Some of these points are valid but it should be noted that many women’s stores have changed their sizing to make larger sizes labeled as smaller: for example, Ann Taylor Loft changed their sizing a year or two ago and now I’m a 2 or 4 when before I had been a 6, and I was skinnier then. The difference between men and women’s stores is that women’s sizing is arbitrary, and stores downsize their clothes like the loft did so that women will shop there and can brag about their smaller size, whereas a 36 pant is a 36 pant anywhere for men. I would argue that most of these stores, especially the ones that aren’t the most elite, probably have similar sizes for men and women, they are just labeled as smaller for women because for whatever reason we would feel uncomfortable buying a size 3XL shirt if that was what fit us.
hello, size 2-6 person. i am a real fat person who shops for clothing. some stores do engage in “vanity sizing” (something non-fat people in general love to complain about for some reason), but as an actual person with real life experience trying to fit clothing onto a fat body, i can assure you that
1) vanity sizing affects men’s clothing as well, even clothing based on ‘measurements’. for instance, old navy’s 36 waist is significantly larger than banana republic’s, though they are even made by the same parent company. here is a handy piece in esquire comparing men’s pants sizes between stores.
2) the men’s clothing mentioned is still observably bigger than the women’s clothing. this fact (i mean it, fact) is based on both comparing measurements on size charts AND real life experience trying on clothing in these stores.
3) several of these stores actually have clothing that is SMALLER than the labeled size, and not due to vanity sizing. many of my friends in your size range have complained that at places like h&m, uniqlo, american apparel, and the like, they have to wear clothing in the double digits, which leaves fat people further out in the cold.
so, i mean, nice try, but the things you are saying are wrong.
p.s. moratorium on non-fat people complaining about “vanity sizing”- this means that people who are an 18 might get to wear a 14 and can shop at a regular store instead of in plus size hell, you selfish dork.
I have been wanting to write something on this issue for a while. It may be an unpopular opinion, but it’s my current opinion on the topic…
I have known for years that the media has been and will continue to perpetuate unhealthy, unrealistic, ‘ideals’ that women (myself included for most of my teenage years and early 20’s) should live up to in order to be considered beautiful, successful, etc. Since joining Tumblr, this issue has become more and more apparent. That and the issue of body acceptance.
While I hated myself for years, calling myself ugly and fat, I was not fat according to typical standards. I am naturally a petite person so I in no way am trying to say that I understand what it’s like to be fat because I don’t. I don’t know what it’s like, nor do most other people unless they are living the experience.
What I do know is that losing weight is hard. Bone structure, genetic factors, lifestyle, and for some, thyroid issues, can predispose someone towards becoming overweight or even obese.
Is it okay to be fat?
I honestly believe that everyone should be accepted for who they are regardless of the way they look. We’re all human after all - the fat-shaming, the hate, it’s unnecessary - where’s the compassion? You don’t know stranger’s stories. Why is it okay to assume that all fat people are lazy and eat McDonald’s every day? The fat girl you see walking down the road could could actually be following a clean and healthy diet while exercising regularly and the ‘skinny’ girl may be the one starving herself thin, bingeing on junk foods in secret. You don’t know. You can’t judge. You should not judge.
However, the one bone I have to pick with this acceptance movement is that I haven’t been able to see much talk about health. From a medical perspective, I have seen on a first hand basis the number of diseases and chronic health issues that are closely linked to obesity - diabetes and hypertension to name a couple…
So I guess I have a bit of a conundrum - I want women of all shapes and sizes to love themselves and their bodies, but I also want women to take care of their health. Many of the chronic diseases prevalent today are diseases of lifestyle i.e. linked to stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise.
Can you be accepting of all body types and still want women to take interest in their health and in topics such as central obesity - a waist circumference of greater than 35” has been linked to many health risks - ?
Not everyone can look like a super model or would even want to… but everyone can live a healthy life.
“However, the one bone I have to pick with this acceptance movement is that I haven’t been able to see much talk about health. “
The reason for this is
1. Talk of diet / exercising can be triggering for a lot of people who had disordered habits in order to achieve a ‘healthier’ (thinner) body. Before they found FA, many people tried to achieve a thinner body through unhealthy means, and if they succeeded in becoming thinner, they had their bad body care reinforced. “Wow you look great!” — ignoring or not knowing the fact that they restricted calories beyond what is healthy, or purged, or over exercised to get this new body. So the very idea of talking about health can be triggering to some and even play a major part in relapse.
2. Health is a very personal and multifaceted thing, and it really is exhausting talking about / feeling as if you have to defend and justify your body by saying BUT I HAVE HEALTHY HABITS! The qualifier placed on bodies ‘It’s okay to love yourself…as long as you’re healthy!’ is ableist and damaging. Just because someone isn’t talking about their health doesn’t mean they aren’t doing things to encourage well-being.
3. Many times when people involved with FA try to talk about health we are greeted with the overwhelming message that we can’t possibly be healthy, or even have the healthy habits that we claim to have because we’re fat and obviously if we were as healthy as we say, we’d be thin!! Because everyone knows that thin= healthy automatically,right? I have been called a liar several times when I bring up the fact that I’ma fat vegetarian that likes to hike. People refuse to believe that I do anything besides sitting around eating fast food all day, because I’m fat.
“Not everyone can look like a super model or would even want to… but everyone can live a healthy life. “
Health is NOT accessible to everyone. Not everyone has the same access to healthy food, and at a price that works for them. Food deserts exist, and when you are broke and need the calories to survive, you can’t always afford to get those calories in a healthy way. Not everyone has the same access to exercise or healthcare. Chronic illnesses and disabilities exist. Not everyone can live a healthy life, assuming that everyone has the same access to a healthy lifestyle is wrong.
I’ve just decided im done caring if I’m fat. I’m done checking my weight, it’s just a stupid number. I know that the reason we care what other people is to feel like we are worth something to ourselves. Be your own best friend and love yourself. Friends are beautiful and they help you love you. In the end, you are all you have. so love yourself.
Annie’s Mailbox, 1 May 2013:Dear Annie: I need to vent. My daughter, my 8-year-old granddaughter and I recently went to a Broadway show. After we were seated, a woman, her young daughter and her mother sat next to us. The woman was rather large, but instead of taking the aisle seat, she gave that to her mother and sat next to me. She was practically sitting on top of the chair arms due to her size and was taking up part of my space. At the end of the show, she told us we would need to climb over her because her knees hurt and she couldn’t move yet. I’m sure her knee problems are due to her size. This woman looked to be in her mid-30s. At this rate, she might not live long enough to see her daughter reach adulthood. Don’t you think she should have taken the aisle seat? — Loved the Show, Disliked the Seat
Dear Loved The Show Disliked The Seat,
My heart breaks for you—it must have been painful enough using your x-ray medical vision to diagnose the source of your seatmate’s knee pain, but to combine that with your ability to see the future and determine that your seatmate’s weight would kill her in a matter of years because all fat people die of being fat and all thin people either live forever or die in tragic car accidents … well, I applaud your ability to keep your composure considering this brazen fat woman’s casual attitude toward existing in public spaces.
I can’t imagine what it was like for you to sit through a two-hour Broadway performance and only be able to use one of your armrests because a stranger didn’t take your feelings about where her body belongs into account.
Such bravery. Such courage.
loved the response to this!!!
I think my biggest problem with Shallow Hal is that it normalizes Jack Black’s size as a fat man but subjugate’s Gwyneth’s Paltrow’s character as a fat woman.