Let Us Wear Less
Written by: Madison Alexander
Dear Fashion Industry,
Around the country, plus size women are browsing clothing sites looking for the perfect crop top and bikini to soak up the sun during their upcoming summer breaks. Maybe they’ll find a dress like Paris Hilton’s iconic silver, chain link 21st birthday party dress to dance their night away in, or a pair of shorts that seem to be missing a few inches. More than likely, they’ll continue to drag the bar down further and further, only to find sweaters and loose shirts, with the occasional scandalous skirt thrown in. We’re begging you. We don’t want another sweater, we want hoe clothes.
In a world and fashion industry where plus size women are always being told to “cover up” and “put on some clothes,” it’s hard to shop for clothes and to ignore the small voice in the back of your head. Even after the little voice has been thrown out and told to never come back, it can be hard to dress how you want because of one reason, the clothes aren’t there. For every miniskirt or crop top, an army of thick, cable knit sweaters stands in front with arms crossed and a line of warning tape.
Even the provocative or risqué clothes seem to have been designed with the intention of covering as much skin as possible. Shirts are looser, dresses are longer, and dreams are squashed under the heel of fat-shaming clothes. When supply is low, many women will stay dressed in clothes that hide their curves, rather than emphasize and celebrate them.
In an interview with Kylie Masters, a future beautician/cosmetologist studying at Paul Mitchell the School Grand Rapids, she expressed her feelings on numerous concerns that she shares with other plus size women.
“I never find clothing that I find to be cute for me to dress sexy and feel confident,” Kylie Masters said.
Like many plus size women, Masters wants the simplest of clothing. She dreams of the day when she’ll find the perfect lace bodysuit to flaunt her curves. “We need to be way more inclusive of that, of the different body shapes, not just sizes.”
For women of all shapes and sizes, the internet’s body positive movement has been revolutionary for body acceptance. Tess Holliday, a size 22 model, has graced covers of best selling magazines such as Cosmopolitan UK, SELF, and People. Lizzo has strutted up and down stages across the world, celebrating her fatness and belting out lyrics of self-empowerment. Barbie Ferreira, when not acting as Euphoria’s Kat Hernandez, she is advocating for body positivity for all shapes and sizes. Other than being pioneers and strong models for the body positivity movement, they all are just as unafraid to flaunt their curves in thong dresses, bikinis, and fishnet tights.
Seeing these full-body ladies strut across their platforms, plus size women around the world will want to do the same. They’ll get the inspiration to shed their sweater safety blankets, to replace it with tight, crop tank tops with “Baby” embroidered across the chest. We need to let them. Society needs to let us women wear whatever, and however much, they want.
“Seeing more plus sized women like Ashley Graham… has really made me feel more positive towards myself.” Kylie Masters said. “I see women on Instagram with stretch marks and full figures and I can’t help but look up to them because they are beautiful. [The movement] Put me in a much better mindset than before.”
Not only does society need to let go of their control of bodies, you, the fashion industry, do too. By flooding the plus size clothing section with clothes my grandmother thinks are “very cute and ladylike,” big women are left wandering and desperately scavenging thrift shops and online boutiques for the party outfit.
If you don’t do it for us, do it for yourselves. If you're the only one in the mall with lace up skirts and shirts short enough to make my grandmother gasp, you’ll have more business than you know what to do with. We’ll give you our money, but only if it means you’ll give us freedom and choice in our closets.
So please, think about us, the women with big bodies and enough confidence to fill size 26 jeans. Be on our side, and I promise, you won’t regret it. Big girls will someday rise up and march down the streets. Thick thighs shaking with each step and cellulite out for everyone to see. Don’t be the person they’re coming for.
Plus size women who don’t give a fuck