What is size inclusivity? Lots of brands are talking about how inclusive and diverse they are, but are they really? Are you “woke” for carrying up to a size 3X? Let’s talk about it.
As I was looking for a dress to wear in my graduation pictures, I found myself going through quite a few different websites in order to find something. Shopping is hard enough when you’re plus size but even harder when you have a very specific image in mind. When my go-to stores didn’t have what I was looking for, I decided to try somewhere new.
As I was shopping, I found a dress I loved so I scrolled down to see what sizes were available. Instead of the typical “1X”, “2X”, etc., the sizes that were offered were “X”, “A”, “B” and “C”. Obviously confused, I clicked on the size guide. “X” stands for “Xquisite” and is equal to an XL, “A” stands for “Amazing” and is equal to a 1X, “B” stands for “Beautiful” and is equal to a size 2X and “C” stands for “Captivating” and is equal to a size 3X.
If this was consistent in the branding across both straight sizes and plus sizes, that would be one thing. However, their straight sizes are just called XS, S, M and L. By providing this strange type of sizing for only the plus-size pieces, it comes off fatphobic. As if fat and plus-size women are just so insecure that the thought of us having a garment in our wardrobe would be devastating. I can see what the intention was, but it absolutely is not doing what it intended to.
Additionally, many stores that claim to be “diverse” and “inclusive” just aren’t. Carrying up to a size 2X or 3X isn’t enough. A friend recently took to her Instagram stories to talk about how she went into one of these stores to grab a few pairs of panties and there wasn’t a single pair in a size XL in the entire store. If it’s this hard for someone of that size to find something, imagine how hard it is for someone who is a 5X.
Even I’m guilty of praising said brands for offering larger sizes because that meant I could shop there. However, as I am growing and learning more about my own internalized fatphobia, I have realized that I was just contributing to the issue.
Even when I worked at a plus-size clothing store, we often did not stock much in anything above a size 3X, despite the fact we carried up to a 6X. If someone came in looking for a larger size, we would often just have to offer to order it online and have it shipped to the store for them.
While I am plus-sized, I have realized recently the insane amount of privilege I have by wearing a “smaller” size in the plus-size range. I’ve had my share of experiences going into a straight-size store and not being able to find anything. But being plus size and going into a store that is supposed to be made for you and still not being able to find your size is something I can’t imagine. It’s already hard enough to make it in this world as a fat woman and the fashion industry just makes it worse.
Dear fashion industry, your fatphobia is showing. Please do better.
Sincerely, plus size women everywhere