Written by Chloe Shenton
Note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of RetoxMagazine.com
Since a young age there has been an abundant amount of pressure on women to conform to certain ideologies that are supposedly applicable into making someone 'beautiful' or attractive. Weight especially has increased all over the world and thus has the awareness that women can be left feeling self-conscious about their body.
A new phenomenon appears to have been introduced with shops like Debenhams presenting plus sized mannequins within their stores to give the sense of inclusivity towards all of their customers. The website however, doesn’t deem plus sized models as appropriate to display their items of clothing on their homepage as of yet with all models being size 10. Also I cannot figure out why the 'Plus size' section is a completely different tab on a website, and why the clothes don’t simply range from a size 6 to 26. If the brands want to include every woman within their demographic why are the 'bigger' women forced to use an entirely different option?
On the complete other end of the scale – women that are naturally thin or underweight don’t appear to get the same treatment. Where are the 5 foot, size 4 mannequins on the shop floor? Without knowing the comments made such as 'skinny' can turn from admiration to insult and they consequently get judged as being too thin. Again similar to larger sized women, there is a completely different 'petit' option on web stores for them also excluding them for not being the 'normal' size.
History of weight has clearly changed throughout the years; women being an average of size 12 in the 1950’s compared with the modern day average of size 16. Iconic figures have turned from Marilyn Monroe (size 12) to people such as Kate Moss and Cara Delveigne both size 6 – it seems ironic that the thinner our idols get, the heavier we as a society get.
Personally I can’t help but wonder whether the promotion of a size 16 body will cause women to become even bigger on average. Ultimately being a size 16 is classed as overweight. Seeing people that are thinner than us gives us motivation to have their body and to be fit and active like they are – having that removed fundamentally takes that drive from us.
Men aren’t particularly immune to the prejudice against weight as a third of men in the UK are overweight whilst 600,000 men are underweight, yet the same store that employs plus sized female mannequins doesn’t have the same luxury for the male consumers. Perhaps this is due to men being undeniably happy about their weight, or the more likely option, shops are ignoring the fact that men have the same self-esteem problems as women – but they can hide it better.
Either way we’re being delivered a variety of mixed, unclear messages telling us what mind set we should have about ourselves, or telling us what our weight needs to be by millions of other people. These faceless strangers however don’t necessarily matter due to the supreme opinion of all; your own.