Sunday, 11 March 2012

NOT Into This - Downsizing on the High Street

When I started thinking about what to write for this week's 'Not Into This' I really had one major gripe which I felt needed a feature all of its own. So, for today it's all about.....

Downsizing on the High Street


Most high street shops do provide a larger size for the larger lady, but unfortunately there are still some chain stores who blatantly do not. In fact, some of them only cater up to a size 14.

On recent shopping trips with a friend who is a size 14/16, we noticed the clothes which were labelled as a Large were quite simply NOT large. At most, the large size will fit a ladies size 12/14 and that is only if you have slender upper arms. Oh and the Large size was the biggest size they went up to!

Can you imagine how upsetting this is for women who are the average size, 14/16? I can see the painful disappointment in my friend's eyes when she tries on yet another poorly sized item in the changing rooms. And it annoys me, a lot!

I really cannot understand why some shops are not catering for actual women - you know, potential customers!

And in a certain large department store which sells clothes from high street stores and high-end designers, I noticed that even the mannequins seem to have lost a lot of weight too. The mannequin's thighs are ridiculously skinny and are identical to the matchstick pins on a size zero.

So, why is the high street taking no notice of the UK woman? Is it because fashion is all about being extremely skinny? Are we as a nation obsessed with the unhealthy celebrity size 0?

I am really at a loss as to why this is happening in our retail industry, especially when there have been so many campaigns for the plus-size woman. And can I just add, I do not even think size 14/16 is a plus-size, but according to some high street stores it clearly is. What an insult to the average sized woman!

Even when you look through archives of fashion images over the last 60 years, it is irrefutably evident that over each decade the models are getting thinner. What is it going to be like in 2020? Are we destined for skeleton couture?


Only a few months ago I accidentally came across a Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia blog on Tumblr (via Pinterest) and I was completely devastated at what I saw. Young ladies who have this terrible illness had posted hundreds of images of the thighs they would love to have. And guess what images they had posted on this blog? Yep, you guessed it, photos of models and celebrities. Models who are used to promote clothes for the fashion industry.

The girls on the pro-ana blog are encouraging one another to starve and use the skinny model pics for inspiration. The girls biggest motto being "So your thighs don't rub together when you walk!"

This is what is happening.

This is the reality of how retail and fashion are perceived by others - you're only beautiful if you are thin.

This is wrong. Completely wrong.

And don't even get me started on magazines headlines stating how amazing it is if a celebrity sheds their baby weight in two weeks. Absolutely repulsive!

Will there ever be a day when retail, fashion and the media industry actually provide for the average woman and not who they think we all need to aspire to be like? Surely they must realise what power they hold over impressionable young ladies. Of course, they do.....they know what sells.

Teresa x

And a little question to mannequin manufacturers - what size is a 2012 dummy compared to one which was used by retail in previous decades?

Here are some of our views on other aspects of pressure for women to be 'perfect'