Sunday, November 7, 2010

The cost of being plus-size! Part 1

The bombardment of guilt by the media, as well as the fashion and health industries remains constant and angry. The hostility shown towards women of size has to be recognised as discrimination although the people who could make a difference are indifferent and arrogant and refuse to even accept the fact that they show disdain.

The threats that if you are a few kilo or a hundred kilo heavier than what is seen to be the "ideal" weight are frightening in their intensity. It's not a matter of these people having a real concern for how we feel and look and how healthy we are, it's a matter of them yelling at us (like small naughty children) to do as they say, or else!

We're made to feel inadequate. We're made to feel bad and wrong. We're made to feel stupid and ashamed. Do they enjoy this sort of behaviour towards us? Because it seems to me that if they really cared, then they'd be taking a different stance on the problems that beset us.

Manufacturers and suppliers and retailers don't care. It's quite obvious. Just go into any store, including K Mart and Target, and will you find "nice" clothes? Go on be honest. You'll probably find clothes, many of which you wouldn't bother buying and wearing ... but sometimes you have to buy them, because there isn't anything else available. This is not an exaggeration, because I've been in this situation far too many times that I've lost count. I visit these stores every season, and what do I usually find? OK. Tee shirts, even round neck tee shirts, which don't do a thing for any plus-size woman with a bust. And the colour range doesn't change much year to year. Then you've got pants (or slacks as many women still call them) in black, navy and maybe brown or grey. Shirts - similar styles in a few colours. Sometimes even long skirts or shorts. Oh yes there's a selection to choose from - not!

But I dare you to go into the other departments, the departments that cater for everyone else. What do you find? Racks and racks and racks of different styles, different designs, different colours, and different fabrics.

What is wrong with retailers and their buyers? Can't they see the huge market they're missing out on? But I reckon they do see, and they don't care. Because the turnover of the smaller garments is greater and they want more and more slimmer and smaller people in their stores. Even stores that deal in some of the lower ranges of plus sizes put their racks towards the back of the store. It's almost as though it is a matter of out of sight, out of mind.

I've asked buyers many times about this imbalance. Some of them won't answer the question, while others will try and change the subject. Those who are brave enough to answer will tell you that it is the store's policy not to have plus-sizes in great numbers even though they have women coming to them and asking them for more selections. This is crazy. It's a contradiction. And yet retailers blithely go on their merry way, discounting us as important and a problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment