Shoe Money Tonight

Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Anti-Plus Size (at least in women)?

Last night I went to wear my pretty white Chris Drury jersey to watch the game only to realize that it was too sheer to wear without something underneath it. I found a long sleeved shirt but realized as the playoffs went on that that would be woefully inadequate (too warm). So when we hit the mall today I went in search of a white cami or two.

I found what I wanted at Old Navy. I don't shop there often, but have always appreciated that they carry things in larger sizes (up to 20) in their stores, especially since I wear a size 16 (and depending on the fit of things, especially dresses, need an 18). While I was in line, I heard the cashier tell the women in front of me that they would be no longer carrying plus sizes (anything 1X or bigger) in the store after the summer, but that they would still be available online.

That made me pretty upset. According to this article, the average woman wears a size 11-14. I have to tell you it's getting pretty hard to find stores that even carry 14 anymore (at least not in large numbers). I'm getting really tired of walking into a store and finding a few token pieces in my size, maybe a sweater or something, and seeing no clothes larger than a 12 but a sign saying "extended sizes online". There are quite a few stores that have this now.

I have, on more than one occasion, had to embarrass myself and ask a salesclerk how large their sizes run in the store, to avoid the frustration of looking on every clothing rack to find nothing in my size. What I always find so silly is that they are more likely to have shirts in an XL, but nothing bigger than a 12 in skirts/pants. And of course my husband, who is overweight (just like I am), never has a problem finding clothes in a store. They always have plenty of his size.

As more and more stores are beginning to phase out carrying larger sizes, what image are they sending? Why do they so despise the larger woman? Do I disgust them that much? I know I'm overweight, and I certainly could stand to lose more than a few pounds. But I still have a shape, a defined waist and I like the way my body looks. And I know my husband likes it too. But more and more, I'm feeling like society wants to hide me away and pretend I don't exist.

Sometimes I come home from shopping so depressed and feeling ugly because I can't find anything to fit me that isn't a muumuu, caftan, or makes me look like I'm 75 years old. And I have a pretty good self image. What does this do to women who don't have the comfort I have in my body? If we want to eliminate eating disorders, that on of the last things we need is prizing thinness above all else.

FYI: Those of you who knew I was looking for a pair of heels, I found them .


Blogger Dawn said...

I SO agree! I'm a smaller size now, but I used to be a 16/18... maybe even larger, as I didn't buy a lot of clothes when I was at my biggest. I grew to despise clothes-shopping because it was just so depressing.

But what's worse is that America, in general, is getting BIGGER. And yet, our clothes are getting smaller? What kind of sense does /that/ make? (And don't even get me started on the inconsistencies of female clothing sizes!)

2:34 PM  

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