Friday, 3 November 2017

Politics of the Plus Size Industry


Today were are a having a serious discussion! 

This is just my own personal opinion of what I have seen of the industry thus far and feedback for respective companies. This is not an attack on anyone or any retailer it's just a discourse addressing the elephant in the room. Now let us begin.

Size

One serious issue I have with the Plus size community is the blatant push towards size 16/14 being the "acceptable" type of plus size than the 20-30. Now I'm not targeting anyone of that size is just simply pointing out a few things I have noticed especially on  Twitter.

Exhibit A



To explain the beautiful ThickLeeYonce was strutting her stuff on the South Africa Fashion Week catwalk and the response was quite sad and very disappointing.



 People were comparing her to an animal and taking into their hands the conception of what plus sized should be. So as you can see from the tweet this user has decided to confine a group that is accessible to all women who are size 12/14+ to one size. I think that people don't understand that women come in different shapes and sizes, not all women are the same. 

Especially as Black Women, it is damaging to our community to enforce a certain body shape upon each other. Specifically, with the big breast and buttocks, this body type fulfills a certain stereotype of hypersexualization of Black Women.

 Now, I'm not saying people with this body type are ultimately sexualized and is making other black women fulfill a certain stereotype. I'm saying that as the Black Community, we enforce this body type on other women who don't have bodies like that. Being a size 20+ is only good when you have a flat stomach and thick thighs and big buttocks when that is not the case. We cannot our notion of what plus size is upon another person especially the enforcer is not of the plus size community. 

Visibility & Diversity

It's quite sad when retailers who make a profit from consumers who are plus-sized but fail to make them visible within their marketing. Misguided and Boohoo recently released their marketing adverts, Boohoo's campaign being called #allgirls but we do not see visible plus size women or women of color even Aaliyah Marie Bee who was part of the social campaign on Instagram wasn't included in the advert. 

This was the advert for the #AllGirls campaign:



It's quite sad for me because Boohoo is like my Holy Grail brand. I do shop at Boohoo and their sizes go up to size 28. Personally, it doesn't have to be an aggressive thing. I do feel that we can give feedback to brands for them to change. After the feedback on social media and despite the discussions that were apparently held with Plus Size influencers, the next advert was this.


But now it's getting a bit frustrating. I'm assuming that they are coming with a new advert that's inclusive of plus size women, women of color and disabled women. Personally, I do hope that Boohoo decides to take on this feedback in a positive manner and understand that plus size women are major consumers of their items and we should be represented in a campaign that is specifically meant to be inclusive. 

With Misguided I do feel that they did a better job of being inclusive of women and men who shop from them. They included a woman of color specifically dark-skinned (no shade but curve models who are dark-skinned in the industry are practically non-existent).

"Women are told how to feel and look every...day! Now, on top of that Fat women are forced to digest information and opinions projected by society, which they are later forced to unlearn. How can I unlearn something I never digested?! See visibility of Fat bodies, equally celebrating their lives and successes is what my purpose is. So, I beg take your false health concerns & envious oppression and stick it where the sun clearly don't shine for ya...cause I slay I slay All day ...We Gon Slay We Gon Slay All day " 🌟THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SEEING MY LIGHT @missguided POWER TO YOU ALL πŸ’žπŸ’–πŸŒŸ #ewurajaja #babesofmissguided #MyGirlEnam #EnamxMissguided #Missguided #campaign #fatgirljoy #fatgirlmagic #bodypositive #art #blacknatural #afro #style #fashion #blog #plussize #plussizemodel #model #BlackGirlMagic #photography #beauty #makeup #ghanaian #African #universiodamaquiagem_oficial
A post shared by Enam Ewura Adjoa Asiama (@enamasiama) on


Conclusion
Personally, I still and probably will still shop at Boohoo but I will definitely keep my eye out because I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt here if I continue to see the same thing time after time I may consider finding another place to shop. I'm trying to imagine a video of them filming somewhere with the advert is more inclusive of the sizes and people who buy their clothes. For you guys shopping for this brand is a personal choice that you need to make. 

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