fitness · inclusiveness · link round up

Fit is a Feminist Issue, Friday Link Round Up #104: What real size inclusion looks like

On our Facebook page last week, Nicole shared a tweet about pricing and plus sized clothes. We both thought it was an interesting observation. Wow, the reaction. We had more than 800,000 people view the link on our page and thousands react to it. We had a lot of mean people come by and visit and make nasty comments about women’s bodies. Nicole put the “delete comment and ban user” button into overdrive. Cate asked, who are these people? Answer: They’re just people on the internet. Anybody can view our content–it’s not private or a closed group– though only people who “like” it get it in their news feed.

Amid all of that there was actually a more constructive debate between actual feminists, some of whom sew and design clothes for a living, about whether it makes sense to charge more for different sizes and what that line should be. If you want to have that discussion, feel free to use our comment section below where we do moderate comments.

When the flames had run their course on the Facebook page we took the post down there.

Drama! But it did get us thinking about sizing.

I want to share my beef these days with companies aspiring to be more inclusive. My beef isn’t with companies charging more though lots of companies do do that. My gripe is when they don’t have the full range of sizes in their actual stores so plus size shoppers can’t try the clothes on and have to order online. It’s hard not to feel insulted that they don’t actually want you in their store.

We’ve all heard of French shops where the turnstile to admit customers won’t let anyone in whose size is in the double digits. Or I’m reminded of being told by my high school boyfriend’s older brother that I could sunbathe but not in the front yard as I’d bring down the property values. Ugh.

Let’s not go any further down that road.

In the spirit of Link Round Up Friday, here’s lots more to read about size inclusivity:

The Size Inclusive Buzzword: What Fashion Brands Just Don’t Get

“As more and more brands chase the illusion of being inclusive for the sake of sales, terms like “size inclusive” and “plus size” are being vastly misrepresented and mis-used causing confusion for shoppers. And, don’t get me started on the poor representation of models on their websites and marketing further confusing consumers on how these garments will fit their body type! Picking a single, slightly thicker woman to be the token representative of an entire demographic whom, she herself, doesn’t even wear a plus-size to begin with IS NOT the solution – you aren’t fooling me!! FASHION INDUSTRY – STOP STOP STOP perpetuating these lies – your fat-phobia is showing.”

Jennifer Weiner Says ‘Size Exclusivity In Workout Gear Creates A Vicious Cycle’

“If you have the right clothes, you can bike on a 25-degree day, as long as there’s no ice on the road. (Not to mention, wearing a mask actually helps with the cold air.)

As a woman who wears an XL or 2XL, it’s difficult to find biking gear from boutique brands. Sure, you can go on Amazon and find gear that goes up to 2XL or 3XL—I bought my favorite winter tights for $35 on Amazon—but I’d much rather support a smaller, made-in-the-USA business run by women.

Bike jerseys are designed to be longer in the back to keep you covered while you’re riding, and they have pockets for gloves or a water bottle. Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of smaller cycling brands that sound fantastic on paper—women-run, extended sizes, and with “inclusive,” “empowering” messaging—but then when you get to the website, you see that there’s a limited plus-size selection, or major price hikes for larger sizes.

Why Is Size 26 The Cut-Off Point For Plus-Size Fashion?

“Sizing in the plus-size range continues to perpetuate fatphobia by not only [excluding] extended sizes but also not allowing sizes to have the same selection,” Satasia Brown, a procurement specialist, states, referring to when a brand carries a plus-size collection that is a less inspired version of the straight-size selection. “Even when items are designed for fat bodies, companies still don’t allow inclusivity when it comes to sizes above 24. If brands are making the effort to extend items in a 2X/3X, then why not extend the [option to even higher] sizes?”Although more and more brands are expanding size ranges, the majority of labels stop at size 24/26. This absence feeds into the notion that certain bodies and sizes are more desirable and acceptable than others. It also gives less access to super fat folx.

The 15 best pieces of plus-size outdoor gear, according to athletes and influencers

“If you want to do any outdoor activity beyond a basic trail walk — hike a mountainclimb a V12, run a rapid, ride a bike — you need gear that keeps you safe and protected against the elements. And if you’re under a size 12, you probably think the biggest obstacle between you and that technical gear is its cost. I know I did.

But if you’re a mid- or plus-size person you know the real barrier is simply finding durable hiking pants, insulated jackets, PFDs — hell, even just a sports bra — that fits your body and keeps up with your adventures.”

I Put Plus-Size Activewear From Popular Brands To The Test

“Years of body negativity brought on by the latest fad diet or fitness craze have made my relationship with exercise a rocky one. Growing up, I was surrounded by “Beach Body” boot camps and personal training programs that signified largeness as something to be lost. But, years later in adulthood, I found positivity in hiking and a sense of calm in yoga flows. I discovered that breaking a sweat could be an enjoyable escape instead of about how many calories I might burn. Since I spent so much time feeling like physical activity was a punishment, I didn’t jump to spend my money on new fitness clothes — plus, options for plus-size retailers who do it right were already limited which made finding quality brands with inclusive activewear tricky. But, as the industry began to acknowledge bigger bodies, well-made and fashionable options started to emerge in the plus-size activewear space. And, I was lucky enough to receive a handful of such styles from the most popular brands to try on myself for size, fit, and feel.”

Attention Plus-Size Athletes: Superfit Hero Extends Their Size Run To 7X

“This week activewear brand, Superfit Hero, announced that they will phase out their smallest sizes – extra-small, small and medium – in favor of extending their size run through 7X permanently. The change starts with their newest collection, also released this week, which includes sports bras, leggings, and shorts in sizes 12 through 42. 

CEO Micki Krimmel said in a statement that this decision came after extensive research that focused on the unique needs of plus-size athletes. During interviews, customers described many of their shopping experiences as “traumatic,” stating that “lack of access, inconsistent sizing, and ill-fitting, low-quality garments” led to a feeling of disenfranchisement. She says Superfit Hero wants to solve this problem.”

Superfit Hero models

Also, from the blog:

Getting gear that fits plus sized cyclists and hikers!

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