Be Fully You

Should The “Plus Size” Label Be Retired?

Should The “Plus Size” Label Be Retired?

Using the term “plus size” to describe fashion, or women, is fraught with controversy. Some women don’t mind the label and think it’s just a fashion term that denotes a particular type of clothing. Other women embrace it and are turning it into a body positive label. But for a lot of women the term “plus size” has an extremely negative connotation and they avoid using it or being associated with it. Some women go so far as to refuse to shop in the few stores that focus on plus size clothing because of the negative connotations of the term.

There is a perception in the general public that “plus size” is not as good as “straight size” or the usual tiny range of fashion sizes that can be found in nearly every clothing store and on every runway. “Plus size” has become synonymous with “unattractive” in the minds of many consumers so of course women try to avoid it. And it also can have a damaging effect on a woman’s self-esteem, not to mention making it really difficult to find great looking clothes that fit. But estimates now say that as many as 70% of American women wear a “plus size”, which is usually a size 12 and larger. If 70% of women are size 12 or larger shouldn’t “plus size” be considered the standard for fashion?

Another argument in favor of abolishing the term is that giving a clothing line a label as a “plus size” label immediately means that it will cost more than similar clothing that is made in smaller sizes. This “fat tax” has been imposed on plus-size women ever since plus-size clothing became commercially available. The same clothing design made in the same material but made in a larger size instead of a straight size usually costs more. Just in the last year a British clothing store was found to be charging plus size customers up to 30% more for clothing items above a size 16. While some people make the argument that women who wear bigger clothes should pay more because of the cost of extra fabric critics of the “fat tax” and rational human being who can do math hit back to that saying that the tax is only applied to women’s clothing. Men don’t usually pay more for bigger clothing, and people that wear smaller clothing don’t get discounts because their clothing uses less fabric. The price increase only applies to women that wear larger sizes and because of that it’s discriminatory.

The majority of women who fall under the “plus size” umbrella think that the term should be gotten rid of. It has such a negative image that women in general shy away from using it. Haven’t we evolved far enough as a society to acknowledge that women come in all shapes and sizes and that all of those shapes and sizes are equally valid? Can’t we just call women’s clothing “clothes” without denoting a size?  Some retailers are starting to do just that by offering clothing in a range of sizes that includes larger sizes without any additional cost and without labeling the clothes “plus size”. Some retailers even allow women to pick a design that they like and customize it to fit their unique body with custom necklines, sleeves, hemlines, and other alterations without increasing the cost of the garment.

Regardless of what side of this issue you’re on there’s not doubt that there are a lot of feelings and emotions tied to this debate, which is one reason why people get very emotionally invested in the topic. Some women feel that reclaiming the “plus size” label is a way to reduce the stigma of “plus size” and make it a more inclusive term. But other women think it’s demeaning and designed to make women feel bad about themselves. It certainly seems like it’s time to get rid of this outdated label and move forward with a new more inclusive fashion world that embraces the idea that all women deserve to look their best and express their unique personalities with the clothes that they choose. But until that happens women can help boost each other up and celebrate their bodies by embracing the “plus size” label and spreading body positivity on social media and in society so that plus size women continue to grow their sphere of influence in the fashion world.

What do you think of the term “plus size”? Do you embrace it, or do you want it gone? Connect with us on social media and tell us what you think.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.