The answer is in the piece you fool

If the average woman is ‘plus-sized’, why doesn’t our fashion reflect that?
Erika Nicole Kendall

Interesting question. Perhaps because fashion is not about clothing but something more complex?

America’s streets are full of what the fashion industry labels “plus-sized women” – far more than we previously thought. Thanks to a new study, we now know that the average woman is around a size 20. Not, as previously believed, a size 14. That means that the disconnect between the clothes in store windows and the bodies of women walking past them is greater than we had ever assumed.

Despite this, major fashion brands still refuse to accept the bodies of their customers. The only fashion brands that want to acknowledge the size of the newly minted “average woman” are plus-size brands, which are marginalized in the market, as if they catered to a fringe and not, in fact, everyday Americans.

Designers still opt to create artificial cut-off points in their line, sizes beyond which they refuse to accommodate. That’s because they know that size, much like a specific brand, is aspirational. It plays on the insecurity of the audience to present an ultra-thin model wearing a high-end brand. It’s not enough for the audience to say, “Wow, that looks incredible on her.” It is intended to make the audience say, “I want to be her.”

Ah, yes, fashion isn’t about clothing it’s about something more complex than that.

So, you already know the answer, so why the fuck are you asking?

The fashion industry is ignoring the needs of the average woman because they’ve operated, for far too long, on the assumption that the average woman didn’t want to be average – she wanted to be a remarkable catwalk-ing beauty.

What they didn’t expect was the number of brands who would swoop in and show the everyday woman that her average body is beautiful, even if only a different kind. Her average body is and can be remarkable. And, if the fashion industry can’t figure that out, they’ll be left in the dust.

And isn’t it just lovely how the free market and competition solves the problem anyway?

At which point the thing that really gripes my goat about so much of this “feminist” journalism shit. This isn’t to inform, it’s not to analyse, it’s simply to elicit the response “The Bastards!” before everyone goes back to handing out the pumpkin spiced muffins and agreeing what shits men and capitalists are. It’s providing a point of vehement agreement for a kaffeeklatsch, no more.

30 thoughts on “The answer is in the piece you fool”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    The fashion industry is doing its best to fight the obesity epidemic, and they get slagged off for their efforts. There’s no justice.

  2. “…the thing that really gripes my goat about so much of this “feminist” journalism shit. This isn’t to inform, it’s not to analyse, it’s simply to elicit the response “The Bastards!”…”

    Spot on!

  3. What they didn’t expect was the number of brands who would swoop in and show the everyday woman that her average body is beautiful, even if only a different kind. Her average body is and can be remarkable.

    Erm, no. The people who own the brands don’t want to show you’re beautiful, any more than the guy who made those eight pizzas you troughed last night. They just want to make money by selling you clothes you have a chance of fitting into.

  4. From my limited excursions into the high street end of the so-called fashion industry, size 6 and 8 are a lot less catered for than sizes 14 and 16.

  5. If the average woman is ‘plus-sized’, why doesn’t our fashion reflect that?
    Erika Nicole Kendall

    Translation: I’ve put on weight and the dresses I bought last season make me look like a bag of melons.

  6. It’s also that fashion is largely a young woman’s game. You’ve got money in your pocket and need to attract men, and to some extent, you’re a bit silly in terms of how much you’ll spend on stuff.

    You get yourself a husband, you don’t have the money to spend in Hobbs and it’s not that important now. You start shopping in M&S.

    Look, why don’t these people who complain about “the industry” just fucking clean up? I’d love to spot a gap as big as “fat birds want nice expensive clothes”. If true, that would be worth hundreds of millions.

  7. “With that desire comes the desperation of drastic weight loss efforts, starvation tactics, rumors of torturous workout regimens from renowned models, and the embarrassing stories of those who try to emulate them to no avail. Because the healthy path toward weight loss isn’t sexy or doesn’t result in “10 pounds lost in 7 days”, it’s never the path chosen. As a result, we so rarely see successful permanent weight loss.”

    Being a fatty just isn’t your fault, is it? It’s everyone else’s.

    Sorry, but the people I know that commit to lose weight did it. Cut out the crap, do 2-3 trips to the gym a week. Everyone I know that made that time in their week lost weight.

  8. The fashion industry has responded to the increasing girth of their customers, male as well as female, by lying about sizes. A pair of 32″ waist trousers that I bought in 1985 and that, because I don’t like them much but they cost a lot, are still hanging in my wardrobe, are some 3 to 4″ less in waist-circumference than a modern pair of trousers of ostensibly the same size. Moreover this flattery of the customer varies from brand to brand, so that it is necessary to try every sodding pair on before you buy them.

