MINT Magazine
Stanford Fashion & Culture
  The fashion industry is notorious for its shunning of curvy women. Critics have called out fashion designers and clothing companies for leaving bigger women in the dust when it comes to the latest fashion and style trends. Contributor Maya Pete ‘18 discusses her personal experience with the woes of plus size fashion in her very opinionated, opinionated editorial.        Plus size.  What does that even mean? In the United States, it’s a way of letting women know that, if they are not a size 0 to 4, then they are most definitely larger than the “normal” woman and must proceed to shop as such. But in reality, the average woman in America wears a size 16.

The Ethics of Plus-Size Fashion

Written by Maya Pete
Photographed by Rachel Zilberg
Modeled by Maya Pete, Jessica Gold, Seun Adebagbo

  The fashion industry is notorious for its shunning of curvy women. Critics have called out fashion designers and clothing companies for leaving bigger women in the dust when it comes to the latest fashion and style trends. Contributor Maya Pete ‘18 discusses her personal experience with the woes of plus size fashion in her very opinionated, opinionated editorial.        Plus size.  What does that even mean? In the United States, it’s a way of letting women know that, if they are not a size 0 to 4, then they are most definitely larger than the “normal” woman and must proceed to shop as such. But in reality, the average woman in America wears a size 16.

The fashion industry is notorious for its shunning of curvy women. Critics have called out fashion designers and clothing companies for leaving bigger women in the dust when it comes to the latest fashion and style trends. Contributor Maya Pete ‘18 discusses her personal experience with the woes of plus size fashion in her very opinionated, opinionated editorial.  

 

Plus size.  What does that even mean? In the United States, it’s a way of letting women know that, if they are not a size 0 to 4, then they are most definitely larger than the “normal” woman and must proceed to shop as such. But in reality, the average woman in America wears a size 16.

    The first qualm I have with plus size culture is the term itself.  Tell me something, why does it have to be “plus” size?  Why isn’t there just more size variety? Then, the sizes that are now deemed “plus” could be lumped in with the rest of the group. Or, if one absolutely must have a separate section for these sizes, how about naming it something other than plus, so that women don’t have to feel self conscious when they venture to shop in that area?  How about giving the sections names that accentuate and appreciate their body types? Voluptuous Vixens, Big Booty Judys, Cute-in-the-face-THICK-in-the-waist, Cutie Pies with Thicky Thighs...look I’m just spitballing options that I would vibe with, not saying any of them are quality, but you get the point.      The second qualm I have is with the style options themselves. I know that you’ve noticed the garments in the plus size areas are never as cute or available as the clothes in the “regular” areas.  So, big girls don’t wanna be cute too? Oh ok...nah, you’re lying. And if you don’t believe me, please take a field trip to your nearest Forever 21 or H&M so you can see that, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. It’s neither cute nor healthy for the self esteem of the women shopping there. And don’t think I didn’t notice that the price of a regular t-shirt is higher in the plus size area than it is in the “regular” section.  Listen, if that’s not some type of discrimination punishable by law, it should be. Charging me more because I have a little bit more skin to cover?  That’s sheer disrespect.

 

The first qualm I have with plus size culture is the term itself.  Tell me something, why does it have to be “plus” size?  Why isn’t there just more size variety? Then, the sizes that are now deemed “plus” could be lumped in with the rest of the group. Or, if one absolutely must have a separate section for these sizes, how about naming it something other than plus, so that women don’t have to feel self conscious when they venture to shop in that area?  How about giving the sections names that accentuate and appreciate their body types? Voluptuous Vixens, Big Booty Judys, Cute-in-the-face-THICK-in-the-waist, Cutie Pies with Thicky Thighs...look I’m just spitballing options that I would vibe with, not saying any of them are quality, but you get the point. 

 

The second qualm I have is with the style options themselves. I know that you’ve noticed the garments in the plus size areas are never as cute or available as the clothes in the “regular” areas.  So, big girls don’t wanna be cute too? Oh ok...nah, you’re lying. And if you don’t believe me, please take a field trip to your nearest Forever 21 or H&M so you can see that, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. It’s neither cute nor healthy for the self esteem of the women shopping there. And don’t think I didn’t notice that the price of a regular t-shirt is higher in the plus size area than it is in the “regular” section.  Listen, if that’s not some type of discrimination punishable by law, it should be. Charging me more because I have a little bit more skin to cover?  That’s sheer disrespect.

    Finally, the culture surrounding being plus sized is a special type of body shaming that cuts deep.  Clothes are a form of expression that allow people to brand themselves and to be whoever they want to be.  By not giving big women equal opportunity to be as cute, as fly, as beautiful, or as sexy as smaller women, we are not allowing them to brand themselves as they wish. Rather, the plus sized-allergic fashion industry is branding  them , which last I heard was something done to herds of cattle. I assure you, that we are not!     And one last thing: it’s hella depressing to be shopping and grabbing a plethora of cute items you guess might fit because you picked the largest size they offer, and then making your way to the dressing room only to find that none of them fit: talk about a blow to the self esteem. All I’m asking for are equal opportunities to slay here.   

 

Finally, the culture surrounding being plus sized is a special type of body shaming that cuts deep.  Clothes are a form of expression that allow people to brand themselves and to be whoever they want to be.  By not giving big women equal opportunity to be as cute, as fly, as beautiful, or as sexy as smaller women, we are not allowing them to brand themselves as they wish. Rather, the plus sized-allergic fashion industry is branding them, which last I heard was something done to herds of cattle. I assure you, that we are not!

 

And one last thing: it’s hella depressing to be shopping and grabbing a plethora of cute items you guess might fit because you picked the largest size they offer, and then making your way to the dressing room only to find that none of them fit: talk about a blow to the self esteem. All I’m asking for are equal opportunities to slay here.

 

 So, let me sum up what I’m trying to get at:     1.     Don’t make my thicky thickums sisters pay more to be fly as hell.  2.     “Plus Size” has a negative connotation. Let’s ditch it, shall we?  3.     We’re Big Fine, let us know it AND show it!     Big Hugs and Kisses,     Maya G.

So, let me sum up what I’m trying to get at:

 

1.     Don’t make my thicky thickums sisters pay more to be fly as hell.

2.     “Plus Size” has a negative connotation. Let’s ditch it, shall we?

3.     We’re Big Fine, let us know it AND show it!

 

Big Hugs and Kisses,

 

Maya G.