Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beyond the Curve! ©

I see where local  newspapers appear to be overcoming their “mind-set” and are presenting special articles relating to the size plus woman.  More often than not, it is of America’s well known television identities, but nevertheless BIG girls are getting some attention and publicity.

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the lack of words in the English language, to describe anyone who is a little larger, wider, heavier or taller than the paper-thin waifs who usually grace our catwalks as well as our fashion pages, a little frustrating.

I must admit that I do NOT like the word FAT.  There are too many innuendos associated with the word - overweight, obese, morbidly obese, immense, huge, oversize, jumbo, gross, heavy, hefty and so it goes.  As many of the weight programs of the past have reminded us and humiliatingly told us in no uncertain terms, we were carrying too much lard around with and on us.  To bring the point much nearer home, they even used to make us pass hand to hand huge lumps of fat (obtained from the butcher - sometimes up to 5 kgs) among the ladies, so that each of us saw and felt firsthand what our bodies were like under the skin.  Ugh!

But back to more recent times.  You will recall the famous “acceptance” speech given by Camryn Manheim (star of the series The Practice - why don’t we see more series like this where a “big” girl is shown as intelligent, witty, glamorous and sexy?) in which she said, “this is for all the fat girls”.   Camryn wore a carefully chosen slinky black dress to reinforce her self acceptance and to make a statement on behalf of large women everywhere.  (Photo from the internet  acknowledgement to copyright owner),

Then Italian designer Masks included Jennifer Nicholson (daughter of Jack) who is a big girl, in amongst his regular pencil thin waifs, to model his spring/summer fashions.  Jennifer was a great success, strutting her stuff in the very heart of “thin is beautiful” country.   Jennifer now has her own label and doing very well, thank you very much!

Something I recently read though struck a chord, 

“the new magazines, role models and clothing lines 
don’t change the fact that plus-size women (everywhere) 
sometimes become recluses 
because they don’t feel comfortable around their average size peers.
This is still a world in which people face job discrimination because of their size.”

I question the words “average-size peers”, because you know and I know, that here in Australia as in Britain and the USA, the height and size of women has increased over the past couple of decades.  American manufacturers have already adapted their size range to take into account sizes 14 and 16 (which I understand is equivalent to Australian sizes 16 and 18), and in fact many manufacturers have redefined the size chart by starting from O and going on and up through 1X, 2X 3X and so on.   On course the other end of the scale has been included too!  Now women are doing their best (which in other words means the worst for their bodies and minds) to achieve size zero, and even double zero.

I remember Rosemary (RoseMary's NoteBook©) commenting on this some years ago when she asked the question, what happens when they start going back into Triple Zeros and further?  Does this mean that women will just fade away and be no more?

Coming back to the American style “X” sizing, I know for a fact that many women feel happier and more confident in asking for a size 5X than say sizes 30-32-34.  Perhaps Australian manufacturers will one day soon see the wisdom in redefining the size structure of their clothes to fit in with the modern shape and size of Australian women, rather than hanging on to outmoded and antiquated ideas?

This is the 21st Century for goodness sake.  We don’t need “fuddy-duddy faddy-trendy” designers of tender years continuing inappropriate attitudes when considerating and creating fashion for the woman of today.

It’s about time that people within the fashion industry limber out of their T model Fords and thought about supersonic space travel.  Let them bury their antiquated attitudes towards women who have a different shape and size to the plastic maznnikins that grace our store windows and our catwalks.

I love reading and hearing about success stories of women who are beyond the curve.  The more often we hear and read about women of larger size, the sooner shape and size will become more acceptable (at least as far as we are concerned).

If it's up to us to really start the ball rolling, then so be it.  If people won’t “listen” to us, we can still write letters or send emails.  To magazines, newspapers, to designers, to fashion buyers of national department and retail stores, to the boutique owner around the corner.  Somewhere along the line, someone will take notice.

They say good things come to those who wait - perhaps I getting a little edgy about waiting too long1  And patience is a virtue - and I like to think that I’m a virtuous woman!   So .......

Daisy Veitch (Australia) has been working on educating manufacturers and retailers on the changing shape and size of women.  Visit her website and have a read of some of her findings at

.... © Rose Davida, Kent, UK

No comments:

Post a Comment