can I get a WOOT WOOT!

Even in department stores, the concerns of the plus-sized woman aren't considered, said Cohen of the trend-tracking NPD Group. The dressing rooms aren't big enough, and some stores have gang dressing rooms, which are tough for those with acute body awareness issues anyway.
The mere thought of a gang dressing room is seriously enough to make me nauseous.  I don't care how thin I get, it ain't happenin'.

"High-end designers should be making size 14s. That's lunacy if they're not. But as the population as a whole has gotten bigger, the idealized model has gotten smaller. It's a way of denoting its rarefied status and exclusivity, in a sad way it reinforces the status of thinness."
Alright...I'm not gonna bash on skinny people but most of the models I see on runways and magazines are TOO thin and airbrushed to the hilt.  REAL women don't look like that.  And I'm sorry but I like the few curves I have.  Women should have breasts!  They should not look like 12 year old boys!  And perpetuating the myth of what all women should look like is detrimental to young girls and gets them obsessed with being thin at a young age.  I'm sure there are studies and behavioral models that echo this!

So that's the gist of the article and my thoughts on it.  It's a pretty well thought out piece and focuses around a plus sized fashion show.  The models are gorgeous and they are actually "plus sized" model.  You gotta think if the average model is a size 00 for the average women who's a size 10-14 then the plus size model is probably a size 14-18 for a plus sized gal who's a size 26.  Makes sense.  But then you get into the comments.  Let the fat bashing commence!

Wedding dress model sizes are size TEN?  That is huge.  Lady, lose weight and stop complaining.  I am a size two.  How come I don't get to complain about the lack of sizes available for me?  And why is "petite" defined as anything 5'4" or under, when the average American woman is just that - 5'4".  If you are 5'4" and wear a size TEN, then you are going to die of fatness.
Yes because size 10 people are dropping like flies.  Seriously...they're starting to pile up in the streets.  The only thing that can make them come back to life is clapping.  Come on people, clap!  CLAP!

My wife has always been a petite and your are right, she has a terrible time finding clothes that fit. If we didn't have all of these fat people buying clothes maybe she wouldn't be in the minority and manufacturers would pay attention.
Several problems here.  1) Reading comprehension is a gift.  The whole article is about how fat people AREN'T buying clothes.  2) Yes being SHORT is difficult to find clothes (I know..I'm short) but getting an article of clothing hemmed is a hell of a lot easier than ADDING FABRIC TO IT.  Idiot.

I am the smallest in my family and lucky for me its natural I am a size 2 at 5'3. My mom and my sister are quite overweight though, my sister 19 is about 180lbs and 5'4 I think it is great they promote more stylish clothes BUT I would give anything to help my sister get healthy and not be PC about the fact she is OVERWEIGHT and could die early because people try to say oh honey its ok, NO  its not! I love her and want to grow old with her not loose her early to being fat. so YAY style but let all of you out there overweight remember you have major effect on those close to you!!!
This one's tricky.  She's still a fattist but she tries to hide it under the guise of being concerned for her family but her sister is 4 inches taller than me and weighs about 50 lbs less than I did at my highest.  She ain't keeling over from a heart attack any time soon.

Don't worry, big girls, no matter what size you are there are always clothes that make you look crappy. I weigh 135 and for every 10 items I try on, there's probably only 1 that looks halfway decent. Pants are always too long, shirts are too small in the boob area, sleeves are too tight (I guess the fashion industry doesn't think some girls might actually have muscles) so it's not just plus-size people that have problems getting stuff to fit.
I actually liked this one.  She's absolutely right.  How many of you at goal weight or near goal weight still have problems finding clothes that look good once you take it off the hanger?  The fact is designers aren't designing for the mass market.  They design their clothes for their models...size 00 with no curves or shape and look like sticks.  That's not going to work for 90% of women out there.

I'm not a skinny person myself but I don't agree we should promote being overweight or obese as something worth being proud of. It's a disease. Lets not make it a trend
Yes...because becoming fat is going to be a trend.  People are going to see these fashion shows and think "You know what I ought to do?  I ought to gain 50 lbs so I can wear that dress.  That's a fine idea!"  This is just ignorant.  Putting fat people in decent looking clothes isn't going to encourage them to stay fat or encourage anyone else to GET fat.  It's just going to make them look less disgusting to you while you judge them on the subway.  Idiot.

