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So, I have been thinking, perusing the internet, wondering, as I seem to see this constant theme popping up everywhere, as if the world is trying to steer the plus size woman onto a certain fashion path it leaves me thinking, steeping, pausing, at this debacle and overtone that I constantly read, feel, and hear! So, I thought to revisit this Open Letter to the Retail Industry…
I instead delve into one of my articles, that I cherish, dusting it off, because even after a year later, it still holds merit, truth, and unfortunately, some of the same issues!
So here is-
My Open Letter to the Retail Industry:
Dear mass retailer, high fashion magazine, haute couture designer, mainstream media, retail buyer, and all those who dare question our plus size existence,
I write you this letter to share my frustrations and concerns with you and your antics! I write you as a plus size fashionista who is at her wits end with the options, perceptions, and the constant snobbery that you relegate to us fashionistas with curves!
How dare you presume that because we carry “more” in our bosoms, stomach, or behind that I should be ashamed! Assume that all I want to wear are tents, muumuus, and nasty pasty florals! Attempt to banish me to retail purgatory in the basements of all your department stores- next to the bathing suits at best! Try your best to steal away from me any form of fashion!
What gives you the right to dictate to me what and how I should look! What gall you have to deny me the high fashion, red carpet worthy, extremely sophisticated looks as my straight sized sister! Moreover, you secretly yank my sizes out of your stores to dictate to me that I can only shop online!
How dare you send me on an expedition to excavate and dig for treasures of Plus Size Fashion?
So what is this size 18 plus size fashion lover to do when you retail buyers refuse to bring in any high- fashion, stigma shattering designers into your stores, only to attempt to blanketly size up your lines, minus the fashion? The nerve you have!
I am a fashion snob, who will quickly drop my pennies on a Chloe satchel, don my Jimmy Choos, without a blink all the while reading the latest Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire magazines- but to what avail? You call yourself doing a sexy at any size edition, attempting to include us in your readership, yet in the same read, you advocate plastic surgery, and massively Photoshop the curvy women who grace your editions. Why must we wait for these editions to be included? It only becomes condescending and patronizing.
Did you think that if you don’t cater to us that we would just shrivel up and disappear?
Well, let me tell you something. I am here along with the other 60% of women sporting a size 14+, and honey, we are not going anywhere! We have always been women with curves. I have no shame about what I am working with. We love fashion! Give us the butt-hugging jeans. I am not afraid to show neither my arms nor my legs for that matter! Many of us crave color, cut, and quality just as much as the next fashionista. More than quite a few of us hunger for the latest it dress, shoes, or bag.
And guess what! I am loving and living life!
So this is my open letter to you, retail industry.
You can ignore me, shun me, and try your best to belittle me, but I am not going anywhere. I am here digging and searching and courting those who court me back. This Curvy Fashionista will be amongst those who make up this 26 billion dollar forecasted industry. We will spend our dollars with those who acknowledge and respect our curves! (Monif C., Qristyl Frazier, Igigi, Anna Scholz, etc.)
The Curvy Fashionista