Body Positive - Washing seems to have hit an all time high, so many brands are using “Body Positive” and “Inclusive” messaging while continuing to NOT offer inclusive sizing. I am tired of this narrative. This week a brand you may know, posted a photo of a group of straight size women in swimsuits with the following slogan.
-Anonymous Brand I Won’t Name
I find it particularly alarming that this brand is a large company and this messaging and image had to pass thru multiple tiers of approval to get here. Yet, the image which implies that different “body types” are sexy actually in fact only shows a very small variation of body types in this photo. This messaging promoting people to feel sexy in their bodies, only shows models of a size XL/XXL and under. Knowing that the average size American woman is a 16/18 or 1X/2X and above, this language and imagery combination is harmful by excluding other bodies. It is implying what could be understood as “you can be sexy in your body but only if you are under a certain size”. This brand promotes a lot of Body Positive - Washing, when only offering Extended Sizing up to an XXL or 14/16. To be clear Extended Sizing is not Plus Sizing, the difference is Extended sizing is still based on the “median” size for straight sizing and then is graded or extended up to the largest size. Grading is when you take a “median” size of a body or silhouette and make it larger or smaller in the same proportions. This means that XXL is still based on the straight size silhouette and based off a sample size (often a medium or 6/8), therefore XXL or 14/16 (but not promised) is still often ill fitting as it is not based on the correct body shape. Plus sizing is a separate set of sizing and based on a plus size body sample size, often a 2X, which is then is graded up and down to make the other sizes. Plus sizing begins at 0X/1X and should not be confused with XXL, although they could be similar in spec or measurement they often fit quite different.
Companies who refuse to offer Plus Sizing or Inclusive Sizing are adding to the harm that the fashion industry has perpetuated for years.
Many of these companies are making this an active choice when they add categories such as Maternity, Kids, Homewares and so on but are refusing to add Plus Sizing or Inclusive Sizing into their existing clothing categories. Companies and people spend money where it matters to them. This is a clear indicator of who they want wearing their clothing and the fatphobia that still exists in many companies. If we look at this from a capitalist perspective, these companies are losing money by not selling to the largest percent of shoppers (folks 16/18 and above) but they would rather sell to the portion of people who appeal to their standard of beauty. This is a huge problem and I want to make a point that TOWEL is a brand that stands against these rhetorics. I want folks to have access to not only clothing but daily essentials like a towel that represent so much more than just an everyday item. TOWEL is about change and removing fatphobic narratives within the walls of your home and beyond. When you get out of the shower or bath you shouldn’t have to be reminded that another item as simple as a towel is also too small. It starts with towels, but this is just the beginning.
Author: Mary Carney, TOWEL Founder