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What is ‘Mid-size’ and How Has it Affected the Body Positive Movement?

For those of you who don’t know, the term ‘mid-size’ has become widely popular on social media over the past few years. The term specifically refers to individuals who are not considered ‘petite’ or ‘plus-size’. Many people don’t fall into those two categories, so mid-size was created to address the individuals that were in-between sizes. To be considered mid-sized, one would fall between a size 10 to size 16.

The body-positive movement emerged in 2012, which focused on challenging society’s unrealistic beauty standards. The only bodies that were being represented within this movement at that time were plus-sized women. Over the years, the movement gained public acknowledgment and has started normalizing body types such as plus-sized and petite. Yet, early on, there was little representation of mid-size women.

One important person to note is Anushka Moore, who coined the term for individuals that felt they didn’t fit the petite or plus-sized categories in fashion. Anushka believed that women of these in-between sizes weren’t being well represented in the media and started an Instagram account (@midsizecollective) to exemplify mid-size fashion and present women of various sizes. The term ‘mid-size’ has altered the body positive movement in three important ways.

1. Allows Recognition 

The use of the term allows there to be discussion and recognition of not only the two standardized body shapes, but it helps elaborate on the fact that there is more than just plus-size or petite. It is truly challenging the idea of what the ‘ideal body’ should look like because all bodies are ideal. For this reason, the mid-size movement is encouraging women of all sizes to normalize their bodies and express who they are.

2. It is Changing the Industry

The mid-size movement has heavily altered not only the fashion industry but the entertainment industry as well. When mid-size women started speaking out, the fashion industry began to create more mid-size friendly clothes, which continued to creating clothes that are aimed to fit women of all body shapes. Fashion brands such as Aerie and ASOS are two of the well-known body-positive brands that have been embracing and advertising all body types. For the entertainment industry, there are celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Mindy Kaling that speak out about body positivity.

3. Support for Newer Generations

Not only has the mid-size movement created this recognition, but it also allows support for newer generations. As this movement continues to grow, there will be less of a struggle for individuals to identify their bodies and find fashion that corresponds to their body shape. With many new influencers, future generations will grow up feeling supported within this community.

The mid-size movement enabled more women to celebrate their bodies and create a community for women who had once felt that they didn’t ‘fit’ into a category. The movement accomplished recognition for all shapes and sizes, as well as improving the fashion industry in terms of gaining awareness of the various body types. The body-positive movement will only thrive from here by normalizing all body types as an ideal body- because all bodies are beautiful just the way they are.

Ashley Ethier

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Ashley is a third year double major in Sociology and English at Wilfrid Laurier University. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking her dogs and enjoying the simpler things in life.
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