I have just read an article in the Herald Sun, Saturday, June 23, 2012 that makes my blood boil and unfortunately you’re all going to hear about it.
The article starts out “Larger women don’t believe big is beautiful and dress to hide their bodies. Instead of following fashion trends like their skinnier friends, bigger women choose clothes for comfort and camouflage, a Flinders University study has found. A study of 112 undergraduates found a sharp divide between lighter and heavier women. The lighter women wore more fashionable clothes and considered the opinions of others, while larger women were more concerned about how clothes felt rather than how they looked. The women in the study were, on average, size 10 and had a normal range BMI, even though many classed themselves as overweight.”
Where do I begin. The average teenager’s size today is 14-16 while the average women is size 16 + so there in itself the article is WRONG!! Larger women don’t follow fashion trends! Hello!! If there was a fashion affordable for larger women then they would definitely be following a fashion trend. Larger women are more concerned about how clothes felt rather than how they looked, yeah right. Have you seen what’s out there for larger women? MY SIZE and AUTOGRAPH are two stores devoted to large women and if you want to wear clothes that scream colours “I’M FAT!” then these are the stores to visit. Low cut neck lines that reach down to your belly button, black, white, yellow and purple tops that scream – “here I am, I’m fat and you can take pot shots at me” is part of the fashion for fat people right now.
As a “large” woman I have spent a great deal of energy out there in the shopping centres looking for “decent” clothing. Not something that my grand mother would wear and certainly not something that my 21 year old would wear but something that makes me look “presentable” in my eyes. I like slacks, I like skirts, I like high heels, I like flats, I like colour (pale greens, pale pinks, red and black), I like length in my tops – not something that comes just below my breasts, I like a jacket that doesn’t look like I’ve borrowed it from a man (meaning it’s arms are too long and doesn’t fit across the shoulders), I even like dresses but that’s completely out of the question unless I’m pregnant and that’s the only dresses available to big women.
I want something that you can buy from Katies, Cotton On, Suzanne Grae and maybe Country Road that actually fits me. But wait, those stores only go up to size Medium. Even their large is basically a size 16.
What is funny is that K Mart and Target seem to be getting the point. For a fraction of the cost their ranges now go up to size 18 before the PLUS sizes begin. And the PLUS sizes begin at size 16 in some cases.
The article goes on “Prue Garner, owner of Frankie’s clothing boutique in Elsternwick, said the key to dressing well is buying clothes that fit. ‘Women are very self conscious but when they are given the right clothing, we find it makes all the difference. We also like to employ normal sized women rather than skinny model types, so they know what the issues are. And I am a size 12 with hips and a bust, so I understand that it’s important to accentuate your good features.”
OMG she’s a size 12 and employs “normal sized women” – what’s normal size? If it’s a boutique in Elsternwick the normal size to her is 12. PELEASE!!!!! They have no idea how much money they are losing when 80% of their business is walking right past because they’re a size 16 and over!!!
Yes I’m passionate about this and yes I have something to say but what is funny is that I’m not the only one and yet the stores aren’t taking us seriously or even into consideration. A study was done!!! I wasn’t asked. I didn’t get the opportunity to say my piece. I didn’t get to show them my body and make them aware that most of my clothes come from the mens departments – yes they are comfortable but most of the time they are 3 times cheaper than a woman’s clothing, in reasonable colours and they are comfortable. Dress it up with a skirt and boots or high heeled shoes, necklaces, earrings and bracelets and I have a trendy outfit that didn’t cost much, looks good on me and I don’t scream “I’M FAT!!” to anyone.
I love clothes – clothes of today don’t like me. Until someone gets that we’ll have tons more studies on size 12 people who consider that they are “Slightly overweight”.
PS Just a little note but when you are a larger person you shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes – vertical is your style – it doesn’t accentuate how big you are. So far I’ve noticed that EVERYONE sells horizontal stripes. I learned this when I was three – my mother told me!!!!