Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

July 22, 2013

Tidbits: Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes

I admit it, I’ve been hitting the cookies pretty hard here lately. I can’t help it. You get that sugar rush and they taste yummy and there’s so many different kinds of delicious treats that come in the form of a cookie.

Make vegetables taste like Toll House cookies and I’ll eat my green beans. Until then the question, “Would you like a cookie, Heather?” is always going to be answered with a smile and a “Yes, please!”

When you add my affection for confection to our unusually wet summer weather, I can certainly say that there is probably a very good reason why I might find a few extra pounds hanging around.

But even those who have been watching their lips and counting their steps and doing all they can do to keep their weight right where it should be may find they are left standing in the plus-size aisle all of a sudden.

We all know the fashion industry is completely unrealistic in their vision of “average.” Designers make their samples in a size 0. That’s ZERO, even though more than half of women are a size 14 or larger. Models who come in at a size six are considered “plus-size” models. In fact, today’s average fashion models weigh in at about 23 percent less than the average woman. Plus-size models, once averaging between 12 and 18, are now between sizes 6 and 14. Most runway models would meet the medial criteria for anorexia.

Those designing our clothing don’t care they’re completely ignoring millions of potential customers. Many times, women, especially, will complain the clothing that is available in larger sizes is frumpy and ill-fitting and just plain un-flattering.

Those designers and manufacturers also keep changing the rules. An eight is not always an eight. Sometimes, it’s a six. Bless those folks and their “magic” fabrics that say a size six but fit from size four all the way up to 10 or more, depending on the measuring stick used.

Sometimes, an eight is a 10. Sometimes, an eight from the same manufacturer is a six in one garment, eight in another and a 10 or 12 in yet another.

And that gets annoying. They can’t make up their minds, and the folks shelling out the cash for this clothing are stuck wondering which size they are today. Guys, if you wondered why it took all day for your lady to go clothing shopping, it’s because she has to try on about three sizes of each and every garment. She can’t just grab a pair of clothes off the rack because that’s the size she got last time, and that garment still fits.

Then there’s the stores. Some carry nothing in “plus” sizes. Remember what Ambercrombie and Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries said about their line? It’s not for the “plus” sized folks in the world. If you need an XL, keep moving to the next store because you are not their “target demographic.”

Some will segregate the “plus” sizes, usually away from the not-plus size, so that shoppers don’t get “clothing envy” by seeing the clothes that have actual shape to them.

Now, they’ve been changing up what sizes are “normal” sizes and what sizes are “plus” sizes.

Once upon a time, you were pretty sure “plus” was going to be extra-large and up, or from about a 14 or 16 and up. A friend on a social networking site vented fiercely recently about an online retailer that had classified a size eight as a “plus” size, and she’s encouraging friends to avoid such retailers with their skewed sense of size.

Apparently, there’s a slew of celebrities that won’t be shopping at this particular store, as there’s a recent upsurge of “Ima Size Eight” celebs like Miranda Lambert and others. Why? It’s a nice “in between size,” one commentator theorized. They’re not the size zero “Beanpole things in the magazines,” but they’re still not singing “Baby Got Back.”

Regardless of what size a person is, it’s possible to make flattering clothing that helps everyone feel beautiful in their own skin. That’s what fashion designers should be aspiring to do. And frankly, there’s a lot of potential for greater creativity with this untapped market. No, you can’t always take the size zero and just make it larger. Yes, you may have to consider things like longer cap sleeves or watching that those arm holes aren’t going to show off a lot more than intended. And, for the love of Pete, add a little extra fabric around the chest on a button-up shirt. No one likes the pooch. No one.

But mostly, stop trying to make all women fit into your vision of what’s beautiful. Stop trying to make all men (quickly becoming more and more body-obsessed, as well) fit into your vision of what’s beautiful. Your customers are people. We are not dolls you get to dress according to your whims.

Beauty comes in all sizes, shapes and colors. And it’s not determined by the aisle where you shop for clothes.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice