Tim Gunn: “Have you shopped retail for size 14-plus clothing? It’s a horribly insulting and demoralizing experience”

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On how fashion doesn’t love plus-sized women:

“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.”

On what designers think:

“I’ve spoken to many designers and merchandisers about this. The overwhelming response is, “I’m not interested in her.” Why? “I don’t want her wearing my clothes.” Why? “She won’t look the way that I want her to look.” They say the plus-size woman is complicated, different and difficult, that no two size 16s are alike. Some haven’t bothered to hide their contempt. “No one wants to see curvy women” on the runway, Karl Lagerfeld, head designer of Chanel, said in 2009. Plenty of mass retailers are no more enlightened: Under the tenure of chief executive Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch sold nothing larger than a size 10, with Jeffries explaining that “we go after the attractive, all-American kid. This a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it’s a matter of adjusting proportions. The textile changes, every seam changes. Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer. Done wrong, and we look worse than if we were naked.”

On the fact that it is depressing to shop while plus-sized:

“Have you shopped retail for size 14-plus clothing? Based on my experience shopping with plus-size women, it’s a horribly insulting and demoralizing experience. Half the items make the body look larger, with features like ruching, box pleats and shoulder pads. Pastels and large-scale prints and crazy pattern-mixing abound, all guaranteed to make you look infantile or like a float in a parade. Adding to this travesty is a major department-store chain that makes you walk under a marquee that reads “WOMAN.” What does that even imply? That a “woman” is anyone larger than a 12, and everyone else is a girl? It’s mind-boggling.”

On how plus-size collections are all dated:

“Despite the huge financial potential of this market, many designers don’t want to address it. It’s not in their vocabulary. Today’s designers operate within paradigms that were established decades ago, including anachronistic sizing. (Consider the fashion show: It hasn’t changed in more than a century.) But this is now the shape of women in this nation, and designers need to wrap their minds around it. I profoundly believe that women of every size can look good. But they must be given choices. Separates — tops, bottoms — rather than single items like dresses or jumpsuits always work best for the purpose of fit. Larger women look great in clothes skimming the body, rather than hugging or cascading. There’s an art to doing this. Designers, make it work.”

… says Tim.

 

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Kim Kardashian: “Doesn’t my waist look Photoshopped?”

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On looking for validation from her fans:

‘You guys, doesn’t my waist look Photoshopped? It’s so crazy! It’s getting small!’

… said Kim while trying on a tiny black dress she then wore to a medical center in order to get “#Skintightening #nonsurgical #tummytuck” (via her Snapchat).

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Alessia Cara: “I started losing my hair in chunks in the shower”

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20 year-old Canadian singer Alessia Cara recently opened up about her past issues with hair loss and how it affected her confidence:

In late elementary school, early high school, I started losing my hair in chunks in the shower. It was one of the scariest things. It got to the point where it was visibly gone,” she confessed. “I struggled with that a lot, especially going into high school. You have so many pressures—what people are going to think of you—and I was going into it losing all my hair. I had, like, nothing left. It was patches of missing hair that people would point out, because people are mean in high school.

… says Alessia.

 

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JCPenny’s New Body-Positive Campaign: “Fat girls can do whatever they want”

National retailer JCPenney launched a new body-positive video featuring different plus-size women on behalf of the brand’s line for size 12+ ladies. Some of the faces you may recognize in this video: singer Mary Lambert, Project Runway winner (and JCPenney designer) Ashley Nell Tipton, blogger and designer Gabi Fresh, Instagram star Valerie Sagun, blogger and designer Gabi Fresh, and writer Jes Baker.

Some of the notable quotes in the video:

“As the fifth-grader called hippo… I was spending my entire life trying to change.”

“In high school I was one of those girls who was like, I would be so much prettier if I were thin.”

And on a positive note:

“Fat girls can do whatever they want… Fat girls can run, fat girls can dance, fat girls can have amazing jobs. We can walk runways. We can be on the covers of magazines. Wear stripes. Bright colors. I am beautiful; I am sexy. There’s no ignoring this when it walks in the door. My size isn’t an indicator of my worth.”

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Singer JoJo Used to Eat 500 Calories / Day to Lose Weight

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On how the media affected her confidence:

I was around 17. My mom really kept me in a bubble, she was managing me. I wanted to separate our relationship. If people had an opinion about me and were coming to her about it [and saying they wanted me to lose weight] she never let me know about it. There just wasn’t as many places to be nasty in 2004, 2005 as there are now.

On going to extreme measures to lose weight:

Here’s something that I agreed to do that really ended up messing with me psychologically. I was under a lot of pressure from a company I was working with and they wanted me to lose weight fast. So they got me with a nutritionist and had me, like, on all these supplements, and I was injecting myself – this like is a common thing that girls do by the way. So it makes your body only need certain calories, so I ate 500 calories a day. This was the most unhealthy thing I had ever done. Then I gained all the weight back. I felt terrible about myself… I felt like ‘if I don’t do this, my album won’t come out’ and it didn’t. So it’s not like it even worked.

… says 25 year-old JoJo.

See more of her next!

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