NaNoWriMo · Writing

NaNoWriMo Post the Fourth: On Clothing and Body Image, part 1

I must confess something, dear reader. I am 5’3″, 150 pounds-ish, and I… I wear tights.

I know. Scandalous.

I wear them with long sweaters so no one has to be subject to my heinously fat ass and thighs, but still, I commit this fashion faux pas because, damn it, tights are comfy when I’m feeling bloated or if I’m going to be out all day.

If you haven’t noticed by now, [I wish I had a font for this] I’m being sarcastic.

If I have to be subject to seeing shirtless men, or women running in their underwear (or, rather, what amounts in “polite society” to underwear), then I should be allowed to subject the world to seeing my body, still completely covered, despite the fact that I am not 5’3″ and 100lbs. I don’t care how fit you are; it is not my ideal commuting situation seeing half naked people running around the city. So if you think I should be subjected to you in your sports bra and booty shorts, then you can suck up seeing me in my tights and long sweater.

This post was inspired by this video of the founder of Lululemon saying that their pants just don’t work for some women. Read: they don’t work for women without a thigh gap.

When host Trish Regan asked [Lululemon founder Chip Wilson] about complaints about pilling of the fabric, Wilson replied: “There has always been pilling. The thing is that women will wear seatbelts that don’t work or they’ll wear a purse that doesn’t work or, quite frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t work for it,” Wilson said.

“Even our small sizes would fit an extra large, [but] It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there … over a period of time, and how much they use it,” he continued.

The article beneath the video also notes,

Vancouver clothing designer Nicole Berger, a former colleague of Wilson’s, says his comments did not offend her. “My thighs rub together, and I didn’t take it personally,”  she says, “I wear Lululemon. I wear it for running, yoga, training for my triathalon. And, you know, pilling is a natural thing that’s going to happen,”

“All women of all shapes and sizes need to wear clothes. Does every company need to cater to every woman? No.”

Frankly, as a woman who is curvy, I can understand the challenges of fitting and making clothing to accommodate my body. The number of shirts I own that I need to wear an undershirt with due to my breast size outnumbers the ones that I don’t. I also realize that some stores cater to some sizes, and others cater to different ones, and that’s fine. But own your shit, clothing stores. If you’re catering to a larger body type, like Additionelle or Laura Plus, go for it. If you’re catering to a smaller body type, like Ambercrombie and Fitch, then fine. That said: don’t make it about the popularity about your shopper, make it about the clothes.

Lululemon didn’t talk about how they’re catering to attractive or popular people. They’re not purposefully excluding people. Their product just has issues when used a certain way. Did he say they weren’t going to fix it? No. He said they can be worn by everyone. Just different body types use clothing in different ways. If you rub your eraser against a piece of paper roughly, it’ll be used quicker than if you rub it gently. Because friction. Same goes with clothes. Ambercrombie and Fitch full out fat shamed. Wilson [founder of Lululemon], though he could have been a bit more sensitive in his wording, just noted that if you have large thighs, your pants will rub and pill. If we chase after every person who says something slightly insensitive with such vehemence, we’re going to be chasing after a lot of people. Call them out on their insensitivity, fine, but save the wrath for the ones who deserve it.

Blog Word Count to Date: 4355 words
Novel Word Count to Date: 2500
Approximate Word Count to Date, Total: 6855

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