How we see beauty is a complex and even controversial topic that is often only discussed in terms of the fashion world; which has long set the precedent for what’s considered to be “beautiful” and what is otherwise viewed as “undesirable”. Unfortunately, curvy and plus size ladies have often been lumped into the latter category, leading to a serious spike in teenage and college-age depression in women. We think it’s time to rethink what beauty looks like, and here’s why.
Beauty is Subjective
First, let’s start with the obvious; the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is nothing short of absolute truth. Beauty is truly seen through the eyes of those who behold it, and is completely subjective. What one person finds beautiful another may find hideous, and so on and so forth. Why then must we suffer the intolerance of those who are viewed as “more” beautiful than others?
Unfortunately, society creates its own standards for just about everything; moral behavior (ok, maybe this one is a good thing) beauty, etc. These expectations are usually created by some powerful organizations (like the fashion industry) which sets standards that both women and men feel they must adhere to in order to be accepted.
For many decades, the standard of beauty in the fashion world has been the petit size. The smaller the waist, the skinnier the arms and legs, the better. Slim models have been flaunted in front of envious masses, hoping to become as “beautiful” as the runway models they’ve so long admired.
The problem with this standard of beauty is that it simply isn’t feasible for everyone. Humans are generally shaped the same; we have a bone structure that’s consistent across race and sex (with minor differences due to specific bodily functions like giving birth) and a muscular structure that operates the same way for just about everyone.
Despite these consistencies, everyone is different. People gain and lose weight and muscle mass differently, and the standard of beauty simply doesn’t fit every body type.
Body types are as numerous and unique as humans themselves, and yet we’ve found that slim and petit are the standards of the past.
Times Are Changing
Luckily, certain figures and brands are working to change this belief system and working hard to do so. The plus size womens clothing e-tailer 11 Honore has made it a personal mission to include fashion for women of all shapes and sizes. Alongside other giants in the industry like Luvmemore and Universal Standard, these brands are helping to reshape what we see as “beautiful”.
Women Should Feel Beautiful Despite Shape or Size
The basic idea behind these progressive brands is simple; that every woman, regardless of her body shape or size, should feel beautiful in their own skin. Not only does this serve to increase the overall confidence of women everywhere, but it also helps empower them to reach beyond the confines of society’s rules, which have served only to hold them back for decades.
With depression and other mental health issues on the rise, it’s important that we ensure the younger generations don’t suffer from the pain of never reaching that super-skinny runway size, and that all body shapes and sizes are represented in the fashion world.
Not to mention, for plus size ladies, finding clothes that fit right and aren’t made from cheap materials can be quite the challenge in a world that seems to have put them on the back burner. Department stores usually stock little to no plus size options, and online retailers simply don’t adhere to the same standards as brands like 11 Honore and Luvmemore.
The World Needs Diversity
Without diversity in both body shape and size, what would we have? Not everyone can look the same, and if they did, it would make for a very boring world. Diversity is what makes the human race so incredible. Despite our differences, we can unite under the banner of humanity and agree that no one should ever have to feel unwanted or left out simply because of their body shape.
It can be argued that diversity is one of the most important aspects of a healthy, functional society. Let’s rethink what beauty really means, and begin including those that don’t adhere to outdated “traditional” standards. Everyone should be made to feel beautiful, and everyone should have access to clothing that is both comfortable and fashionable.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that beauty is subjective. Everyone is beautiful, and we believe that it’s important for women (and men) all over the world to feel at home in their own skin. Whether you’re a size 0 or a 42W, you should be able to open your closet and find clothes that fit well and accent your best features. Accept no less from your clothing providers! It’s time we start holding retailers everywhere accountable for their lack of diversity and support online brands that empower women of all shapes and sizes.