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What Is Plus Size?

From the time that I could dress myself, I always remember trying to push into an L at the most popular stores among teenagers at indoor malls, which was where all of my skinnier than I friends went shopping. My mother would take me into plus size clothing stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid, but at the age of 14, the clothing in these stores seemed too mature and motherly and far from my personal style. So I squeezed into X-L's until 2020, when brands started to create sweet  clothes for plus size women that were trendy and full of flair. This was mostly due to the widespread personification of the Overweight Fat Acceptance Movement where plus size women demanded equality and visibility in the fashion industry.

How Do I Know If I Am Plus Size?

While there is such a wide variety of trendy plus size clothing for the curvy shaped ladies of today, I know many young girls who are still pressing into X-Ls. Whether it’s because they don’t want to call themselves “plus size” or they simply don’t know that there are apparel made especially for their body type. Wearing clothing that don’t fit properly can contribute to low self-esteem and drop confidence levels.

So how do you know if you’re plus size? Statista classifies anyone who wears a size 10 - 14 and above as being plus size. And, according to Statista, that’s the average American woman! Most ladies in the U.S. are a size 16 or 18, which is why it’s so astonishing to fathom that most clothing companies don’t offer plus size clothing. 

Embracing the Term ‘Plus’

But identifying as being plus size may not be as black and white as the number of the tag from your favorite pair of jeans. The terms “plus size, curvy, fat or full-figured” have carried a negative connotation for as long as they have existed. This is for the simple fact that the thin figure and body image has been upheld by society as the ideal, healthy body that everyone should strive to achieve. While larger bodies have been deemed lazy, unhealthy and undesirable. However, these stereotypes are inaccurate. And now, more than ever, we are seeing more women and men sharing their personal stories about being plus size and breaking the boundaries of these misconceptions.

While some women may choose to stay away from plus size clothing so that they aren’t associated with the term, many women are embracing their figure and beginning to wear clothing that fits them–and, most importantly, makes them feel good.

Discovering Self-Awareness Via Plus Size Clothing

Once I learned that I was really a size 20 or a 2XL started shopping for those sizes and, in turn, I learned to appreciate my body and even love it, which I had been at odds with my entire life. Wearing proper-fitted clothing made me feel confident and actually beautiful, and it ultimately taught me that a number on the tag is just that—a number that no one really should worry about. At the end of the day, one should be able to feel at ease, confident and even special. When I acquired for myself the term “plus size,” a world full of fresh opportunities presented themselves to me, and I with my body fell in love !

One of my favorite places to shop is Plus Motif because they have created the perfect balance between comfort and style. I know that no matter what I buy here, I am going to get an outfit that I can feel great in all day. And when I look at myself in the mirror exuding confidence, I’ll feel self love. My favorite items from Plus Motif are the sweaters because they are as soft as feathers  and they are kind to my skin and curves with plenty of stretch. The plus size denim also fits me like a dream! I also love their plus size cocktail dresses because they break all of the style rules the fashion industry has created for plus size women, and I am all about defying conventions to create my own style. 

If you haven’t yet embraced the term “plus size,” take a leap of faith into the space and you’ll see how much your body will love you for not constricting it by squeezing into clothing that weren't made with your unique curves in mind! It’s such an amazing feeling when you notice how much more confidence you exude when you wear clothing that fits you just right with room to move !

Martha Pinto is the plus size fashion blogger behind Vogue. She has been an advocate of the body positive movement for decades and often speaks about her triumphs and struggles as a plus size woman in the fashion industry. 

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