When the plus size industry, fashion, and bodies, recently started to receive more attention, I thought it would fade fast. I thought that it would come and go like a trend. An ignored body type receives its 15 minutes of fame and then recedes back into the shadows. At first, it felt like companies were just being “inclusive” to take advantage of the highly demanded and ridiculously lucrative plus size market (which they should have been doing in the first place because...why not?). The market, whose target audience includes over half of the women in america, was (and still is) kinda just sitting there, wide open, barely producing money because it was (and is, I guess) “risky”. If risky is another word for “we’re so used to shaming and excluding this body type that we forgot you existed even though you make up a majority of the female american population” then no, this does not make sense. You know why this doesn't make sense? It doesn't make sense because there are hordes of women who walk through malls with wallets full of money, and walk out with Benefit mascara and Fenty highlighter because the stores just don't offer sizes for their bodies. Although these obstacles keep a good amount of moolah in our pockets, it keeps a lot of cute clothes out of our closets. So clearly the pre-existing notions of “plus” and the larger female body have been a tall and thick wall to get over. But it's happening.
When Nike began offering larger sizes I thought, “wow I’m just realizing that these major athletic companies don’t have a size for a larger person to purchase to actually workout in”. I also thought that if society doesn’t like fat people and fat people don’t want to be fat (IF they don’t want to be fat) or they'd like to simply workout (because they like it and it makes them feel healthy and strong) then shouldn’t they have the proper attire required for sweat producing and calorie burning activity? People were so caught up in how wrong a fat body was that they were literally saying “no they don't deserve to feel good about themselves” and “no they don't need to be included, they’re 'other'" (even though they are the majority). The lack of logic is astounding, and the lack of care is too. It's amazing how ingrained the exclusivity within the fashion industry and society has been towards larger bodies, to the point that it contradicts itself. Because apparently only slim people workout and wear clothes...
People claimed (and are still claiming) that showing/advertising/“promoting” larger bodies was (and is) bad for society. They claimed (and still freaking continue to claim) that it sends a message saying that “it’s okay to be fat and unhealthy”. Well first of all yeah,...it’s okay to be fat. Second of all, yeah, you ate chicken nuggets and soda for the first half of your life sir and/or ma’am so please take several seats. There’s a lot of irony in this thinking and indicates an ingrained tendency of hierarchical thinking. Somewhere along the way, skinny/“smaller” people came into style and stayed there for a long while. If you were anything else then you were “other” and undesirable (which sucks because food is good) (starving yourself is not).
Now, since we're starting to realize that these “plus size bodies” are also human beings, here are some easy inclusive thoughts that everyone should plant deep into their minds:
-Not all weight gain is bad weight
-Not every fat person is unhealthy
-Not everyone who is fat chooses to be fat
-Mind your business
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