Fat People Should Wear…Whatever The Hell They Want

Despite what fashion magazines, billboards, and basically the entirety of media would like you to think – the average woman is a size 16/18.  That’s right.  The average woman is what falls into “plus size”.  The average woman is told, inherently, through her clothing – that she is more than just one woman.  She is one woman PLUS a bit more.  Despite being literally the average size.

Let’s take that one step further.  If we look at letter sizes, 16/18 translates to XL and XXL.  You’re not just large.  You’re extra extra large.  

You’d think – if we were going to have a clothing size labelled “Medium” – it would fit what is actually the average – not a woman who is a size 10.  Do you know any women who are a size 10? I don’t think I do actually.  One of my neighbours is a certified drop-dead hottie who is a runner and a mother of 3 gorgeous kids and I’m pretty sure a 10 would crush her organs because unless you are 14 years old and don’t have hips, a butt, or ambitions to eat ever again, a size 10 is quite small for most of us.

Is it any wonder that a study commissioned by Dove found that 87% of women will go hungry or otherwise put their health at risk for their appearance – and that the US Bureau of Statistics found that  91% of American woman are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to change their shape?

Right now as I’m typing this I’m probably about a size 14-18 after losing 130lbs (59kg).  I didn’t do it to fit into a size 14, I did it because I have psoriatic arthritis and between the degeneration of my joints from that and my weight (323lbs/147kg), I was in pain constantly and I feared becoming disabled at an early age.  Hell – at the time I nearly was.  I could barely walk.  For me – weight loss wasn’t about my body issues (though I had them), it was about health.  

Women classed as “plus size” account for 67% of the population, but only 1-2% of models depicted in advertising

Now ask me if that stopped me from having them? Of course it didn’t.  We’re bombarded with images of perfect, beautiful, toned women in magazines.  Instagram is littered with the exceedingly few women who naturally have that attainable “perfect” body type that we so desperately strive for – who constantly ask the rest of us what excuse we’d like to come up with today for why we can’t fit their body narrative? Well like… genetics for a start.  (Girl, shut up and sit down with your size 4 privilege.)

The average high fashion model is a size US 4-6, is marketed to the majority of women – but does not, in any way, represent their shape.

Women classed as “plus size” account for 67% of the population, but only 1-2% of models depicted in advertising

So when Amazon listed a pair of plus sized leggings – I can’t imagine that many people were surprised that they chose not to hire a plus sized model.  Many plus sized models (models size 12 and over – I hope that makes you cringe as much as it should) are smaller than the clothing they are even representing.  Many models for stores which only sell clothing sizes 16 and higher – use models with tailored and smaller versions of the clothing they offer.  Even our plus-sized clothing stores – few and far between as they are – won’t represent us.  

But they way they did choose to advertise the leggings is…well…see for yourself..

Posted by Betsy Abel of Sassy Guns Fitness on Facebook.

Far from hiring a model who might fit the leggings in question – the retailer stuffed a far smaller model into one leg of the plus size leggings.  What better way to make plus (*cough*average*cough*) sized women feel represented than by reminding them that the very thin who mock us for our (average) size could fit two of themselves in our pants.  

I have a feeling that this was some kind of tasteless, ham-fisted attempted at making a point about the elasticity of the leggings in question (Look fatties! This’ll stretch around ALL your asses!)  – and so …I think at my kindest I would consider this incredibly, inexcusably tone-deaf.

But the humiliation of the “plus” sized women didn’t end there – as comment. After comment. After comment. featured some garbage can or another fat shaming the women who might have wanted these leggings.  

“lets just call it what it is and stop sugar coating…its not plus size, its simply, fat. you dont call men plus size, why sugar coat it for women… literal sugar coating was the reason they’re in that size”

“If I was bigger I’d be happy to see how big they can go if I really loved the pants because often time it’s hard to find clothes that are hot when you’re bigger, you look like an old lady. Those who are offended probably need to lose weight really badly anyway.”

“If you have any excess weight, then leggings are not for you!!”

Say it with me, kids – because apparently I have to talk to you like you’re fucking children:

“Leggings. Are for people. Who want to wear leggings.”

“No one needs to see that.” she’d said.

I’ve taken …an interesting stance on people who feel the need to make unsolicited comments on what they think is and is not appropriate for me to wear – and somewhere in the process I seem to have lost the last fuck I had on the subject of what people think about my body.  It could be under the couch but who gives a damn? I hope I never find it again.

I have a lot of loose skin thanks to my weight loss.  HORRIFYING? Right? Yeah bugger off, it’s fine.  Calm the Hell down. 

Last year I was wearing a cute halter dress with skulls on it.  I’ma be honest with you.  It was hot, summer, and it came to about an inch below my ass cheeks.  I tended to wear it with high-waisted, cute af bikini bottoms and I often wore it to the pool. A well meaning woman thought she’d just give me some advice.  My cellulite and loose skin on my thighs were visible, you see…so I might want to cover up more.  “No one needs to see that.” she’d said.

So, fuming, I paused.  “You’re right.” I told her.  “I guess they could just stop looking at things that upset them.  I mean that’s what I do.”  And I pulled my dress all the way up to my waist, exposing those  bikini bottoms in all their hot pink glory.  With my very best, “I hope you eat a bag of shit” look – I asked her. “I was thinking about going even shorter.  What do you think?”

I am lumpy as can be, y’all.  I have this weird folding thing going on with my skin now where it’s loose so it kind of just bunches up and I’m getting a goddamn bikini this year.  A small one..  With my fat and flab and skin hanging out and I honestly hope that people stay away from me while I’m wearing it – because people are assholes and I am sick of them.  You know who is worth talking to? The people who don’t look at you and tell you that you’ve done something wrong by existing in their space against their terms.  

Screw these leggings – and to Hell with your body shaming bullshit.  I’m not having it and neither should any of you.