What’s so wrong about ‘plus size’?

I wasn’t planning on posting anything tonight, but this link popped up in my stream earlier this evening, and I just feel the need to comment. KMart US has apparently decided to drop the term “plus size” and instead replace it with “Fabulously Sized”. I feel like K-Mart should be congratulated for investing in their Plus Size range – the US is far ahead of Australia on this count. However, I wonder if dropping the term Plus Size isn’t simply a marketing tactic to appease those who still can’t cope with fatness, body positivity, fatshion, etc.

Plus size is a term that’s easy to identify with. It’s a term that has been around for years, it has meaning and understanding. It also appeals to those of us who don’t  see fat or ‘plus’ in a negative way? Over the past decade or so, as I’ve learned to shed my fatphobia (an ongoing journey btw) I’ve come to see that plus size is not a negative or a deficit.

An argument against using the plus size label is that there is so much more of a recognition of the diversity of sizes and shapes of women, we just need the fashion industry to ‘catch up’. However, some of the advocates of removing the term are models who are barely a size 16. The experience of fashion (and the world) of women who are size 16 is very different from a woman who is size 24 and above. You can’t always just design a size 26 version of a size 12 outfit.

Good on K-Mart for getting into plus-size seriously and designing interesting clothes – it’s always nice to have more options. But don’t alienate women for whom using the term plus-size proudly and publicly has been a long emotional journey.

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