22 November 2005

Here's a major complaint. I am a fat girl--have been for awhile. I buy clothes, like any other person, and I have noticed something that really, truly pisses me off. Why is it that plus-sized clothing (women's sizes) are regularly more expensive than regular sizes? In almost every retail situation, the larger sizes cost more. Even in catalogs, like Nordstrom (a personal favorite) J. Jill, and Eddie Bauer, the regular sizes are priced one way, and then the plus sizes are always more. It is consistent throughout clothing retail, with the one remarkable exception of Coldwater Creek. I'm actually not a fan of most of their clothing, but they do have lots of nice linen pants and shirts. But my inclination is to support them simply because they do not choose to punish fatties by making us pay more for our clothes.

This brings me to my theory. The retail companies that charge more for plus sizes are punishing fat women for being fat. Being fat is one of the last taboos in our thin obsessed culture, and I believe that these companies charge us more first of all as a cultural and social sanction, i.e. "take that, you fatties!" and also because they can get away with it. I know what some people would say to this accusation. They say, well, it takes more material to make fat girl clothes, doesn't it? Maybe so. But if that logic were followed, then smaller and petite sizes would be less expensive, since they use less material to create. Bigger shoes would be more expensive. I don't buy it, anyway. Being small is a goal. Being thin is desirable. Being fat is BAD.

I also noticed another disturbing trend. Catalogs that readily (and profitably) sell fabulous plus-sized clothing, such as J. Jill, do not carry the plus sizes in their stores. Recently, at the Jordan Creek Town Center Mall here in Des Moines, I went into the J. Jill store and looked for the plus sizes. I asked the pencil-thin sales clerk where the plus sizes were, and she informed me "There isn't room in the store." Talk about a freudian slip! No, of course there isn't room in the store for a bunch of FAT WOMEN! She looked at me as if I were some kind of virus whose mere presence might add a couple of pounds to her emaciated frame. This kind of treatment makes me furious. All I want is for there to be equal treatment under the law. Is that asking too much???

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