BIW Versus "Plus Size"

I’m confused about these two words: “plus size.”

I even looked the definition up because I was so confused about it. Technically, I believe it’s supposed to be anything over a size 12, but then I read on Wikipedia that in Australia it’s a size 12 which is an American size 8. That was pretty alarming to me.

I hate in I hate them in general; saying this is “good” or this is “bad” or this is “skinny” and this is “fat”---it all just bothers me. It’s like putting everything in a transparent box with a label on it and saying it can never come out. So limiting. Ironically, I have a lot of transparent boxes with stuff in them in my attic. But actual boxes, I find, are less threatening than metaphorical ones.

For whatever reason, our society seems overly obsessed with metaphorical boxes and one such is the notion that we have to have names for everything, including our jean sizes. For some other dumb reason, they like to do this much more to women than they do to men. For instance, you will never hear a man bellyaching about how he has to shop the plus size section unless he’s like big enough to have his own ten ton man show on TLC.

Women, on the other hand, over a size 8 apparently have to consider themselves plus sized. Which is crazy ... because I would consider myself pint-sized but the fashion world would say that I am plus sized. All five feet 130 pounds of me... and most of my weight is muscle, not fat (thank you Zumba!) So where exactly does that leave me other than to feel totally and utterly disgusted with the fact that we have to define our bodies by weights and measures and terms like “plus.”

The clincher for me is that despite my misgivings about the industry, I am in love with fashion. I genuinely enjoy trends and looking good and taking risks with my clothing. But the flip side of all that garbage is that  we have to deal with industry standards that are unreasonable, unrealistic and contributing nothing to our society of REAL women with curves and beauty that goes beyond a size or a “plus” label.

We all deserve to feel good about ourselves. That is the first thing. The second thing is that there should be a larger diversity of the genetic varieties of body types represented in the fashion world. If the fashion industry really wanted to be “forward” they would springboard that notion by celebrating the body in all its forms... well, at least that is what one would think. Why can’t we see sort models, tall models, bigger models, and smaller models???

One step in the right direction would be to remove stigma-invoking terms like “plus size” from our department store vocabularies. Because who in their right mind wants to feel fat when they are shopping?? Like, my nightmare is some a-hole sized two sixteen year old pointing her little finger toward another section saying, “Plus size is over there.” C’mon. No woman should have to deal with that crap.

And I don’t want it called full figured, either. It should all be in the same section in a variety of sizes that actually fit real women.

Over and out!

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