Weight and clothing size seem to be issues that we cannot get away from, both here on Zelda Lily and in reality. Looking back through recent posts — and reading the intelligent and well thought-out comments provided by you — gives a lot of food for thought, but very few hard and fast conclusions.
The sad truth is that, wherever on the spectrum she falls, almost every woman struggles with her weight. The spectrum extremes are morbidly obese through anorexic; both are medical terms since these two deadly conditions have detrimental effects that should be avoided at all costs.
Thankfully, most women fall elsewhere on the spectrum. It’s a good thing, too, since being too far over on either end of the weight loss spectrum puts you at serious risk for a variety of dangerous medical conditions, and judgement from peers, both of which can result in ill effects for the person in question, like it or not.
Looking at this longtime debate from a feminist standpoint isn’t always easy. You don’t want to say, “Go sit on the couch watching TV and eating bonbons all day if that’s your prerogative,” and yet it is impossible to condone the fat-shaming that goes on in virtually all aspects of the media.
Last spring, for example, there was something of a blow-up between Lane Bryant and Victoria’s Secret. Lane Bryant, a plus-size clothing store (although they regularly use models that barely meet the “plus-size” threshold, perpetuating the idealism of the women selling their clothes, albeit on a larger scale), released an ad for a new bra that was refused by several news networks … news networks that were all too happy to air ads from Victoria’s Secret.
Victoria’s Secret models are ridiculously skinny, and the message sent out by the company’s ads, shows, and catalogues is that this is how normal women should strive to look. It’s sickening! And the fact that networks are willing to allow Victoria’s Secret ads on the air but not Lane Bryant’s lingerie offerings is a completely unacceptable double standard.
The reason that this lingerie feud was declared a draw is because normal-sized, healthy women are by and large (haha) ignored. As numerous wise commenters pointed out, you can be a small clothing size but need a bigger bra size that isn’t targeted by Victoria’s Secret. You can be technically plus-sized but don’t look it, so you’re treated rudely by salespeople at both Lane Bryant and Abercrombie and Fitch.
Family-friendly retailer (and creator of a large portion of my wardrobe when I was in high school) The Gap is also playing a dangerous game with the recent ad tagline “Put some pants on, because we can’t all look good in shorts.”