Filling Out Fashion: The Expanding Plus-Size Industry

Thick N' Sassy.Com Blog

Manik-Magazine Manik-Magazine

By: Ophira Edut Of Adios Barbie

Do clothes make the woman? These days, the catwalk has become a podium for size acceptance. But will big, beautiful women find real power there?

I’M CHILLING ON THE COUCH WITH A BAG OF CHEETOS, watching a beauty pageant on the tube. Women parade across the stage, draped in gowns, after-five wear, casual attire. A mustached emcee introduces contestants, pauses to belt out a patriotic hymn. The judges smile tightly. It’s your standard glamfest.

Only…it’s not. See, the contestants tonight aren’t the binge-and-purge Barbies of pageantry past. The average contender sports a size 20 dress. The smallest woman in the running is no less than a 14-16. And the emcee intersperses his show tunes with some eye-opening stats: Forty percent of women wear a size 14 or above…Sales of plus-size clothes in 1996 were more than $20 billion…In 1990, there were only 200…

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