I’m not saying I love being “plus-size” or that I love that there exists a category like this at all. We get to be the third clothing minority, along with the “petite” and “tall” categories and sometimes, if we’re lucky enough, we can fit into several clothing-size minorities at once. It’s hard enough to shop before, even when plus-sizes started showing up at some of my favorite stores, like any other clothing, plus-size clothing is often fit toward an “ideal” or “platonic” form. Let’s just say, that isn’t me either.
Google “plus-size” and you will find pictures of now celebrity plus size models: ANTM winner, Whitney Thompson (pictured above, there was also rumor that she actually gained weight to be able to win ANTM as a plus-sized girl) and Crystal Renn (who often is prey to controversy of not staying plus-size).
I have to admit, seeing these images and finding clothing in stores that was actually *gasp* too big for me, I found myself feeling more normal. Even shopping with my preternaturally tiny friends (who, by the way, often found “normal” sizes too small for them), I had a whole section of a store that I could find things to try on and complain about as well. This may not seem important to some but it was really important to me. And I know it was important to many many women because now they’re gone and we’re starting to complain… but, to who?
Ever since Old Navy quietly moved their plus-sizes to being primarily (if not wholly) on-line, followed by at least one Target (mine), women have started to complain. However, since there are still few other places to shop, we voice our complaints in their own figurative store.
There are few places where a review of a piece of clothing can become so energetic as seen on the review’s of Old Navy’s plus-sized clothing. Either you find comments about thins as simple as color differences, like this:
Or, you find yourself wading through a forum of women divulging information that, normally, would be considered humiliating: from height, weight, to hip and bust measurements, all to help others know what to buy by judging their own size/shape in comparison.
If the runways are starting to accept plus-sized models, as seen in Jezebel.com’s recent article Five Plus-Size Models To Watch, why is it that stores who were once open to acceptance are now shying away? Does it have to do with sales? Because the websites sure make that look unlikely.
Ultimately, the message I see being sent is that while it’s okay for plus-sized girls to spend their money at these places, they just don’t want to see us in their stores. And I’m not okay with that.