    Another black mark against all these fat bastards out there! Not only do they look hideous and cost (thanks to state-run healthcare) us money, but the blubber renders some 60% of women completely unfanciable. Moreover they take up too much room on public transport – worst of all on planes, where they are also prone to block the emergency exits when the fuselage catches fire. They’re also responsible for the size inflation in cars, which are getting bigger and bigger, like the horrible 4x4s everyone seems to tear about in these days. A 1975 VW Golf is a good deal smaller than a fucking 2016 Polo, so gross have drivers become. I could go on, but I fear I have trespassed on your patience quite enough, so will desist from further ranting on the subject of consumerism and its loathsome sibling, obesity.

  9. As the father of two 6ft (young) teenage girls who both weigh in the 62-65kg range, around 10st, and eat like horses, it pisses me off (a bit) to hear this shit about average women being fat. My wife’s 5ft 11in and at 11st approx half a stone heavier than she was when we got married eighteen years ago, and in all cases their slimness is because they move around a bit. I had a look at the girls’ iPhone health apps the other day – built-in, not purchased – and they’re averaging 15,000 steps a day, and that’s just walking. They’ve had strangers in the street telling them that they shouldn’t diet – they don’t even know what the word means.

  10. so much of this “feminist” journalism shit. This isn’t to inform, it’s not to analyse, it’s simply to elicit the response “The Bastards!”

    Replace the word “feminist” by Guardian and this still works, though I’m not sure about the word ‘journalism’.

  11. It’s OK, Hilary will fix it when she gets in power.

    All people (no matter age,size or ethic origin, perceived or otherwise) will wear grey/green/blue pants suits.

    Everybody will be issued with and be expected to memorise her book of little thoughts.

  12. And, if the fashion industry can’t figure that out, they’ll be left in the dust.

    I suspect that the fashion industry knows what it’s about and knows how to differentiate itself from the yurt industry.

  13. If the average size is so high and some brands do cater for that size then those brands will be rolling in it. Making money hand over fist.
    Unless of course the other brands have got it right for their market and tthere isn’t quite the demand the writer thinks there is?
    Will a size 20 plus woman buy branded items? Yes. Will she wear them? Yes. Will she spend a fortune buying them? Maybe not.
    Excluding older big women I’d say in the UK from what I’ve seen that size 12 – 14 really is pretty average.
    Used to know a girl with bit tits, she was about as slim as anyone but she had to buy size 12 tops in order to accommodate her best feature. Not fat in any way, just great body and healthy metabolism.

  14. The author appears to be an American, and she’s also behind “A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss”. Obesity over there is in a different league to obesity in the UK.

  15. Thanks to a new study, we now know that the average woman is around a size 20.

    Bloody Fucking Hell.

    They have more weighty concerns than what colour of muumuu to wear – such as whether firemen will be able to cut their massive bodies out of their homes in time to stop the cats eating them after they die of a Pringles-induced infarction.

  16. The author appears to be an American, and she’s also behind “A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss”. Obesity over there is in a different league to obesity in the UK.

    Especially among her target readership.

  17. “American size 20 is UK size 16, I think.”

    Yeah, but what’s that in real money, stones and inches? I have *NO* conception of what all these “size” numbers mean.

  18. AndrewM:“Obesity over there is in a different league to obesity in the UK.”

    But as with mentally-challenged university graduates, drive bys and gang culture, we’re fast catching up…

  19. @jgh

    ‘Yeah, but what’s that in real money, stones and inches? I have *NO* conception of what all these “size” numbers mean.’

    Assuming you’re a cishet male, 12 you would and 14 you would if the extra lard is correctly distributed. 10 is thin, 16 is fat and beyond those extremes the matter only worsens. There are weird outliers – tiny 10s with giant norks whose blouses are always gaping open – but broadly if you follow the above you won’t go far wrong.

    If you’re female, sorry.

  20. I heard a story once of someone in New York went to the airport to pick up a friend from Norway visiting the U.S. for the first time. The Norwegian just couldn’t get over Americans being normal sized.

  21. “gripes my goat”??? I’m fascinated. How exactly does one gripe a goat? What does a griped goat look like? Should we instigate university student-style trigger warnings before any instances of gratuitous goat-griping occur (no doubt more likely here because Tim is a fully paid-up member of the white cisgender goat griping patriaaaarchy)?

  22. I’ve always loved the phrase “grips my shit”. Dunno why but. And writing elsewhere I can’t use that. Thus the neologism. Not great but I like it….

  23. Having seen more than a few of the United States’ chubbier denizens, I don’t think a plus sign quite captures it. Knuth up-arrow notation, maybe.

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