The Daily Struggle: Shopping
Today’s daily struggle is one that I, and other plus size women like me, have been dealing with for quite some time. I went shopping the other day, and it is as if plus-size or curvy styles, sections, and even mannequins are hidden from plain sight. It feels to me like visibility for the plus-size consumer is still pushed aside and not mainstream. There are a lot of women out there that are a size 14 and up.
I went into a popular store the other day, and the plus-size section was literally in the farthest back corner and had maybe 1/8th of what the “regular” women’s section had. Babies had more options than us. I’m sorry, but I am pretty sure a plus-size woman is going to come into that store and shop around more than a baby. It just goes to show that the movement of making plus-size more mainstream is still a big hill to climb. Sure, some companies have started to implement plus-size mannequins and offer more styles to these types of women, but it is still a very slow process.
It makes me as a plus-size individual feel as though I don’t deserve some of the things that other women deserve. Why can’t I have a huge section of shirts, pants, and dresses? Why do I have to buy most of my clothes online? Why do I have to use my imagination to visualize what something may look like on my body type because the mannequin wearing plus-size clothes is actually a size 4? I can ask all the questions I want, it is not going to change until we put in the work of making ourselves more visible.
There are so many movements going on right now to bring the plus-size community to the forefront. One of the most powerful movements is the body-positive or “bopo” movement that is helping plus-size women to love their bodies and invoke confidence in themselves. Body positivity is helping the plus-size community in its efforts to normalize it. The average size for a woman in the US is a size 14, yet that market is so underserved.
Some people have a really rough time with seeing plus-size individuals on billboards, on magazine covers, and in runway shows. They like to fat shame us and force us out of the spotlight. I hate to break it to these people, but the plus-size community will no longer allow themselves to be backed into a corner. The definitions and standards of beauty are constantly changing. There is more to beauty than the size of your jeans. Loving your body, no matter the size is the biggest form of self-care a person can give to themselves.
We as plus-size women cannot run and hide. We are being seen and being heard. Eventually, the plus-size and body acceptance movement will resonate with the world more than it does now. Look at how far we have come. We may not see ourselves represented in name brand stores, or our size represented as a mannequin, but slowly those things are happening.
The daily struggle of being a plus-size individual is always feeling as though you must minimize yourself and your worth. It is a constant feeling that overcomes us sometimes. The negativity we feel towards our bodies is real, however, we must not run from those emotions. It is okay to feel this way, but we need to be able to look ourselves in the mirror and not be ashamed of who we are. We must fight for our visibility. So, wear that two-piece girl! Show off your stretch marks in that crop top! Do not minimize your style or worth. You are beautiful. I am beautiful. We are all beautiful. Let’s continue the fight of redefining the standards of beauty.