May 04, 2015 12:00 AM | by Hanane Fathallah
Plus Size: A New Fashion Revolution
What is 'plus size'? It is basically a pragmatic term used to underline fashion that caters to women who are larger, bigger, taller and curvier and whose needs aren't found in the standard-sized fashion. It usually goes from size 14 UK upwards. The limits are debatable. It is still a movement that is seeking validation, and for that to happen, there is going to be a lot of opinions, judgments and foremost decisions made by haters and supporters equally.
Misconceptions arise among our society, like blaming this new fashion movement to be promoting obesity and unhealthiness. There is a thin red line between catering to women's needs and abusing the mission statement 'I am a big girl but I am healthy.' Many international brands have taken the leap and expanded their collections, as they have come aware of a demanding demographic of plus size women, looking for style, fashion and femininity. The aim here is not to promote anything negative. Ironically, current media is actually more harmful than the spotlight plus size fashion is taking. From magazines to catwalks, fashion has dictated a certain lifestyle, an idealized body-shape and a deceiving promise for happiness. Not all women are alike. Diversity is the key word here. Young women in their teen years are the most vulnerable. Some might fit in just fine, others – like me – might struggle identifying with what the market is providing, with what the media is promoting, with what magazines are implying...
Women come in all sizes and body-shapes. I've always been a big girl, that didn't mean that I was unhealthy. I played sports at school and I even excelled in basketball and volleyball. My eating habits are balanced: give yourself a treat one day, the next day you might want to eat lighter. Life is about balance. Just like the fashion industry, the market should be less exclusive and more inclusive of all needs and opinions. I always struggled with fashion, until I came across a high street brand that had their collection size up to XL. After that milestone, things started to pick up. I started browsing for more brands that catered to women like me. I'm a size 18 UK. I am a full-time mom, a freelance graphic designer, and a plus size fashion blogger. The sense of hard work and accomplishment can be found in all my traits. If I crossed out my size and plus size from my physique's résumé, would that make me MORE accomplished? I doubt. I am not an alien and I am not trying to alienate anyone else. I am simply a plus size girl looking for her own happiness in life. All women deserve that.
Many are still resisting to accept this new concept. But the clock is ticking and in other countries, progress is there. Plus size fashion is spoken for, curvier women are on magazines covers, international brands are expanding their collections to bigger sizes and above all, the concept of beauty is covering a wider scope of women. Influential women are also implicated in the issue too. Plus size supermodel Emme has made a strong comeback and lately has been working towards changing the face of fashion. One of her projects is Fashion Without Limits, which is a design program that is encouraging design students to work in larger sizes using mannequins of sizes 16, 18 or 22. Groundbreaking! From panel discussions to fashion shows across the US, she is trying to put plus size fashion under an umbrella of fashion, health, and body positivity. On another note, plus size fashion bloggers are also catalysts to this fashion movement. From the people to the people, they build credibility through their creativity in style and their honesty.
You can call them reckless or lazy, but women should not be punished for their body shape and size. No matter what size she is, every woman has a story, so no prejudgments! A woman's body changes a lot in the different phases of her life. Every woman is different. Every woman has her journey... Above all, plus size fashion is not about promoting obesity and is not about segregation or saying that bigger women are better than skinny girls – or vice versa. This is about fashion, beauty and acceptance. It is a call for women togetherness.
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