The #droptheplus debacle reared its head briefly again on Twitter and now my eyes have stopped rolling so much to focus on my laptop screen I’ll pen some thoughts.
My most prominent issue with this is that this campaign is being spearheaded by a person who can comfortably shop in most stores, both plus size and non-plus size. Therefore the outcome of this campaign wouldn’t affect them in the way it would someone like myself, a size 26 whose option are vastly more limited in comparison to other smaller fats. Not even taking into consideration that stores that carry my preferred style of clothing that also carry my size are limited to TWO stores and even then I don’t have access to their full selection of wares, I have an overall limited base of around an additional 3 stores within budget. Two of which have brick and mortar stores, one of those has just pulled the majority of their plus size range out of stores.
|A rare plus size in-store section near you|
If brands dropped their plus size labelling I would be forced to scroll through pages and pages of clothes that were not available to me, but I would only find that out after actively searching the size options for a particular item. Time consuming, utterly demoralising, and heart-breaking.
That’s the practical side of things. Then there’s the overall issue with dropping the term as a concept. The only reason any one would have to want to drop the plus size is if there was some shame in being plus size. As a fat person I resent having someone who has privilege over me deciding how brands should make my shopping experience. Our experiences, as a size 16 and a 26, differ vastly, and this campaign merely seeks to make my life, and the lives other fat people, that much harder.
What we need to be focusing our efforts on is removing the stigma associated with the term plus size. Labels (in this instance) are only as bad as the stigma attached to them. Plus size, for me, is a way to cut out trawling through websites that don’t care to cater for me. It’s a means of me finding media with bodies that represent mine, their experiences similar to mine. It’s a means of finding community.
Breaking that stigma, fighting for fat people to be treated and catered for equally, is where the effort should be. Not pandering to people who don’t represent fat people in the first place. The only way this ill-thought campaign would actually work is if they got all brands to cater for all sizes, and priced them equally. Until then all you are doing is making plus size people feel more unwanted than ever before.