What is plus size? This beautiful word which portrays positivity came into being by the company Lane Bryant and since then it’s being used in the fashion industry. It began in 1904, when a woman during her maternity asked for something which she could be comfortable in and also that looks good to the eyes of the onlookers. Pregnancy is such a beautiful phenomenon, but the term ‘plus size’ is hated by the people around the world, rather it should be cherished not necessarily because obesity is attached to it, but because it’s no minus, it’s plus. After all, perspectives matter.
Generally, an average woman is a medium/large/extra large. In India, we see women who are curvy nailing ‘sarees’ to no bounds. People might look fat, doesn’t mean they aren’t fit or not normal. In the daily life, people generally forget this term, but also remember it because fashion industry failed to accept the term plus in the way it should have been termed, but we see a change in the market. There are a lot of people who are plus sized or curvaceous who like spending on clothing and accessories. So, the market has to be aggressive when there’s demand.
In India, there’s obviously no shortage of clothes, and we see many brands giving away sizes up-to XXXL in kurtas, tops, etc. There’s a company called ‘aLL‘ which we see outlets of in malls, and they have sizes above 14. As followed by handful of designers who are taking baby-steps making body-positive into mainstream. But yet plus-size is still struggling to find it’s footing in India. You can always get astonished by the fact that more than 60% of the country have been since ignored into fashion just because of some rigidly set-up rules and regulations; just like we use to believe dusky and dark-skinned cannot be considered beautiful.They’re just like you and me, just because they love food or are obese because of some other reasons doesn’t mean they can’t sport vibrant colors, crazy prints, short clothes, etc.
Globally, fat women and plus-size are leading the body positive and fat acceptance. Various fashion designers including Ashley Nell Tipton and Christian Siriano, Eloquii and Torrid have introduced a line for the body positive, while we also saw many fashion shows and magazines supporting the cause but on the other hand America including other markets claimed to lose a $9 billion plus retailers just because brands like Lululemon and others don’t want to give away to their image to the people who are fat. Other brands like Universal Standard, Rebdolls, ModCloth, Addition Elle, etc don’t neglect the women who are above size 22. The word Plus Size has been taken over by the word ‘Curvy’ in Internet. In India, around 46 million people are overweight and here online shopping also has increased. So, it’s said that people who are plus sized, like shopping online. Brands like Jibri, Zelie for She, Society Plus, NYC’s Smart Glamour even custom makes routine wear items in sizes XXS to 6X, they consider everyone, that’s how a brand should be. When there’s demand there has to be a supply.
Fashion industry didn’t teach the people how to look at an overweight body, but now things are changing. We see models who are plus sized, nailing the ramps. Magazines have to showcase people who are curvy so that common mass can relate to it. Showing obesity completely in the poor light can be demotivating, being fit is one thing, and accepting fat is other. People can be shown a way of life to lead, but they shouldn’t be drained on their sizes, body shaming in highly unacceptable. Many social media users backlash such terms and come forward for the people who want a change.
Every shape is beautiful. It’s just the mind that needs to understand it. And when fashion industry does that, it helps to change a lot of people’s perspective who body shame others and think it’s cool.