By: Courtney Giardina, Regular Contributor
On February 22, Target will be launching a new line called Ava & Viv. This line focuses on great style and selection for what they call plus size women. When I sat down to start to write this, I really had no idea where to go with it. Then the more I thought about it, the more frustrating it became. There were so many angles I wanted to cover and so many things I wanted to say, but in the end it came down to this:
Stop focusing on numbers and start focusing on being healthy
I know people in my everyday life who wear a size 0 or a size 2. Sure, they are beautiful and when you look at them you would call them skinny, but that does not mean they are healthy. That does not mean they don’t struggle with food because of the pressure they feel to fit into that size on a daily basis. Then I know women who fit into the size 10, 12, and 14 categories. Those women are also beautiful. They are confident and they take care of themselves.
My point here is that we as a society need to stop focusing so much on what it means to be skinny or plus size and start embracing what it means to be healthy. And for some, healthy means a size zero and for others healthy means a size 12.
FORD model Danielle Redman said it perfectly in a recent interview with Shape magazine when she said, “Every body is beautiful and every body is different. Some people are meant to be a size negative zero and some people are meant to be a size 16.”
Contrary to what we all have been forced to believe, the average size woman is not a size 2. They aren’t even a size 4 or 6. Average women fall between sizes 8-18. And once designers and clothing stores begin to understand that, everyone will benefit. Aimee Cheshire, President and Co-Founder of the newly rebranded fashion line Hey Gorgeous, was amazed at business from women sizes 8-14 once she started marketing it without the word “plus” associated with it. "We did find that a lot of women, especially the size 14/16, do not identify themselves as plus-sized, so they are just living life as they are and they can fit into some clothes, or can't," Cheshire says.
Retailer Lane Bryant’s CEO Linda Heasley is also starting to see the bigger picture. She told bizwomen “there is no more ‘plus size’ at Lane Bryant. There is only ‘her size.’ “
Although I think it’s great that retailers like Target are introducing more size friendly lines into their collection, I applaud those who have a full understanding that a size really is just a number and that it should not define anyone. Let’s keep the moment moving in that direction.
Let's Chat! Have you noticed an issue with clothing sizes while shopping? How does it make you feel? What can the industry do to change the numbers game?
Courtney was born and raised in a suburb outside of Rochester, NY. She now calls Charlotte, NC home. Each day she lives by the motto that we create the life we imagine for ourselves. Her debut novel Tear Stained Beaches was released in 2013, her second novel is currently in editing and she has begun work on novel #3. Having a passion for cheerleading most of her life, it’s no surprise her spare time is spent currently as the head coach for a local middle school team and also as part of the Charlotte Hounds Major League Lacrosse dance team. She tweets under @sweetangeleyz and shares her latest adventures at The Girl Behind the Covers.