One of my least favorite hobbies, believe it or not, is shopping. This may sound strange, seeing as 'all girls love shopping', but shopping is probably one of the most stressful things for me. As someone labeled as a 'Plus Size Girl', shopping can somewhat be a chore rather than a fun activity. When going shopping with my girlfriends who range from size 2-14, shopping for them is fairly easy. They walk into any store, and clothes options are infinite for them.
Fast forward to me looking at clothes, and the options are very limited. I look through the clothes in stores including Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, etc and find very very few clothes that are in my size range. While both these stores do carry Plus Size clothing, there's something very wrong with the way they do Plus Size.
First of all, why does Plus Size need to be separated from the regular clothing? It's like they feel the need to be 'size inclusive' and that sticking a few racks with bigger in the back corner does exactly that. Not only that but as a Plus Size Girl, I have a much different body type than someone who is a size 4. Therefore, making clothing that exposes our stomachs and tight around all the wrong areas, does not make you 'size inclusive'.
Taking clothes that are made to be an 'S' and making them an 'XL' does not work.
While there are clothing stores that are solely plus size such as Torrid and Lane Bryant, those stores are expensive beyond belief. A shirt on sale can cost $40. I purchased a bathing suit there, full price, that cost me over $100 just so I could be confident about going to the beach in a bathing suit. I love the stores listed above, I love the idea of stores that are just for us Plus Size Girls. What I don't love is having to watch my friends awkwardly stare at clothing that is way beyond their size range when we go shopping, and awkwardly follow them around American Eagle and Aerie knowing everyone in that store is wondering why I would even set foot in a store there was no reason for me to be in.
I'm not trying to complain or put these companies to shame, I'm just frustrated with the way society views size.
Did you know the average size for a woman is between size 16 and 18? These sizes are standard for women but most Plus Size sections START at size 16. Going onto a Hollister website, I looked at the size range of a pair of Boyfriend Jeans. The sizes ranged from size 00 to 15. The whole store doesn't even care about the average clothing size of a woman. How does this make any type of sense? These stores are willing to accommodate someone who is tiny enough to fit into a 00 but can't accommodate the average clothing size for a woman.
If the average size girl feels self-conscious walking into these stores, how would someone who wears clothing put in a specific section in stores feel? Very poorly about their self-image and feel hesitant to even walk into these stores. So next time you ask your Plus Size friend to hit the mall, and she makes up some excuse about being broke or being too tired, remember everything I laid out in this article about how Plus Size Girls are made to feel.