The other day I heard about this brand that supplies plus-size clothing. Not the Pantaloons XXL kinds plus size. The real plus size – 4XL, 5XL, 6XL, you get the idea? And it made me happy. The fact that there’s an option for people who want them, seemed rather democratic to me. Plus size is after all just a size. It need not be treated like race or religion. Even race and religion shouldn’t be treated separately, but who listens!
If a person is happy and healthy, being large doesn’t mean too much to him or her. Then why is our society such a miser in providing a clothing line for them? Why does it always have to make large people feel inappropriate? Fine, if fashion chooses to display itself on toned bodies; but the option of clothing has nothing to do with what’s the new Milan statement! It is simply about getting a right size for your body and feeling comfortable, whatever occasion it might be. Go to any mekhela chador store in Assam and you’re bound to twiddle your thumbs if you’re larger than the traditional 36-37. And since the two front pleats are mandatory when wearing the mekhela, you have to consider ordering your own size.
Also, brands that are so flamboyantly hung atop store hangers, always surprise me. I know that from S to XXL sizes, I will never pick up an S. But no two brands can ever decide for certain, whether I need an L or an XL. There’s nothing like US-10 or UK-6 that remains congruent in all brands. More so, if you’re larger than the conventional size-end – XXL, the salegirl will offer you a sympathetic ‘No ma’am, we don’t have it’. Feel free to go buy a piece from a metre shop and tailor your shirt, because you will never find a global option for yourself, even if you’re not Goliath. I appreciate that we don’t eat ourselves to colonic cancer or that our endemic size is ‘average’, but where will all those who do not conform to this size chart go? Will they always be made to feel pity for themselves even though shedding weight hasn’t brought them to their college-time physique?
Shopkeepers often tell me that larger sizes are unavailable because the market doesn’t have that demand in majority. So what exactly do you suggest larger people do? Start wearing bedspreads and curtains? You might say, online store is an option. True it is, but everyone may not consider buying things online. Big people go to the store every time to look for their size and leave disappointed. If one can do the math, then a store specifically suiting their requirements can be easily opened (like you have maternal stores), and hence make supply and demand equal. How difficult is that?
Much like what our society does to difference in accepted racial superiority, gender or social personas, it deals meanly with difference in social body type. It will jeer at you silently when you walk in the aisle at a multi-brand store, it will give you looks when you look for a more comfortable chair when others are perched on benches and it will make you believe that the skinny creature that strutted past you is the prettiest thing alive. I mean, what if I decided to call her ‘minus’ instead?
If you’re heavy but healthy, don’t believe them. Until someone becomes smart enough to pick up on the lines of your requirements and consider doing something different, celebrate who you are and look for an online option.