The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Curvy girls deserve the right to shop local

boutique plus sizes

I have been considered a plus-size woman my whole life, and shopping is one of my biggest struggles when it comes to my body, especially when I shop with my thinner friends. Going to a local boutique is a fun, common activity when a bunch of girls hang out.

However, when I go with my friends, I rarely try on clothes in local boutiques that can fit me. Therefore, the activity results in me feeling bad about myself, feeling embarrassed around my peers and wanting to quit shopping for the rest of my life.

According to CBS News in 2016, the plus-size clothing industry made about $21.4 billion. They also predict by 2020, sales could potentially hit about $24 billion.

If the plus-size industry is making this much in commercial retail, why do the local boutiques sell only straight sizes?

The commercial retail market is catching up to plus-size beauty standards, such as Forever 21, Torrid, Old Navy, American Eagle and more. Even designers like Oscar de la Renta, are making plus-size clothes.

According to a report from McKinsey & Co. and CBS News, the number of times plus-size has appeared in fashion media has tripled within the year of 2016.

“Fashion brands are rapidly responding to a cultural shift toward body positivity and a growing appreciation of curvy figures, by designing specifically for a larger range of sizes rather than just expanding their size range as an afterthought,” said McKinsey & Co.

Although I am excited the fashion industry is evolving for plus sizes, the local standard of beauty needs to also evolve. Sizes going up to just a size large is leaving an entire audience of customers out who would love to support local businesses and their local economy.

Curvy girls deserve to be more stylish. We should not have to wear non-fashionable clothing just because we have more curves than straight sizes. We should embrace curves and everything they bring. The south is also curvier than the rest of the country, especially Mississippi. Boutiques need to learn how to cater to their customers of all shapes and sizes.

Ashley Graham is a famous plus-size model who made history by being the first plus-size woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Graham is also a body-positive activist who is trying to stretch the standard of beauty.

“I don’t think every store or designer has to make plus-size pieces, but I think if we get the majority on board to start thinking of a normal woman’s body, that’s where the change is going to be,” said Graham.

I agree with Graham, not every store has to have plus-size pieces, but plus-size people should have options. We, as a society, are working toward this goal with the help of people like Ashley Graham.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or 22, you can be healthy as long as you’re taking care of your body, working out, and telling yourself ‘I love you’ instead of taking in the negativity of beauty standards,” said Graham.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Curvy girls deserve the right to shop local