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If Beauty Comes In All Shapes and Sizes, Then Why Not Clothes?

Beauty | Shapes | Sizes | Clothes | 06th December | Virtual Wire

 

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The body positivity movement and embracing our bodies regardless of their shape, size, colour, and gender have been all the rage since the early twenty-tens. But has all this discourse actually resulted in any tangible reality?

Sadly, not. Today I may enter any clothing store nearby, and I will not find a single thing to wear! Visiting stores is like visiting a museum for me. All the clothes on the stand are like art pieces that I can only look at and admire, but that is all. The real culprit here is clearly the age-old, toxic, and unrealistic beauty standards that brutally discard celebration and acceptance of beauty in its various forms. How all clothing brands reject the existence of people beyond size XL is truly laughable. As if we are not a country where almost half of the population is generously fat. The NFHS Survey of 2015–2016 shows 18.9% of males and 20.7% of females in India are overweight. If you shop online, you will find a few brands selling exclusive products, categorising them as "plus-size stores." Where we may appreciate these efforts, the actions don't really speak louder than their words. The number of products in bigger sizes is always marginalized. While the number of products and the range and variety is always huge for the smaller sizes, why?

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Don't fat people want to dress up colourful and trendy? Why should they have to compromise with boring shades and baggy outfits? The search results of a popular shopping site for the category of women's tops showed a figure of 66,214. But when you filter out sizes bigger than XXL, the numbers get reduced to only 4,335. The reason most fat people don't feel confident in their bodies is that society and the media have successfully conditioned them to feel inferior to their oppugnant bunch. And the fashion industry has always been the biggest contributor to generating such notions in people's minds. Designers don't make clothes for fat people. They don't imagine fat people wearing their clothes when they make them. Yes, some brands are now coming forward in support of the body positivity movement, but at most all, they'll do is create a distinct category; throw in some saggy, slouchy, and shapeless clothes and call it a day. So why this discrimination? Regarding fat people as if they were some special group is where the main problem lies. They deserve inclusivity, not exclusivity.

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Another notorious act these brands commit is overpricing the clothes. The pricing for one design in different sizes varies from smaller sizes to bigger sizes, where the bigger sizes are more expensive. In certain instances, the price is almost double. Why should a fat person pay double the price for a piece of clothing that comes cheaper for slimmer people? Why should they pay the "fat tax" for a few extra centimetres? Now, for any significant change to occur, the designers first need to understand that fat person are not some discrete cluster that needs to be treated differently. Rejection of antique beauty standards is a necessity. People in institutions need to be taught how to manufacture clothes for the bigger sizes. They need to forget their obsession with just three to four sizes. Production of clothes for bigger sizes should be increased immediately since there is already an existing market of consumers in the country. And lastly, there should be uniformity in the pricing for all sizes.

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