Recently while perusing Instagram, I came across a post from retail sensation Forever 21 announcing plans to showcase its plus size fashion line under a separate Instagram account. I could not help but delve into the hundreds of comments that had been made less than one hour of the initial announcement. My immediate thought was: “Size Segregation.” Aside from the ‘she’s fat’ or the ‘she’s ugly’ rhetoric, there were a considerable number of comments questioning the need and or decision from Forever 21 to launch a s e p a r a t e Instagram account solely to showcase their plus size clothing options, versus making the choice to showcase all of the sizes that they offer under one account. For instance, a number of comments read this way:
‘Why should plus size have a different store/page?’
‘Please, why does there have to be a separate account for plus size!??’
‘Wish bigger sizes were just a part of the norm instead of a separate line with the plus label. Make plus sizes mainstream!’
‘Why do you have plus size separated …By making it like this you make sure that there is one accepted and ideal size (the small one) and YOU make the plus size seem abnormal!’
‘All women are equal’
‘Keep straight and plus together’
‘What’s the point in making different sized people their own Instagram! …You’re too big for this account, you can follow this one it has people like you-that’s what they’re basically saying’
‘Whether you’re petite or more curvy, there should be clothes for all sizes. LET’S ALL SHOP TOGETHER! People have different body shapes, so let’s just all accept and love all of them and all be treated equally’
Within the exact same week, retailer River Island announced that they’ll be selling plus sizes beginning in March – which inadvertently added more fuel to my brewing mental fire …. Why are sizes segregated to begin with?! Would it be horribly wrong if designers and retailers made a commitment – or shall I say, the SAME commitment- to ALL consumers, providing them with ample options in ONE central place, both in-store and online?! What exactly is the benefit of forcing prospective customers to limit their fashion options based on what is available in, for example, rare petite shops, mail order catalogs for tall women, or specialty venues that offer plus sizes?
Sure, it’s nice that more retailers are attempting to bridge the gaps, but the ways in which some choose to do so…give me pause for cause. Over to you, how do you feel about size segregation within the fashion retail market?
Jacket: Michael Kors | Maxi dress: Swak Designs| Scarf: Nordstrom| Booties: Chinese Laundry