Plus Size Lament
A trans woman locks her car on a Saturday afternoon and strolls happily across the parking lot towards the door of the local shopping mall in Anywhere, USA. Confidently, her self doubt years in the past, she browses through the shops and kiosks not so much hoping to buy is just enjoying the day out window shopping. Soon enough, as you might expect, she comes upon the fashionable women’s apparel store and of course she is drawn inside to see what she might find among the attractive options. But predictably as she moves from rack to rack she encounters the inevitable situation – if it fits it is ugly, if it’s desirable it is too small. In store after store the scene repeats itself. Lovely, attractive, even sexy clothing that virtually jumps off the rack at you just gets you more and more dejected, because the sizes range from medium to extra small. Even on the rare occasion when something in the larger sizes is attractive to you, inevitably it’s too short. After several stops with the same results our hero, having had her buzz thoroughly killed, retreats to her car and find something else to do.
Does this scene sound familiar to you? For many of us it is the standard daily experience with shopping. Of course I myself am a pretty chubby girl so I’ve got that working against me, but if I lost every bit of my extra weight I would still not be able to wear the really nice stuff that is available in my price range. Particularly if you are taller than the average female, the odds are that your torso length from shoulders to hips is were all that extra height comes in. And what that means in practical terms is that even the shirts that otherwise fit are not long enough. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that buying and extra “X” will do you any good either. All too often the way that a 2X is larger than an X or a 3X than An 2X is in the width not the length. That’s just talking about blouses.
There are other ways that size issues are a problem for us of course, pants designed for women with hips when we have none, Bras with giant cups because of the high band length, and so forth. But honestly, it’s usually the blouses that get me. I have trouble with dresses too, but that’s because I’m fat, I get that. But what I don’t get is why manufacturers seem to think that if you’re not rocking a bikini body that you don’t want to wear all that cute stuff. It’s maddening. They say that the stores feature what sells which is understandable, but at the same time all the reports say that there are increasing numbers of heavy people in the population. Why not try and see if there’s a market for comparable stuff that’s big enough for the big girl?
Photo by Matthew Jacobs