Monday, August 22, 2011

Lingerie Loves Your Curves

Well, it's late, but better late than never, right?  Right!

The challenge for "Lingerie Loves Your Curves" week was to write about how you were treated differently because of your size, how the fashion industry perceives women of size, and assorted other topics.

Well, I didn't write about how I was treated on school based on my size, because when I was in school I wasn't large - I was a little meatier than some kids, but my weight never went above 140 until I was in my 20's.  I did have a therapist when I was in my 20's who was always on my case to lose weight.  Therapists seem to like to do that.  My therapist now gets on my case for losing weight.  But back to school - when I was in school, kids had so many other "reasons" to pick on me - I was weird, I played violin, I was a bookworm, and generally considered an oddball, so my weight wasn't really the issue as much as my personality.  I liked that I was weird and not like other people, I liked standing out from the herd, so I figured, "F*K 'em if they can't take a joke."  Really, I don't know where I got my spunk from, but I had a lot of it.  I hear a lot of my friends talking now about how they tried to fit in when they were in school, and really, I just never bothered, because I never saw the point.  I don't know if I would have handled it the same way if people had picked on me because of my size.  I like to think I would have.  Now that I am, shall we say, "a woman of size," I still don't take crap from people on account of my size.

As far as the fashion industry goes, acceptance of people of all sizes still has a long way to go.  I like the fact that there are now more plus-size models, like Ashley Greene and Lizzie Miller, who have become superstars.  It's an improvement from when I was working in the fashion industry.  We're still a long way from banishing the anorexic models usually seen on the haute couture runways, and it seems like the more women of size make strides in being accepted in the fashion industry and in society in general, the smaller the women in the fashion spreads and on the runways become.  I don't think the backlash is inevitable.  I really think the fashion industry's standards of beauty, though they have evolved, is dictated by some people, mostly men, at the top of the industry, who create and generate the images you see for mass consumption.  In other words, it's a manufactured backlash.  As such, it can be countered by different images and role models of women, of all shapes, sizes, colors and cultures.  I think it's important for retailers and designers to cater to the population of women to whom they market their products, and to be inclusive.

Diversity benefits everyone.  Well, everyone except maybe Karl Lagerfeld ...