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Dealing with plus size in retail

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Working in retail, I’ve heard it all. “Where are your FAT sizes?” “You don’t have clothes for FAT people like me?” These all said by plus size women themselves. Asking for plus size clothing should not be seen as a statement to whether a woman is “fat” or not. The definition of the word fat is “(of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh.” While the definition of plus size is “(of clothing or people) of a size larger than the normal range.” Plus size does not equal fat, just as plus size does not equal ugly. We, who work in retail, must reinforce this. 

When a woman is making comments about themselves like the ones I mentioned above, try to replace the word “fat” with “curvy” or “plus.” Whenever women make comments like that it usually means they have heard themselves called that or have seen images in the media or in their lives that supports the notion that plus size equals fat. 

When women make negative comments about plus sizes, they are not only hurting themselves, but also other customers. Hearing someone call the plus size section, where other plus size women are also shopping, the “fat” section it discourages and hurts the customers. When a woman is discouraged by other customers or even workers, they are much less likely to feel comfortable shopping in the store they had the negative experience. 

In retail you see and hear everything, and some of those just can not be avoided. But in the situation of women degrading themselves and others because of how they look, it is a problem we as those working in retail can help control. To all plus size women who have had negative experience in stores as I mentioned, or to all retail workers struggling to hear these negative connotations, WE are the solution and WE must take it upon our selves to set the example of what WE want to see in our stores. 

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