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Sociological Thoughts

There is no skinny woman within

By July 22, 2014No Comments

So this catalog showed up in my mail today. I’ve never heard of this company. Never ordered anything from them. I brought it inside and sat it on the dining room table and only just now picked it up. Are they selling luggage, I thought. I don’t need luggage. Why did I get this catalog?

Image on the outside of the catalog

Image on the outside of the catalog

This luggage image was on the front and the back of the catalog, kind of like the butcher paper Playboy comes in, so the postal carrier doesn’t know what kind of catalog it really is. Inside the catalog, I found this:

What the catalog really sells

What the catalog really sells

So, okay. That’s cool. It’s a “plus” size catalog. I’m a “plus” size woman, which is to say, I think, that my body is curvy and normal-sized. I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t feel I particularly need magazines selling clothes to me to be camouflaged with images of luggage on either cover, but maybe that’s just coincidence, right?

I started to flip through the pages of the catalog, and here are the models I found:

2014-07-22 17.01.02

Hmm…she doesn’t look particularly plus size to me, though that shirt is awfully big on her.

2014-07-22 17.01.14

Nope. I don’t even think this woman is a size 12, let alone a size 14. But her shirt, yet again, doesn’t really fit.

2014-07-22 17.01.39

Nice try, but no, she is not plus size either. Perhaps the catalog would like me to believe all these women are smiling because they are so grateful not to actually fit into these clothes made for women who are too fat to even be pictured in a catalog selling clothes to them.

I flipped through every single page and there was not a single woman who looked any bigger than a size 8 or 10. In a catalog where the sizes run from Medium to 7X. No small sizes here. This catalog doesn’t sell any clothes that actually fit the women modeling them. I have to say, this does not seem like a very good marketing technique. I am never going to look like the woman modeling these clothes. Nor would I want to, because, again, their clothes don’t actually fit them.

Buying clothes is a hard thing for women in this world, regardless of your size or shape. Skinny or thick. Sometimes I’m not sure exactly who the clothes are designed for. I just know most of the time it’s not me.

But if you’re going to try to sell clothes for women with bodies that look somewhat like my own, can you not find models whose bodies actually fit the clothes? I know they exist, because I see them every day. And maybe while we’re at it, you don’t need to hide the nature of your catalog as if having a big body is as shameful as reading porn. Just a suggestion.

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