Changing the Conversation: Part 1, Size

This week Amy Schumer started a shitstorm when she questioned her inclusion in an article in a magazine that featured plus-size fashion:

Some women were like, “Oh, hells ya!” Some women were like, “What’s wrong with being plus size?”

My take is that Schumer is built not like a plus-size woman, but like a woman, period.

I’d like to see the term “plus size” and “women” sizes go away. Also: fuller figured. I mean, if you are fuller figured, and want to embrace that, that’s cool. I just would prefer not to see it on women’s clothing.

My ridiculous body type aside — oh, see I’m doing it too!

Let me start again.

The majority of women in this country are not built like models. Period. Women have boobs, and hips, and butts, and curves. Women want to wear comfortable, flattering clothes. Sometimes we want to dress up, but we still want comfort and flattering cuts. Women, no matter their size or shape, should not have to feel embarrassed by shopping for comfortable, flattering clothes.

I wish the fashion industry would agree to consistently label women’s clothing. We maybe could agree on needing petite or tall sections — a tall size 8 or 10, which is what I am, is different from a petite size 8 or 10. But a regular size 8 or 10 should fit most women across most labels. That should just be a thing. Instead of plus size, just say size 16 or 20, or whatever numbers are needed. No “woman” department for larger sizes — what does that make me?

Also, women’s sizes should start at 2. Not 0 — or, the even more ridiculous 00. You are not a size 00 — you have a size. You take up space. Don’t let someone else erase that for you.

ETA: Better idea: size and length measurements in inches. Waist, bust, hips, legs/arms. It would simplify things for women, although not necessarily for clothes makers.

I went into a clothing store with my 9-year-old daughter recently. It is not a store where I frequently shop because they don’t carry tall sizes — they only offer them on their website. We went back to the girls department because she needed new jeans or leggings that would fit her, preferably a couple pairs of each.

Almost everything was labeled “skinny”, as in skinny jeans.

My 9-year-old isn’t skinny. She’s tall for her age (go figure) and is a healthy weight. She’s quite muscular, as a matter of fact, one of the strongest girls in her gymnastics class.

And I had to buy her jeans that were labeled ‘plus’. And I could only find one pair of “plus” sized jeans on the shelves.

I hid the label from her. Because she’s not plus size.

So I get Amy Schumer’s side-eye at Glamour magazine for being in an issue that was targeted at plus-size women. When we put labels on what girls and women are wearing that indicates that maybe they may be a little bigger than the norm when they are actually the norm, the pressure could be enormous on those girls and women to want to be ‘normal’ size.

And that’s not healthy.

While we’re at it, I would love to see BMI as a metric disappear. It’s nearly 200 years old. It’s time for us to toss it. Health comes in every size and shape, and it is not dependent on one number divided by another number. Again, my 9yo is on the upper end of “acceptable” BMI, but even her pediatrician is impressed with her health and strength.

And that is something to celebrate.

Copyright: darkbird / 123RF Stock Photo

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