There are plenty of you who won’t know what Loose Women is – and trust me, I wish I could keep it that way. But with comments made recently by one of the panelists, singer-songwriter Jamelia, on the UK’s afternoon women-with-opinions gossip show with regards to the “normalisation of obesity by high-street stores” I sort of feel the need to write down something.
(Yes, this is all to do with that #WeAreTheThey on Twitter and elsewhere!)
I’ve been gone for (holy cow) almost a month, because I’ve been trying to work on a blog redesign, and I’ve been trying to learn how to use video editing software so that I can start putting up semi-professional vlogs… as well as doing my college work, and just doing nothing, apparently, and, funnily, in one of the videos I’ve recorded, one of the comments I’ve made is how society as a whole has made me feel as though I’m exactly what I tell myself I am: fat, ugly and disgusting.
By saying that high street stores are normalising obesity by including plus-size clothing, it’s demonising anyone who’s got a body weight over a certain amount, or someone who wears a certain clothing size. It’s doing exactly what society, magazines, movies, TV shows and other people have been doing to me either knowingly or unknowingly for years. Making me uncomfortable in my own skin. Making me feel disgusting for being over a certain size; for being as fat as I am.
And worse than that, most high-street clothing stores still don’t carry plus sizes! New Look’s plus size section goes up to a size 26, while their normal range goes to a 24 – a whole extra size for their extended section! I found out last night that Marks & Spencer have finally extended their plus size range up to a 32, but with only 28 or 29 items in their plus sizes, and such a limited style and design, it’s not at all worth it, even for the increased quality I know you’ll get with M&S clothing.
Even high-street stores that you know stock plus-size clothing isn’t always a guarantee. H&M, for example. Their East Kilbride store doesn’t stock their plus sized range, but their Glasgow store does. People who are above a size… let’s say a size 24, where a lot of designers who design for plus-sizes have decided that fat people stop existing… so above a size 24, usually have to check beforehand, if the store they’re going to, carries their size.
This is not promoting obesity. This is demonising plus-sized women. Punishing them for something they sometimes don’t have control over. And even the stores that are plus-size exclusive charge sometimes, and often, extravagant amounts for clothes that are of no better quality, and certainly of no current fashion trend. We fat women are left behind in the fashion stakes, the lingerie stakes, clothing, shoes, underwear, tights, knee-highs, boots, jackets, bras, socks, winter wear, pyjamas…
You name it, we’re screwed over for it. There is not a fashion brand that I know who would say, “It is really cool to be fat. Eat as much as you want! Get fat! It’s awesome to be fat!” Precisely the opposite, in fact. It’s still in, to be thin. Maybe not heroin chic any more – we all know that “plus size” models are coming in to fashion, little by little – but when anything between a size 8-14 is considered plus size, you know there’s something very wrong with the world of fashion.
Now, Jamelia has “apologised” for her comments, saying that she only meant the extremes, and I’m going to quote her here:
“I didn’t make it clear that I was talking about extremes, I was talking about above size 20 and below size six, those sizes being available,” she said.
So apparently I’m not allowed to shop on the high street. I’ve to be consigned to special fat-people-only clothes stores (isn’t that what Evans used to be?) because someone else thinks that it would promote obesity?
You may be entitled to your opinion, Miss Davis, that just doesn’t mean it’s the correct one.
What do you think about Jamelia’s comments? Do you think she’s right, and that plus-size clothes should be kept to plus-size only stores, and “straight” sizes should be kept to straight-size only stores? Or are you with the #WeAreTheThey hashtaggers, and think that women – people – of all sizes are beautiful?
Me, personally? I think that there should be no plus- and straight-sizes, and that there should just be… y’know, clothes stores, that cater for everyone, no matter their size, so that we can all look as fabulous as we want?