Friday, September 9, 2016

Thank You Tim Gunn

I don't really know anything about fashion, except that Tim Gunn has that rich guy voice and tells fashion designers to make it work and it's kinda funny. Oh, and the fashion industry hates fat people with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

But maybe not all of it!

Tim Gunn: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It’s a disgrace.

It is a disgrace, Tim Gunn!

I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them.

Thank you. It's really incredibly refreshing to see such an important figure in the fashion industry, perhaps the most visible one at least for people like me who aren't really into it, criticize designers for a lack of imagination and/or guts and/or a lack of not being judgmental assholes rather than blaming fat people (most of whom are really average people) for existing.

And it's also important to point out, once again, that oppression and marginalization are not about money. Money is often involved and there is a strong link between poverty and "obesity" (aka being fatter than people think you should be), but the fact that designers are ignoring a huge and growing demographic for their product in favor of thin people shows how strong an influence fat hatred really is. "Dripping with disdain" is the perfect descriptor. I've known plenty of average people in various professions to talk about fat people in the same way.

And finally, it's nice to be reminded that I'm actually average. I'm a size 16 now, probably larger in some brands (if they even go that high). I'm 28 and my metabolism has become such that diet and exercise no longer cause me to lose weight. I tried. But rather than dedicate all my spare time to exercise or try a variety of trendy diets that might hurt me, I decided to just live my life the way I want to.

It hasn't been easy. I struggle with self-hatred over my body on a regular basis. It's incredibly difficult to drown out that disdain-dripping voice from society that tells me over and over that I'm disgusting. That I, as I exist now, am disgusting, for being fat, even though I'm really average. But I've dedicated myself to fighting that hateful voice rather than fighting my own body, and it feels good to have an ally in Tim Gunn.

Thanks, Tim. I appreciate it.

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