Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Plus Sized Wars – What I thought

Plus Sized Wars
As I write this, I’m watching Channel 4’s Plus Sized Wars programme – a documentary all about the booming plus size fashion market. Twitter is soon to be divided between the lovers and the haters. The lovers are all for girl power coming in every size, the haters are saying it promotes an unhealthy lifestyle.

But yeah, my thoughts.

Ultimately, it’s all about being accepting of being plus size. The PR guy from Evans stated that ‘style has no size’ – a very good point.

It’s a very clever marketing technique. The quickest way of getting anyone talking about your brand is to do a documentary that will piss people off and get people arguing. And yes, the haters may go on about how it promotes being fat, but the chances are, the haters aren’t potential customers. All it does is draw attention to the fact that Yours Clothing is there to cater for the plus size market (especially as they’re in the process of opening new stores) and that Evans has been reinventing their collections for a younger market.

To me, the booming plus size fashion market is certainly a positive as seeing women who are happy and well-dressed is always a positive. Plus size young women shouldn’t have to dress old before their time because there’s nothing else available.

Yours Clothing (an absolute fave of mine) has been in existence for 5 years and they spotted the gap in the market for good value fashion in larger sizes. They also use the same marketing techniques as every other fashion brand – they’re aware of bloggers and how they are social influencers.

Bloggers are more influential than ever and by getting the plus size fashion influencers on board with a company, it gives them a voice. The customers and potential customers of plus size brands often aspire to look like the bloggers they follow. When it’s the relatable girls online who feel like your best friend because you follow them on Instagram are telling you that there are clothes that you can afford and feel good in – well, who wouldn’t go buy them?

So who can blame the companies for cashing in - let’s face it, a fashion brand doesn’t give a shit about the health implications of being overweight, and given so many women in the UK are obese, there’s a market of women there who want to look good. They can wrap it all up in a campaign about body confidence and suddenly their sales see a massive boost.

I think it’s a shame Australian plus size brand Taking Shape, who are trying to launch in the UK, seem to think that being plus size makes them superior. This brand were guilty of the worst PR stunt in history when they ‘skinny-shamed’ at London Fashion Week by ‘Skinny Bird Watching’. The other brands have a different attitude; they’re all about empowering women to give them the same opportunities to look good as every other woman, rather than making out that they are better because of the size on the label.

Personally, I think these women are an inspiration. They’re sassy, confident and beautiful. I aspire to have, and believe every woman should aspire to have, that level of body confidence and acceptance. As whatever size you are, being that confident about your body is always a positive in terms of your mental health if nothing else. I also aspire to have hair as good as these girls – if anyone knows how they avoid the frizz-fest that everyone else has to fight on a daily basis, feel free to enlighten me.

But do I aspire to be size 20 plus? No. Health and fitness doesn’t come in a dress size and to me, right now, that’s what comes first. I will be whatever size my body wants to be whilst leading a healthy and active lifestyle which includes treat days, super-clean days, rest days and mega-workout days.



What did you think of Plus Size Wars? Do you think the message was positive or did you think it promoted an unhealthy message? Let me know in the comments :)
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