The fashion industry has long been criticized for perpetuating narrow beauty standards and exclusionary practices, and one of the most harmful ways this manifests is through fatphobia. Fatphobia is the systemic discrimination and marginalization of people who are perceived to be overweight or obese, and it is pervasive in the fashion industry.
One of the most visible examples of fatphobia in the fashion industry is the limited size range that many brands offer (not everyone). The majority of fashion brands only offer clothing in a narrow range of sizes, often stopping at size 12 or 14. This means that people who wear larger sizes are excluded from participating in mainstream fashion, and are forced to shop at specialty stores or online retailers that often offer less trendy or fashionable options.
Another way that fatphobia manifests in the fashion industry is through the lack of representation of larger bodies in advertising, media, and on the runway. Plus size models are still a rarity in many fashion campaigns and runway shows, and when they are included, they are often limited to a certain size range or body type. This perpetuates the idea that larger bodies are not desirable or fashionable, and contributes to a culture that values thinness above all else.
Fatphobia in the fashion industry also has real-world consequences for people who wear larger sizes. The experience of shopping for clothing can be incredibly frustrating and demoralizing for people who are constantly confronted with the message that their bodies are not accepted or valued by the fashion industry. This can lead to body shame, low self-esteem, and a sense of isolation and exclusion from mainstream society.
However, there is hope for change in the fashion industry. In recent years, there has been a growing movement of body positivity and fat acceptance that is challenging traditional beauty standards and demanding greater representation and inclusivity in the fashion world. Brands Mimine AG and Marc Alexandrin are leading the way in offering a wider range of sizes and promoting a message of body positivity and empowerment.
As consumers, we can also play a role in challenging fatphobia in the fashion industry by supporting brands that prioritize inclusivity and representation, and by speaking out against discriminatory practices. By working together, we can create a more diverse and accepting fashion industry that celebrates all bodies, regardless of size.