First we wanted more representation for plus size women in modelling. Then we had plus size women 'reclaiming' the term. Then we had a nineties pop star say she disapproved of stores selling clothes in 'unhealthy' dress sizes. Now finally we have people saying we should drop the term 'plus size' altogether.
Where will it all end?
Well firstly let me explain something - in the modelling industry 'plus size' works as a way to differentiate between dress sizes. If a client asks for a plus size model I instantly understand what they mean. Another example of this would be 'sample size' shoes. I know that a sample size shoe is a UK size four because that's generally the size that the samples come in from the factory. But if a store started selling 'sample sizes' it would just confuse the customers, which coincidentally is exactly what's happened with the bizarrely inaccurate term 'plus sized'.
But one thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that models - whether plus size are not - are absolutely bloody gorgeous. In fact sitting in the agency watching a parade of beauties in all sizes come in and out of the office is terrible for my self-esteem I assure you. Models, whatever dress size, represent the absolute ideal. A size 18 model doesn't look as big as many size 18 women because they don't have any lumps, bumps or flabby bits like the rest of us. Everything about them is perfectly in proportion; which to be honest is why they're a model and why they still look great.
As for dropping the distinction between plus and skinny sizes; yes of course in an ideal world every store would sell every item in every size but here in reality that makes absolutely no commercial sense. I have a good friend who worked for a plus size retailer and they explained that through trial and error the brand discovered that there are some styles that just don't sell well to plus size women. The cold-hard fact is that some clothes only suit certain body shapes.
Interestingly there doesn't seem to be any of this stigma attached to plus size menswear retailers. I can assure you that overweight men feel no better about themselves than their female counterparts when they are bombarded with images of six packs and chiselled jaws. But guys just seem to get on with it and shop for their size without feeling judged or hated on by the industry.
Of course, I understand that in society women are scrutinised much more for the way they look than their male counterparts but if women dress well and feel good about themselves it really shouldn't matter what the rack in the store had written on it.
To clarify, I do understand that some women are just made larger than others and I also understand that there is a big problem with society equating being slim to being beautiful. But if you think that there's some big conspiracy to body shame larger women or marginalise them in the fashion industry then I'm sorry but that's just not the case.
This whole thing is doomed to go around in circles because there really is no solution. It seems like all we're doing is waiting for the next retailer or celebrity to slip up and do or say something stupid about plus size so we can all get outraged again. Granted, it fills column inches but I can't help but feel it's perpetuating a stereotype of fashion divas getting all worked up about nothing. In the grand scheme of things being called plus sized isn't the end of the world and there are really more important things to get angry about.
Ultimately as long as you feel comfortable in your own skin who gives a crap what other people call you?Suggest a correction