The average woman is now a size 16. Why aren’t mainstream clothing stores accepting her?
I’m the average American woman — a size 14 to 16, depending on the brand. There should be clothing options for me, everywhere. There aren’t. I’m getting increasingly pissed that someone who represents the majority of American women can never find her size in a store.
What the hell, clothing labels? Is it really that hard to make some 14 and 16 sizes — and enough of them? Would it kill you? Let me tell you something; every time I go shopping, all the size 12, 14, and XL clothes are gone. I know this isn’t an anomaly — they’re selling like hotcakes! Because so many of us are that size. Crazy, right? Make more and just throw them on your racks. Don’t even tell me you can’t figure out how to dress the average size woman because of all of our extra juicy flesh. That’s what fit models are for. Use your little scissors and measuring tape and work it out. And here’s a million dollar idea; make those sizes without labeling them “plus.”
“Plus sized?” Says who? What does that even mean? If there needs to be a special label for sizes, shouldn’t there be one representing the actual women who are a size not considered “average” in this country? Or, I have a million dollar idea! How about just make sizes that fit the average American women, too — and stop having this incessant need to label our asses. I know that a size 16 is a size 16 without the help of a website calling it “plus sized.” I’m just a genius like that. And most women I know are able to read a number without having that number live in a special section of the store.
Here’s another million dollar idea; use models that actually fit into those sizes and hang them on your walls, too! Right next to the thin ones! They won’t bite or chase the other models away. They can actually share the same photo frame. Express, Banana Republic, and The Gap have sizes up to 14, 16, and XXL. Have you ever seen a woman who fits into those sizes on their walls?
“It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America… But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them,” wrote Project Runway’s Tim Gunn in an amazing op-ed last year. “Have you shopped retail for size 14-plus clothing? Based on my experience shopping with plus-size women, it’s a horribly insulting and demoralizing experience,” he wrote.
Why yes, Tim Gunn, I have. And you are correct. The incessant need stores have to label my ass is a little obvious. I could find my clothes if they weren’t under a giant sign that read, WOMENS PLUS. Really. All I need is the number on the tag.
Look at that sign. Oh my god, thank you! I never would have been able to find my size had it not been under this giant sign alerting everyone to the fact that my ass is big. You don’t find small sizes like zero and two under a sign that reads, “Really Thin Women.”
Express goes up to a size 14, but there is not a model near that size modeling clothes on their website. Banana Republic has up to a size 16, but you won’t see anyone that size modeling their clothes on the website, either. H&M carries “plus size” clothing, but their “special collections” only go up to a size 12. GAP has sizes up to an XXL, but I searched and searched their site for a model who is actually that size modeling the clothes, and no luck. What gives? Does the average American woman not fit into your brand? And if so, why the hell not?
Either stores don’t make sizes for us, or when they do, the refuse to allow us representation in their ads. Why? Target Australia had an amazing swimsuit ad last year:
Oh, look! All types of bodies — in one ad. Here’s another million dollar idea — just hang all of those different sizes on the same rack. How hard would that be?
“This is now the shape of women in this nation, and designers need to wrap their minds around it,” Gunn wrote.
Thank you. We are begging you to take our money, mainstream designers. Feature our sizes prominently in your stores and give us some representation — please.
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