the rise of the mid-size movement

photo by alyssa coyle

As someone who struggles with body image, I’ve never really felt like I belonged in the body positivity movement. Growing up, I rarely saw female bodies that looked like mine being represented in the fashion industry or mainstream media. I often found myself questioning whether I was straight-size or plus-size. The reality is I do not identify as either, but I know I am not alone. Nevertheless, my identity crisis seemed to vanish once I discovered the mid-size movement.

What is the mid-size movement?

The mid-size movement was created to give a voice to those who fall in between straight sizing (up to US 8) and plus sizing (US 18 and over). It all started when Anushka Moore wanted to give a platform to the “size 10-16 babes,” so she founded @midsizecollective on Instagram. With almost 45,000 followers, the account features and celebrates mid-size bodies from all over the world, in hopes of showing women that average-sized bodies are just as beautiful and powerful as straight and plus-size bodies. This movement is in no way, shape or form trying to take away from the plus-size movement, but is only shedding light on the lack of mid-size representation in today’s society.

Lack of mid-size representation

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the fact that more and more companies in the fashion industry are becoming size-inclusive, but most of them are going about it all wrong. They try to brand themselves as inclusive by using straight and plus-size models but fail to include average-sized bodies in photoshoots, commercials and even the runway. According to Today.com, the average female in the United States is a size 16, so why are brands not acknowledging mid-size bodies? Retailers tend to only focus on straight sizing and plus sizing due to cost and time limitations, as stated by Vox.com. They do not want to waste the extra time and money that is needed to perfect the fit for mid-sizing, but that is no longer an excuse. For so long, women like myself have dealt with the frustration of not seeing our bodies being represented, and it is about time that companies stop neglecting the mid-size community.

Why the mid-size movement is important

The fashion industry has an extremely distorted perception of what is plus-size and what is mid-size. Companies label most influential mid-size models as plus-size, which does not accurately reflect what constitutes the two groups. Renowned “plus-size” model Ashley Graham is actually a size 14, making her a mid-size model. This misrepresentation shows that companies need a better handle on what is truly mid-size. The mid-size movement helps push forth the idea that brands should start catering to average-sized females. They need to embrace the term mid-size in order for all bodies to finally be accurately represented.

TikTok’s Influence

Over the past year, TikTok has been flooded with enthusiasm for the mid-size movement by using hashtags like #midsize, #midsizefashion and #normalizemidsize. These tags have over 1 billion views already, which just goes to show the rapid growth of this fairly new movement. Creators like Mary Skinner and Emily Lucy Rajch are using TikTok to showcase the normalcy of having a mid-size body by posting what their average-sized bodies look like and encouraging others to do the same. Girls like myself now take to this social media platform to help spread the depiction and portrayal of mid-size fashion. TikTok is being used as a positive outlet to help promote the acceptance of bodies that have been pushed to the side for so long.

https://www.tiktok.com/@kristinazias/video/6998652096656477445?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

For as long as I can remember there seemed to only be two types of bodies, both of which did not accurately describe me. The mid-size movement bridges the gap between straight and plus sizing while also embracing the bodies of women who never felt like they had a place in the body positivity movement. Knowing that a community finally exists for people who look like myself, brings me and other mid-size women a sense of inclusion and belonging.

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Hi, I’m Grace Avery, 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.

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