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.