Friday, June 24, 2016

No! ... Just No!!!

I am beyond angry...

Granted there are plenty of things on Facebook that tick me off every day, and usually I can take a deep breath and scroll past them, or click the little "hide" button and move on.

But today is not that day.  Maybe I just have too much time on my hands while my BFF is away on vacation. Maybe social media anger has just been building up and this is the last straw.  Whatever it is, I'm at the point of wanting to reach through my screen and shake someone until their ears bleed.

Yeah, I'm still a Christian... we're allowed to be angry if it's righteous indignation, and I think this qualifies.

What is ticking me off, you ask?  What could possibly be so horrific as to cause sweet, fun loving, me to finally flip her lid?

Calvin Klein just announced they have a new "Plus-sized" model.

Meet Myla Delbasio:    She's a size 10  

To be clear, I'm not angry at Ms. Delbasio.  She's beautiful and clearly deserves the job. I have no beef to pick with her and I'm excited that she landed a high profile job in her chosen career.  I'm even happy that she's advocating change in the modeling industry.  

I'm pissed at Calvin Klein (and any other company) that hires a woman who fits in their normal sized clothes, and calls them plus-sized. It's such an obnoxious double standard, and marketing folks should be ashamed.

According to Cosmopolitan, "In the fashion industry, 'plus size' is a term for models who are size 8 and up."

Why can the fashion industry call their models plus size when their clothing sizes are not. Most stores stock clothing in sizes up to a 16 regular. A few stores, like New York & Co, might go as high as an 18, but typically these clothes aren't really designed for the curves of a heavyset woman.  Plus size clothing typically starts at a 14W and goes upward.    Calvin Klein doesn't sell clothes larger than a size 16 regular. Their famous jeans only fit women up to a 32x32, a size I couldn't fit after the age of 20.

Here is a picture of me at size 14. This was the smallest size I've reached since I turned 20, and I was only able to maintain it for about 6 months, despite insane levels of food control. I'm not kidding. I wasn't allowed to eat raisins or peas or other perfectly healthy foods because I was trying to be thinner than my DNA allowed.

If plus size is a size 8 and up, why do I have to pay extra for my plus size clothes? Typically internet merchants start up charging for sizes larger than an XL or size 14 reg.  The up charge can be as low as $2, but regardless, why should I have to pay extra for a tiny bit of extra fabric.

I understand clothing construction, and the amount of fabric difference between a 16 reg and a 16 plus is not enough to warrant even a $2 up charge.  If it was, there would be a $2 price difference for every size.  The plain fact is, merchants charge more for women who are above average because they know we have no choice in the matter.  

Yes, the national average is size 16.  So merchants know that roughly half the adult female population won't fit in the "standard" size category.  It's just plain business sense to make them pay an extra $2 for every piece of clothing they purchase.

Not only is it frustrating to me and the rest of my above average size female friends, it sends a terrible message to girls everywhere.  They already learn at a very early age that fat is a bad word.  They already feel self conscious and awkward when they enter puberty.  The last thing they need is to flip through a magazine or come across an ad on the internet touting someone who is their size as "plus size."  

Shame on you Calvin Klein.  In a perfect free market system, my sisterhood of body positivity would boycott your butts to bankruptcy along with any other clothing designers who dared to call a below average size model "plus-size."  The reality is that the modeling industry should start calling anyone below a size 10 "minus size" anyone from a 12-18 "average size" and anyone over 18 "plus size."

And just to be clear, I'm not in the slightest saying that smaller women are somehow "less".  I don't advocate the ridiculous beauty war being waged amongst women.  Some of us are bigger than others, some of us have larger breasts, or a larger bust, or thighs thin enough to leave a space between them when standing.  We are different, period, but we still deserve to be treated with respect no matter how our DNA decides what our adult shape should be, and marketing companies need to stop pitting us against each other by blurring terms.

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