The plus size industry has definitely evolved over the years, but to be honest, it still has a ways to go. Even within the community itself, there is a certain body shape that is seen as the “standard” within the community. That “ideal” narrow-waist-to-wide-hip ratio in society extends to curvy babes. An “intra-sizeism,” if you will.
As the years go by, the average woman’s physique changes. I’m sure y’all have heard the age-old tale of beauty icon Marilyn Monroe being a size 12. Then comes the concept of vanity sizes, so of course, the idea of “size” has certainly changed.
For a while, many people have cited data that the average American woman was a size ’14,’ recently changing from the ’12’ that it had been before. Well, that isn’t the case anymore! Per the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education the average American woman is now actually between a size 16 and 18.
In the study, over 5,500 American women over the age of 20 were measured and additional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was also used. The data concluded that over the past 21 years, the average waist circumference increased 2.6 inches.
The study’s researchers concluded with the hope “that women may be relieved in knowing the average clothing size worn is larger than [they] thought,” and that it alters the public’s perception of “average” size.
So, what does that mean? To me, it definitely means that the plus-size industry should accurately represent such in their models. Yes, supermodels have been historically the “extraordinary” exception of the average woman, but the point of the advent of the plus-size industry was inclusion. As such, there should be a wide range of models that represents the bulk of woman actually purchasing the clothes.
Think about how much time and pain we’d save if we saw an accurate sized woman in the clothes we covet? We’d completely eliminate that “wow it looks so good on the mannequin/model, but it looks like a complete mess on me!” feeling.
Beyond the significance of inclusive model representation, the actual clothes should have a realistic size range to accurately represent its consumers. “I am hoping this will help nudge the fashion industry to seriously consider expanding their sizes,” said study author Deborah Christel, Ph.D.
Yes! It just sounds like common sense to me! Supply and demand is real! Let’s hope the brands adjust in regards to its models and its stock!
So, what do you think about his newfound information? Did you know the average size had increased?
What are YOUR thoughts?
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director made of sugar and spice and everything rice. She has the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.