Editor’s Note: We love receiving articles from our readers about their experiences and insight on being a plus sized woman. This article was submitted by Kiera Edwards. If you have an opinion that you want to share you can contact the Editor to submit an article.
So, I’m not one to get on a soap box and continuously complain about the wrongdoings towards plus-sized women, but I went shopping recently and something just didn’t sit right with me. My girlfriends and I went on a trip to New York and on the way home, we stopped at the Jersey Gardens Outlets. This is a wonderful outlet mall and I highly recommend it to those who are nearby or plan to be in the New Jersey/New York area. Upon entering the mall, we all beelined to the directory. I stood there in amazement as I looked at the categories for shopping. There it was as bright as day, “Plus Size Women Apparel”. Now, perhaps others have seen this before but it was a first for me!! This mall actually extracted stores that particularly served plus-sized ladies and categorized them in a section so that ladies could easily tour the mall for fun fashions! But then, my heart sunk. Why is Motherhood Maternity included in the plus-size section? Upon further insight, I remembered that during my online shopping excursions, I’ve noticed that stores are including maternity wear in the plus-sized category as well, such as Target and ASOS. I’ve had several conversations…with myself, about this issue.
Why would stores feel that maternity wear should be labeled as plus-sized? Naturally, when you are pregnant, you will gain weight but only because you have a tummy full of human. Correct me if I’m wrong but being plus-sized is usually something that lasts more than nine months and fashions are designed to cater to a size, not because of a temporary weight gain but because it appreciates that women come in different body shapes. Maternity clothes only target temporarily larger bellies, as that is the main area that will enlarge due to pregnancy. Sure, maternity clothing has come a long way in terms of fashion, but they come in sizes small – x-large, just like the usual sizing scale offers. Plus-sized clothing usually starts at size XL.
Do non-pregnant, plus-sized women wear maternity clothes? I’m guessing no. Do pregnant women wear non-maternity plus-sized clothing? Probably not. The point I am trying to make is that just because you are pregnant does not necessarily mean that you are plus-sized too and I will need stores to notice that post-haste. Maternity wear should have its own category that can then be sub-categorized like women’s clothes, with a plus-size option.
As with any new societal issue, plus-sized issues will take time to nurture and accurately portray. Though we are taking huge steps in plus-sized fashions, we still have a couple more to go. I continually feel that only those who truly understand what it means to be plus-sized, can be effective in featuring it in the many mediums of society.