Of course, it all goes on and on about how fat people are gross and how we shouldn't use the term plus sized, we should just call them fat.  As if fat people don't know they're fat.  Seriously though, I like that someone's trying to draw attention to an ignored market.  Also, if fat people are so gross, do you really want to see them running around naked?  Because that's what would happen if they don't make bigger clothes for bigger people.  Duh.  The health problems associated with being overweight (that's mentioned NUMEROUS times throughout the comments) is unrelated to the article.  The article is about making people feel good about themselves and providing fashionable options.  To imply that fat people should be relegated to tents and moo moos is ridiculous.  If the only options are clothes that make fat people feel undesirable, unattractive and even MORE a freak than they already feel, what are they going to do?  They're going to stay home and eat away their sorrows.  They need to be out, finding hobbies and finding a life...only then will we (I was like this too so I ain't hatin') see why we should lose weight and that's to LIVE.  Sitting around your house because you can't find anything to wear (and yes, I've declined invitations to do things because I simply couldn't find a suitable outfit.  I'm not proud of that) isn't LIVING and isn't motivating anyone to get healthy. my soapbox.  Happy Hump Day everybody!

P.S.  Sorry the fonts and backgrounds are kind of crazy in this post...I couldn't fight blogger any more with it.


Stephanie said...

I have to agree with this comment "I'm not a skinny person myself but I don't agree we should promote being overweight or obese as something worth being proud of. It's a disease. Lets not make it a trend".

Just because over 1/2 of americans are obese and that is now the standard, it doesn't mean it is healthy and acceptable. We are all losing weight for a multitude of reasons, but for most it is because we KNOW being overweight and obese is not healthy. Yes, overweight people deserve nice clothes and I'm glad that they are making clothes for this demographic, but I look at it as a motivator to lose weight and get healthy. Plus, smaller clothes are MUCH less expensive!

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

It's painful to read these comments. Cruelty to the overweight is the last accepted prejudice. It's just not okay to be mean no matter what your motivation is. I do agree with the girl who says no matter what size you are you can find something to make you look crappy. I think I actually had better luck in the plus size sections. Maybe I just felt more at home there. Great post!

Samanatha said...

OMG I read that same article yesterday. I sort of posted about it, but it was just more wondering why I ever bother reading the comments on anything having to do with overweight online. And I think I have to disagree with Stephanie here. I don't think providing quality/nice clothing for bigger people to wear makes it a trend. or encourages them to remain obese. I'm pretty sure none of us are going to say "Gee, I can now buy Alexander McQueen, I think I'll stay fat" but it might help our esteem while we're there.

Fluffy said...

Thanks for posting this as I hadn't seen the article! Interesting stuff.

I did chuckle that you liked my electronic stick drawing in my post. Thanks for that.

I totally agree with what you said about the "feeling" when unmotivated. That's why I force myself to go if it is one of my planned exercise sessions. Ultimately afterwards I am glad I did (oh and that it's over!).

Amanda said...

great post and interesting read.

I agree with Tessie. I have a hard time not looking in the plus sized depts now. I find things I like. But doesn't fit!

I guess there is always something to complain about huh!

Leslie said...

What a great article. The comments on it make want to be violent but I will ignore those urges right now.

I went to JC Penney a few weeks ago, as I walked to the back of the store (cause of course no plus size clothes in the FRONT where people can actually find them) the further I went itno the store the uglier the clothes got. I didn't even try one single thing on because I was so disgusted with the "granny" type plus size clothes! I mean, I've lost 100lbs and I still have a long way to go but that day did not make me feel very good about all the progress that I have made!

~Lisa~ said...

Excellent post! Thank you for opening up this topic. I am so frustrated about the attitudes of designers - who, in my humble opinion fantasize about 12 year old boys. Why else would they design for them??? And with stores who hide the plus sized clothing as though we're the "ugly sisters" in the family and they're afraid to acknowledge our presence in the room..

You can get up on your soapbox for this one anytime - I'll join you!

KMR said...

Great regards to SYTTD Big Bliss those women radiate so much confidence. I'm stuck in the belief that I need to be a size 10 for the men I'm interested to just look at me. I don't really like plus size departments because things make you look boxy. I have never consitently shopped at Lane Bryant, Avenue, Ashley Stewart.

I agree that we shouldn't promote being heavier, and no I don't think these fashion designers will ever make larger sizes because the point of this business is not only beauty (unreasonable beauty) but exclusion and exclusivity.

Ronnie said...

People are ignorant. UGH. Those comments got me all fired up, of course. LOL

o.c. bandster said...

i didn't actually read the article, but i DID love your commentary on it. your statements about the comments people made to the article were hilarious!!! keep doing what you are doing!