No room for fatties

Last week while looking for a dress at the mall I was struck by a very familiar feeling. Loneliness, sadness and disgust washed over me as I time and time again tried on clothing that didn’t fit.

After three attempts at squeezing myself into dresses claiming to be my size I walked through the mall, past a handful of stores with beautiful dresses, knowing I would not be able to fit into a single thing inside.

Deflated and frustrated for allowing myself to get to this size, I went home empty handed. There is simply no room for women like me in the world, and that pisses me off.

Our society naturally ostracizes women for being “plus-size” or “overweight.” Though significant changes have been made in terms of clothing available for chunky ladies, we have to go to entirely separate stores or sections of stores in order to find something over a size 12. These sections don’t even have the same clothing found in the “regular” parts of the store; there’s fewer selection and frumpy clothing is often the only option.

Plus-size stores like Pennington’s and Addition Elle are so ridiculously expensive that it just isn’t an option for many women.

One of the loneliest moments of my life was walking through the mall knowing nothing inside was made to fit my body. That may sound trivial to some people, but no person should be made to feel that kind of hatred for their own body. I don’t want to be the size I am, but I shouldn’t have to be miserable because of it.

With so many initiatives deploring body-shaming and encouraging self-love, it’s frustrating that this natural isolation still occurs. Though these initiatives are doing great things, society has a long way to go.

Models over a certain size are called “plus-size” models; however plus-size clothing starts at size 14 and many of these models are a size 8 or 10. I really love seeing size 8 and 10 women modeling, but it gives people unrealistic expectations of what plus-size actually looks like.

“Plus-size” shouldn’t even be a thing, but I could fill a whole page with my thoughts on that so I’ll just leave it there (just make clothing in a bunch of different sizes, why do you have to label them as “petite,” “regular” or “plus” and put them in different sections? It seems so simple).

Most women who make a living off of their endearing chubbiness (like Meghan Trainor and Mindy Kaling) aren’t even chubby, and other women (Rebel Wilson, Aidy Bryant and Melissa McCarthy) use their larger bodies as the source of their comedy. Isn’t it hilarious to see fat women dance, fall and hit on men?

Larger women are ostracized, yet at the same time are exploited for entertainment when it serves their audience.

How can you make women hate their bodies but delight in their body based comedy at the same time?

I find myself falling into the same trap as Wilson, Bryant and McCarthy: joking about my size to make myself feel better. If you can make people laugh about your extra pounds or how much you love food, maybe they won’t cast you out. Maybe they’ll make you feel loved because they’re laughing with your body, not at your body.

I’m not writing this to suggest a solution. I’m not writing this to say this is an issue that can be fixed if only stores start carrying larger sizes (though that certainly would make me a lot happier).

I’m writing this because I don’t think people understand how humiliating it can be to be what is considered a plus-size woman.

Every day I desperately try to look at my body and love what I see, but it’s a struggle when you know simply dressing that body is a challenge.

So be mindful and don’t dismiss women just because they have extra pounds. It’s a struggle and we could all use a little support, even if that means just finding a dress that fits and getting to feel beautiful.

One Comment

  1. This is a little ridiculous. Petite simply means short. I can’t help that I’m short so having that label is very good. It’s easier to find something that fits me length wise when it’s labelled this way. Same with plus size, although it could be argued I can help that I am fat. I like having seperate sections as I don’t waste my time looking for my size when it might not be there in the “regular” section. If you don’t want to be labeled plus then don’t be a plus size girl. It serves a function. Would you rather they labelled it fat?

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