One of the things 2020 has taught us, is that life is too short to not love who you are. This pandemic became a humbling reminder that at the end of each day sometimes the small things we sweat are not what truly makes us happy.
With fewer social occasions, working from home, big life changes for everyone, things are being put into perspective. Every day we need to be accepting of our bodies, embrace our curves, and remember size does not define who we are.
An Era Of Change
Plus size clothing used to have a stigma, but slowly retailers and designers are realizing that this market is a wise investment and shifting their perspectives. A recent study found on Statista confirmed that the average woman in the United States size is between size 14 and 16, showing plus-size is now the new average. Whether it’s Hollywood, the modeling industry, or retailers in general, many are coming to terms with the facts. This plus-sized market was estimated to be valued at 9.8 million dollars in 2019, which is a huge increase just from 2018. Attitudes are shifting in our culture of what beauty is and acknowledgment of an unrealistic standard is finally out in the open.
Next Chapter Sizing
No matter what size women fluctuate in their lifetime, the bottom line is you want clothes that make you feel more beautiful and express who you are. Especially with age, women want clothes to fit their curves and are less focused on what size the tag says. In a recent article by Glamour, it began with an excellent quote from Austin Kleon, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” The deeper meaning of that being, we are not only judged by the clothes we wear but in some ways, fashion stands for who we are as a person. It can be disheartening to women when they struggle with finding clothes that are not size-inclusive.
It isn’t just the general public that is speaking out for change, but fashion merchandisers, beauty editors, buyers, influencers, bloggers, and even models are speaking up for change and inclusion. Just in the past few years, plus-size models like Ashley Graham have become more popular and become this generation’s voice for body acceptance. Game-changer singer and activist Lizzo is a true definition of unapologetically owning her body and encouraging others to do the same.
Actor and singer Demi Levato is using her voice to openly talk about eating disorders and come to terms with her realistic size. More and more women are proving there are no rules when it comes to trends, patterns, and styles, as long as it’s you. Women don’t want separate collections in plus-size, but rather trends and style in all sizes. The New York Times noted the problem stems from both designers and manufacturing.
Deeply rooted stigmas in the fashion industry, designers ignore requests to offer certain sizes. There are manufacturing complications in progressing from size 2 to 12, but larger sizes much of the time require a separate pattern to account for different proportions, raising the production cost. Recently there have been updates to mannequins in retail, literally causing retailers to break their mold on what the beauty standard is. It’s an evolving problem that won’t change overnight, but many companies are proving solutions are available.
The Future of Plus Is Now
Many stylish women who have struggled to find fashionable clothing are rolling their sleeves up and starting their own companies to prove plus-size can be just as beautiful. Entrepreneurs are fed up with the lack of options and are doing something about it. Many entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands and launching startups with growing popularity, helping women realize beauty is not about size. From plus size tops for women to everything in between, plus size fashion is here to stay.
Life is short and is too precious to be wasted on trying to fit someone else’s mold of beauty. Accept your beautiful curves, embrace your imperfections, and know there is an army of women who are proud to say clothes should fit the woman, not the other way around. Speak up with your voice, as you do for anything that matters, and remember, you are beautiful just the way you are.
Slowly, larger retailers are realizing the value in including more plus sizes, both online and in-store, knowing it’s not only a wise financial investment but also is shown to translate into more respect from consumers as a whole. With over 68% of shoppers being plus-size, the fashion industry is being forced to realize that change is on the horizon. No matter what age, occupation, or any other demographic, women are demanding change. Let’s embrace the next chapter and accept who we are.