Where fashion is concerned, last week was an absolute shit show. It is no secret that I am not fashion's biggest fan at the best of times (how can I be where everywhere I look it is causing so much misery?) but last week it came to a head from so many directions that I find myself utterly miserable. Every day it seemed there was another whack on unsuspecting women from the people in charge with supplying us with clothes.
First we saw a tweet from a woman who had seen that Asos were stocking clothes by company Pull & Bear that were labelling size 10 clothes as a LARGE. Yup, size 10, as in MY size, as a LARGE. WTF? (A 12 was as big as they went FYI, an Extra Large apparently...)
Next I was forwarded an email from a a friend of mine who had received a newsletter from the company Skinny Coffee which was promoting 'Thinspiration Thursday." Thinspiration?!?!?! As in the thing that we've been fighting against for years since a direct link was made between words like this and eating disorders. I had thought and I had hoped that companies were now finally moving away from this and taking a leaf out of Dove's book and instead encouraging women to love themselves. But oh no, not Skinny Coffee apparently. They're still busy encouraging us to be thin. Twats.
On Friday I was internet shopping with my sister, looking for a dress for her in a size 16, when we discovered that more companies on Asos had adopted Pull & Bear's labelling techniques. Kiss The Sky and Honey Punch were the two brands, just in case you're looking for something to boycott at the moment.
And then, the final straw came yesterday when I tried on a pair of trousers that my sister had ordered for herself from clothing brand Nobody's Child in her size, a size 16. And was obviously SO disappointed to find that they actually fitted her size 10 sister, me, perfectly. I am SMALL, I am a size small, according to most shops, and they fit me. This company are happy to post clothes out to bigger women who they know won't fit into them.
And we wonder why women can't love themselves? Love their bodies? But after a week like this, how can we blame them? On every level this week has been a disaster but the worst thing is that this is just so normal that we are becoming immune to it, we're now just used to it. After every one of these instances I shared my outrage onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I noticed two worrying things. First of all, people agreeing with me, time and time again, telling me how this happened to them too, all the time. And the second is from people who were asking me why I was banging on about this, since it was SO normal and it's been going on for so long that it can't possibly be body-shaming.
But what I need people to understand is that just because it has been going on for so long, does NOT make it OK, it just means that we are finally calling bullshit on this, and this 'it's not body shaming' stuff? That's so wrong, This IS body shaming. The fact is, people are being judged simply on account of their size. When clothes don't fit them or shops don't stock clothes that they can wear, they are being body shamed. They are being judged and they are being excluded. That is SHAMING. It is also shameful on behalf of these companies.
I don't know how they are still getting away with this, I really don't. It makes me SO angry that 15 million women in this country, who are over a size 16, are in exactly the same position as my sister. How are we letting them get away with this?
Guys please can we start calling bullshit on this, do NOT accept this, share it, shout about it, P.L.E.A.S.E. If we kick off enough, if we actually boycott them, if we can call them out, they will be forced to fix this and that is something that we really need them to do. We'll stand together and shout until they hear us.