There has been a lot of debate on social media and the press about the term “Plus Size” recently and this has been acerbated by some companies and high profile plus women coming out and stating that the term is unnecessary and in some ways outdated and should be dropped. There is even a hashtag supporting it; #droptheplus
Various sides chipped in with their opinions and it got a lot of people riled up, including me!
Now, most people might think that this is an unimportant topic and there are far worse things happening in the World that should take precedence.
And for most part, I agree. This isn’t the be all and end all.
BUT for many people, myself included it is important and I will tell you why it is important to me!
I AM a plus size woman. It took me a serious amount of years to realise and accept that fact. I saw myself as fat and unattractive. Because of course, society says that if you are overweight then you are automatically unattractive.
I disliked my size, my shape and my body. And then I hit the realisation that this body I have isn’t that bad. It has carried me through 42 years, It has suffered pain and heartbreak, happiness and elation. It has brought forth new life. It has lived and laughed and loved. And actually my body suits me just fine.
In the past two years I learnt about the plus size community and was massively welcomed into it. I became a plus size blogger, a fact I am very proud of. I have been to plus size events and had a whale of a time – no pun intended.
I have made friends and experienced a lot of new things, all down to the plus size world and I am truly thankful.
Growing up as a teenager I remember when Evans was actually called Evans Outsize, and whilst at the time I was skinny, I remember the stigma of having to shop there. The fact that even the carrier bag had the words plastered all over them was something to be embarrassed about. I remember being told not to eat that cream cake or I would be buying my clothes from there.
There was a real negativity back then about shopping somewhere like that. But times have changed and so has the terminology.
Nowadays there are far more plus size companies and shops out there than ever. The World is your oyster, and the stigma has been almost removed.
Larger size fashion is now as bright, funky, interesting and diverse as your standard sizing. Gone are the big dark bell tent dresses and tunics. Fitted dresses, mini skirts, cropped tops are now available in every size.
3 years ago, I didn’t know of all the companies out there that catered to my needs. So apart from word of mouth, how did I find them?
Well, of course I googled Plus size fashion….
I came up with hundreds if not thousands of retailers out there all catering to my size, style and needs. Everything from knickers to coats to belts. All because I typed in those magic words; Plus Size.
Now there are people out there that don’t like the term. That is should be dropped. But how else am I to find clothing and accessories I need without that term.
Not every high street retailer carries a range up to size 32 and above. Certainly there are more retailers offering a plus size section within their normal range, such as River Island, Asos, New Look, and even my favourite style, vintage does the same – for example Lady V London and Voodoo Vixen.
Looking at how you find it on their websites, oh yes….. it’s all under the tab marked plus size/plus/curve.
For me, the term plus size is just a descriptive word. It points me in the right direction on the sites I want to look at. It doesn’t define me. It describes me. And I am more than happy with that term.
People see it as a negative. But how can being plus size be negative? It just means there is more of me that needs fabulous amazing clothes to fit me!
If you drop the plus, you are making a whole section of society invisible. Has it become acceptable to “hide” a section of the World away because they don’t conform to the norms that some parts of society demand now.
You are denying people the right to have a term that refers just to them. No different to the Petite, the Tall or even the pregnant ladies that need to shop in the Maternity section.
I will never conform to society. I wear big pouffy dresses, petticoats, flowers in my hair. I dye my hair as often a I change my clothes. I am a tiny bit of a rebel and I intend to grow old disgracefully.
Plus Size to me will never be a negative thing. Whilst there are people out there that dislike their size and bodies, that happens with both small and large people.
For me, finally after 25+ years of hating my body, I actually now quite like it. I am proud to be plus size. I am proud of the community to which I belong. I have modelled plus size clothing and lingerie, all things I wouldn’t have had the chance to do.
This term refers to me. It’s a tiny fraction of what and who I am and it is my right to have something that belongs to me and the plus size community.
I am not a militant or even a particularly political person. I tend to keep my head down and let most things wash over me. This is not because I am a coward or that I don’t care. In fact sometimes I care too deeply and this causes pain and anguish.
But I feel so strongly about this. This matters and I matter!
Several months ago the fabulous KJ from A Curvy Cupcake coined a hashtag that swept through social media.
#Thisisplus captured the public’s attention and it even made the national press, repeatedly. People posted their own photos using the tag in their droves.
That many people can’t be wrong?
Equally I understand that there are people out there that don’t like the term and don’t want to use it. To them I say “Fine, fair enough, don’t use a term that upsets you That is your right and your privilege”
But even more so I would say, “What is it about the term that upsets or frightens you. Make me understand why Plus is Negative for you”
Hopefully with better explanations and understanding between both sides, an accord could be reached.
But until then I would say ” Don’t take away a term that many women feel empowering. A term that makes them feel like they belong. A descriptive word that frees them from negative connotations”
It is not your right or privilege to negate a section of society that is happy with the status quo. You do not have the right to make anyone ashamed of a word. It is not yours to take.
In a hashtag made up by another proud plus size lady, the amazing Daisy from daisysays #Plusisnotnegative
It really isn’t and I for one am PROUD to be plus sized. Focus your battles and arguements on something that is far more important.
A word is simply just a word.