Plus Size Fashion: How We Can Do Better


Illustration is by Shelly Dean

In recent years, there has been a rise in plus-size representation in the fashion industry. As time progresses, more and more body types are put in ads and on the runway, allowing more people to see themselves within the bodies of models for various brands. Although strides have been made in the right direction, there is still a lot of work.

While there are bigger bodies being shown more in mainstream fashion, most still have an hourglass or pear-shaped figure, which is still configuring to societal beauty standards. For plus-size people, it could potentially be harmful to see people marketed as plus-sized who still fit the beauty standard and can fit into straight sizing. As a society, we must advocate for the true representation of all bodies, not just ones who meet certain standards. 

As important as representation is when it comes to modeling and advertising, it is also equally important when it comes to seeing your sizes on the racks when you’re shopping. I think by now, in the year 2021, that we have all figured out that one size truly never fits all, yet there are still some brands that live by that with their clothing. One brand, for example, is Brandy Melville. Almost all of their clothing is branded as one size fits all, which inherently is not true. Brands that do not accommodate plus-size bodies in this day and age are fatphobic and need to do away with their discriminative ways. 

Though some brands do not intentionally discriminate against the plus-size community, there are some who know what they are doing, such as the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, Mike Jeffries. It has been stated that Jeffries has made it openly clear that he is fatphobic and claims he does not want plus-size people to wear his clothes. It is people such as the Jeffries that are stalling the progression of plus size fashion and prohibit the true normalization of all different types of bodies. 

Being discriminated against simply because of your size is traumatic and something that no one deserves to go through, which is why as a society we need to do better. 

By making sure brands have extended sizing and holding those accountable who do not, we can move toward a truly inclusive fashion industry.

Companies need to be held to a higher standard that includes people of all different shapes and sizes. It is time to put body shaming to rest and create a world where every person feels like they are seen and represented in the fashion industry. 

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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor-in-chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.