Did you know that there is no standardised clothing system in Australia? For this reason, women could be one size in one store and another size in a different store. The difference between sizes can be quite drastic. For example, some women can be a size 8 in some stores and a size 12 in others. Clothing companies often mark their sizes smaller than they really are to increase sales. All this really accomplishes is making women feel confused and insecure. To add to this, the Australian modelling industry considers anyone above a size 8 to be “plus size.” However, the average Australian woman is between size 14 and size 16. These alarming facts have sparked some serious debate about how plus size women dress and how clothing standards affect them. There are many stereotypes about plus size women. Many say that they should dress in a modest way to avoid calling attention to themselves. Plus size women are often rebuked by the media for wearing “revealing” or sensual clothing that smaller women wear without a problem. Essentially, society wants bigger women to be invisible. However, the growing body positivity movement has become a platform for “plus size” women to speak out. Surprisingly, many say that they don’t dress for attention or for the male gaze. Instead, they dress for themselves.
Plus size clothing Australia: What does plus size mean?
Due to the lack of standardised clothing system in Australia, there is no firm definition of “plus size.” Despite the average Australian woman being a size 16, this is oftentimes considered a plus size in clothing stores. In fact, there has even been a call for clothing companies to do away with the term “plus size” altogether. After all, what does it really mean? The answer is simple: it means nothing. A size is just a number, yet there is undue significance placed on these numbers.
What is body positivity?
Body positivity is a movement with the goal of improving the confidence and self-love of both men and women. This social movement was sparked from the belief that everyone- regardless of size, shape, or ability- should love their body. The body positivity movement is especially important in the plus size community because bigger women are typically frowned upon for loving themselves. Larger women are constantly told that they need to lose weight in order to look good. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Take model Tess Holliday for example. She is a size 26 beautiful, and successful! Size does not dictate beauty. The body positivity movement shows that self-worth is not something that should be earned by a number on a scale. Instead, it’s something that everyone deserves.
Who do women dress for?
What helps you pick an outfit? When you get dressed, it’s unlikely that you choose an outfit that makes you feel bad. The majority of women- both “plus size” and “normal size”- wear clothes that make them feel good about themselves. For some women, this is modest clothing. For others, it’s sexy or revealing clothing. However, the answer remains the same: women dress for themselves! Sure, you may pick a special outfit to wear on a first date or for an anniversary. Bigger women should not be made to feel inferior for dressing any type of way. Just because someone is larger doesn’t mean that they should be invisible.
Why do plus size women dress for themselves?
Although times are changing, we live in a society that respects thin, pretty women. Plus size women are oftentimes ostracized from fashion trends and society as a whole. However, the body positivity movement has shown women that they should respect and love their bodies, regardless of size. This is a key reason why plus size women dress for themselves! Self-respect is necessary in order to maintain a positive relationship with your body and your mind.
We decorate things that we love. From our homes to our faces, we adorn them with beautiful colours to show off their true beauty. The same goes for our bodies. Plus size women dress for themselves as an expression of self-love. If they love a certain article of clothing, they reward themselves and their bodies by wearing it.
Confidence is key. Whether you are thin or plus size, confidence is what helps boost self-esteem. A main reason why plus size women dress for themselves is because it makes them feel confident! In a society that tells bigger women that they are worthless, confidence is crucial.
Society has constantly implied that only thin women are sexy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bigger women can be sexy, too, and that is one reason why they dress for themselves. They are embodying their sexuality in a way that society tells them they can’t or shouldn’t. Every woman deserves to feel sexy in her own skin!
Think about who you see on the runways more often. Is it skinny women or plus size women? 99.9% of the time it is skinny women who have specific measurements deemed “necessary” to be on a runway. One reason that plus size women dress for themselves is to reclaim fashion. Why should fashion be reserved for only thin women? It shouldn’t! By larger women reclaiming fashion, they are making a bold political statement. They are saying that they are worthy to be in trendy and fashionable clothing