I love fashion.
Not exactly a profound statement, but for someone who looks like me, and has looked like me growing up, it’s been a hard one.
Shopping in the Women’s section of Sears during grade school wasn’t exactly my most fashionable moment. I mean, elastic waist denim slacks are elastic waist denim slacks, there’s no awesome way to spin it.
I knew what tunics and house dresses were at far too young an age.
There just weren’t very many plus size icons back then. Except, you know, Roseanne.
Junior high and high school were no better, even getting down to a size 10 or 12, the fashion options still sucked.
Everything was so tiny in the 90′s. Except flannel.
I remember going to sleep in soaking wet Express jeans, hoping that by morning, they’d be dry and not so tight.
I lost a lot of weight in college. A lot…a lot…..a lot.
I remember coming home one weekend and my dad saying, Wow, you’re really pretty. First time.
I mean, I still had boobs and hips, that was straight up genetics, but obviously, something must look better.
I was hungry, but I could shop at Abercrombie.
I was exhausted, but I could borrow my friend’s jeans.
My hair was falling out and my nails kept breaking, but I could have sex with the lights on, on purpose.
That lasted exactly one year. I gained a few pounds here and there, nothing like before, but enough to put me back in the plus size.
Size 12 was my body’s pre-kids happy place. Which sounds like an awesome place to be, except that my 20 year old brain was an asshole. Size 12 might as well of been size 40. I was back to not fitting into the things I drooled over in magazines, and not feeling as pretty as any of the pretty people wearing all the pretty, pretty things.
For years, I have felt shut out of the fashion process.
What’s that, clothing industry? You’re giving me Lane Bryant? Well, thanks! Finally a place I can buy super expensive clothes that slightly resemble the clothes everyone else on the face of the planet is wearing.
Cheaper Plus Size shops popped up here and there, and it’s nice to have a slightly more affordable option, if you feel like wading through the Tweety Bird and Boyz Drool Graphic tshirts, which I don’t. (Seriously, is there some weird algorithm you use at designer headquarters that links hot wing consumption with an increase in cliche teen dialect and cartoon character affection?)
Why should they design for curvy and plus size women? Never mind the fact that when I go to mainstream retailers like Old Navy or GAP to find cute clothes, the large sizes are long gone, leaving me with a selection of extra smalls and zeros.
There clearly isn’t a profitable market for plus size women, I mean, that’s just basic math, right?
Thankfully, they allow us to order online, because, as everyone knows, if there is anyone who needs to try on clothes, it’s not plus size women.
Wait, is this our real life Hunger Games? A way for clothing manufacturers to remind us that we’re less than, and to be thankful for the XXL bone they toss to us every shipment, leaving us to square off against some other curvy girl who needs the shirt, probably just as badly, you know, to have something cute to eat in?
And then something snapped.
It was 3am and I was wide awake, having reached the end of the internet, when a final check of my Facebook stream brought me this.
I’ve spent the last year getting to know my body, and re-learning how to dress it, and with that, returned my love of fashion.
I’ve decided I don’t want to feel shut out of the fashion industry anymore, I want to rally it.
I am a person worth designing for. You are a person worth designing for.
So, what’s wrong with a plus size body?
Not a fucking thing.
images courtesy Plus Size Model Magazine