Representation In the Fashion Industry

Societal standards have placed unreal expectations for what bodies “should” look like. The truth is, we aren’t all thin with hourglass figures. Many of us have curves, cellulite, thick thighs, rolls. Plus-size women with these “imperfections” make up more than half of shoppers yet we’re only a small percentage of those who actually work in the fashion industry. 

There is an unforeseen labor when women above a size 12 go shopping. We can’t just walk into the store, see something we like and purchase it knowing it will look amazing. Most of the time, stores don’t carry sizes above a certain number so most shopping must be done online. Then, there’s always the scare that they won’t fit and will need to be sent back. If the store does carry our size, we have to try it on to ensure it fits right. The fashion industry allowed plus-size women to think that it’s easier for skinny people to be fashionable, and in most cases it’s true. 

Change is coming. More and more companies are joining the body positivity movement and including more body types among their models. An online retailer, Nasty Gal, and stores TopShop and Express recently announced the launch of their first extended size collection ranging from sizes 0-18. Although this is an improvement, it hardly includes all sizes. Sizing goes beyond 18. 

Other companies like Arie have made inspiring videos about body positivity featuring women with skin imperfections, cellulite, and those of bigger sizes but plus-size women have yet to be featured along with them. Target goes as far as including plus-size clothing with their “regular” merchandise (with the exclusion of one brand) instead of separating the sections. Even plus-size mannequins are next to the smaller-size mannequins. Other companies should share this same approach and do more. Instead of investing money on creating separate sections for certain sizes, the money should be put into making products that could look good on any body.

Still, more plus-size women should be represented —  not just as models but on staff, as well. Who better to understand how a plus-size woman feels than someone who is plus-size herself? But change nonetheless is occurring. Companies are making steps towards the right direction, but it’s not enough. Let’s instead make it possible for every body type to have the same shopping experience, see all bodies represented on television and magazines. It’s time for plus-size women to feel included and not dread shopping for a new outfit. It’s time for young girls to admire real women.

Fan C Designs is already committed to this goal with our line of plus-sized wedding dresses modeled by beautiful plus-sized models. Check out our collection today for more information.

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