Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 16:10
The label “curvy” offends me. I admit when I am shopping and I see any of the affiliated adjectives describing the extension of a clothing line for “bigger-boned girls,” I instantly put whatever I’m holding down and walk away.
We get it. The sizes and measurements are bigger; they are pieces made for girls that are sizes 16 and up. Maybe this is just a sensitive topic based on my past experiences and weight struggle or possibly even seeing other friends dealing with it.
The issue is not about women being curvy, but more or less with the label that is stamped on the clothing by some companies who have highlighted that some women are indeed in need of a larger size than the average American woman.
Stores like Lane Bryant, Torrid and Roaman’s are designed to give women sizes 16 and up a selection of clothes to shop from that are of quality, substance and style. But companies like Forever 21, Lucky Brand and Old Navy give their lines a “plus size” label to help consumers identify the clothing they are looking at have larger measurements.
It’s somewhat degrading to realize that you have to do a walk of shame in a separate section of a store, identified as the “plus” section.
This problem crosses over into other mediums of fashion advertising too. For example, magazines write detailed columns on how to “dress your curvy body” or “hide those hips.”
What? So, not only do women have to shop in a different part of the store for extended sizes, but read separate articles in order to comply with the rules of fashion for their body size and type?
Call me insensitive, but I’m not the one who is recreating segregation in the consumer’s eyes.
All there is to say is plus sizing in today’s world of apparel is not a freak show. Yet here we are, dancing around the fact that nobody wants to leave it out, but don’t know how to treat it with a sense of dignity either.
It is not a disease or the pink elephant in the room. It’s a size; a number or a letter that decides which piece of clothing is going to fit someone’s body. If this is the struggle retailers are dealing with, it’s time to take into account what the projected consumer is thinking in the fitting room or while reading a magazine.
We need to create a society where women should be encouraged to embrace their curves, not the labels.
Amber is a sophomore majoring in public relations and advertising.