Plus Size Negativity

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by some companies and high profile plus women coming out and stating that the term is unnecessary and in some ways outdated and should be dropped.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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Leave a comment

  • TalontedLex

    This is such a wonderful post. I don’t understand why this is even a conversation – what would replace it? It would make it so much more difficult to find clothes, similar blogs, other members of the community. People who think ‘plus size’ has negative connotations are the ones with the issue.

    • Tanya Brannan

      Thank you! And that is exactly what I was trying to get across… what else would we search for?? x

  • Love this post! You should be proud of who you are, you’re gorgeous!xx

    Abi ~ https://abigailporter1.wordpress.com

    • Tanya Brannan

      Awww thank you so much Abigail xxx

  • I love this post so much! The term plus size is both an important and powerful one. From the practicalities of knowing where to shop, right round to finding a supportive community, it’s just so wonderful how it helps and brings people together. I’m doing a photoshoot mid September where I’m photographing lots of people about why the term plus size is so important to them, and honestly cannot wait. I’m hoping it’ll be a very powerful piece when it’s all together. 🙂

    http://blog.fashionlovesphotos.com

    • Tanya Brannan

      Wow that sounds amazing Diana! I can’t wait to see the finished piece, it sounds just perfect xx

  • Elodie

    Exactly! I used to be a size 8 to 10 but have always had a somewhat curvy figure. I remember a girl getting annoyed that I used the word curvy to define myself because I wasn’t “plus size.” Well, I let her have it. Words are just that. Words. If you’re not comfortable using it, just don’t. But don’t make people who are comfortable stop using it.

    • Tanya Brannan

      I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It doesn’t define me, just describe me! x

  • Love this post, I totally agree that the term plus size is not to be a negative thing! xo

    • Tanya Brannan

      Thank you so much Rachel Nicole xx

  • Katt Martin

    The idea that people want to drop the plus baffles me. I don’t understand why, it’s not a negative term, it’s a category. Like Maternity, Tall and Petite! It’s bad enough the plus clothing is usually shoved at the back of a store, like a dirty little secret. Now companies want to hide the secret all together!

    • Tanya Brannan

      That is exactly what I thought too Katt. I don’t see how it can be a negative thing. But the hiding us away becomes very negative! x

  • I agree that there is nothing wrong with the word its just peoples short sighted thinking thats making it sound like it is. One should embrace ones body , there is no right or wrong body shape.obviously if being large is causing health issues thats a different matter.

    • Tanya Brannan

      I couldn’t agree with you more Nayna. Thankfully my health is good and I am happy with my size and shape. I am proud to be Plus!

  • I really like the dress and shoes, very vintage!

    http://www.annanuttall.com

    • Tanya Brannan

      Thank you Anna x

  • I believe no one can make you feel inferior without your permission so I always focus on that quote and own it. Everyone should be allowed to feel good about themselves. Good you are raising awareness about this issue.

    • Tanya Brannan

      Thank you Stella. As I said, I wasn’t being militant and I listened to both side of the arguements. This was just my personal opinion and I will continue to be Proud and Plus Size 🙂 xx

  • Plus is definitely not negative! I just wish my mummy had the same confidence as you xx your style is such an inspiration to her! xx

    • Tanya Brannan

      Wow!! That is such a lovely thing for your Mummy to think! Give her a big cuddle from me xxx

  • Rosana McPhee

    Nothing wrong about plus size. I know a few ladies plus size and they are beautiful and sexy too. R

    • Tanya Brannan

      I have to agree totally Rosana xxx

  • Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with the term plus size – everyone is beautiful now matter what the wording X

    • Tanya Brannan

      Too Right! if you don’t like it, don’t use the term. But if you are happy with it… go with it! xx

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I agree there are more important things people should be spending their time debating.

    • Tanya Brannan

      Totally Melanie xx

  • Yes!! This is great! I love the hashtag Daisy started, plus is definitely not negative at all. I’m so over all this drop the plus nonsense, I need the term to find clothes. That’s it. When all shops everywhere sell all sizes then they at least have the beginnings of an argument. But in the meantime I don’t see why I should have to suffer because a bunch of models / brands want our plus size money but not the “stigma” that comes along with being called plus size. x

    • Tanya Brannan

      Isn’t that the truth?? My money keeps businesses going, but when they want to rebrand my size into something else my money will start to go more to companies who are proud and happy to deal with my plus size body!

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    It is an important topic, but like you say, there are more important things going on in the world for people to get worked up over.
    Someone’s size is just their size, it doesn’t define them. I have been a size 22, a size 8, and every in between and I was the same person at every size.

    • Tanya Brannan

      I have been exactly the same! And I am happiest as I am now! It’s just a shame when companies try and force you to be “something” else

  • I feel like dropping the plus would be like going back on ourselves, honestly what would we search for ‘clothes for fat people’ ‘oversized clothing shops’ ‘larger clothes shops’? It’s a tad confusing and if anything searching for things like that are going to make people feel terrible about themselves. It’s not like every shop caters for bigger sizes so we can go to any shop we like and shop, you sometimes have to do these searches. I am happy with the plus! I am a plus size lady, I am okay with that and I have grown to be okay with who I am no matter what size I am. I just really don’t understand what the big deal about the plus is, it’s just a word like you say xx

    • Tanya Brannan

      You totally get where I am coming from! I wouldn’t even be a blogger if I hadn’t searched for Plus Size bloggers on Google!! You can’t please everyone, however you also don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken!! xxx

  • I totally agree. Plus size is no different to searching for ‘tall’ ‘petite’ ‘maternity,’ it’s knowing where you can shop easily and find things accessible. Every woman and man should be proud of their bodies and not feel condemned by outsiders who try to make them feel ashamed.

    • Tanya Brannan

      Exactly! We are all different and we have to be able to access products and people similar to ourselves. It is just a term to help me find what I need. It doesn’t define me xxx

  • I agree with you as well, I don’t understand why all of a sudden everything is offensive and should not be used. I am not happy with my body at all and always feel huge, I hate shopping for clothes because I never think they look nice but when you go into plus size shops and you find yourself getting normal clothes and not struggling to fit into the biggest size it does makes you feel better about yourself.

    • Tanya Brannan

      You are a beautiful lady and this is an example of why we musn’t get rid of the term plus size. We need to know where to buy our beautiful clothes! x