I'm a fairly petite woman. I stand at 5'3" and weigh 126 pounds. I have an average sized bust, with shoulders and hips to match. Was I blessed with a curvy backside? I wish. It's hard to see women like me in ads for underwear and lingerie. The models are always 5'9" and up with skinny waists and abs peeking through. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, but I wonder just how hard it is for brands to have more diverse body types. Shorter girls, body types with rolls, cellulite, uneven breasts and tummies poking out. There's this ongoing narrative that these girls aren't beautiful, or deserving of feeling sexy in what they're wearing. Until now.
It's old news that Rihanna came out with her intimates line, Savage X Fenty. However, with Valentine's day coming up, the line has released new items for the holiday. They range from bras and panties to garter belts and corsets. The line is absolutely stunning with Valentine's Day motifs used throughout the entirety of the collection. And the amazing thing? All of her products are inclusive of plus-sized women. The models on the site range from petite, skinny models to much larger, voluptuous women. And they're all insanely beautiful. So, what's the problem?
Recently the line has been criticized for selling items in the plus-sized portion of the collection that were different than in smaller sizes. Bralettes intended for smaller busts were more strappy, while ones intended for bigger busts had more stable bra straps and slightly more coverage. Is this an issue? Yes and no. I cannot tell you how many times I've gone into a store and tried on a bralette that I thought was cute, just to be disappointed by how it fit. I have a bigger bust, which means I need support. Skimpy straps and lace? SO cute, but it's just not functional for me.
Too often, plus-sized women are given clothing that follows the same blueprint as smaller clothing sizes, and it's just not flattering. There is so much attention to detail that goes into making clothing, but the body type that is kept in mind when clothing is being made is much like the models we see plastered in the window of Victoria's Secret. So, it makes sense that the designs Savage X Fenty used were designed differently for larger women, by taking into account the different type of support their bodies need.
But, how can this be a bad thing too? By providing extra support and comfort for plus-sized women, there comes the issue of selling a different type of 'sexy.' Whereas skinnier girls whose bodies require less support are free to wear more revealing lingerie, more voluptuous women wear bras with wires, panties that cover more of the curves than maybe they want.
Fashion is tricky, and while it might seem like brands want bigger women to cover up, that's not always the case. We are at a point where society is growing to be more inclusive of all body types. More stores are beginning to carry plus sizes, and reserving more than just a corner of their stores for these bigger sizes. The Savage X Fenty lingerie line is a clear example of the expansion of sizes, regardless of how one might see the difference between the collections. The fact that the brand even offers bra sizes from 32A to 44DDD shows how brands are becoming more aware of celebrating all body types.
It's empowering to see girls like me modeling the same bras and panties I wear, and brands encouraging me to feel sexy in my skin. And that includes every stretch mark and roll.