Clothing and Thin Privilege

19Aug08

Women’s clothing lines often don’t carry clothing large enough for all fat women or even most fat women. This is a problem. And it comes up often in the fatosphere. Not surprisingly – most women would prefer to leave the house in clothes, as a rule.

But whenever the problem of finding clothing that fits pops up, invariably some (sometimes) well meaning yet (always) clueless thin woman will announce, “but we thin women have the same problem! I can never find skirts long enough/pants that stay on my hips/curvy jackets! I have to take everything to my tailor!”

Sometimes Well-Meaning Yet Always Clueless Thin Woman: I sympathize. Really, I do. I myself have been known to buy T-shirts at Limited Too and jeans in a girls’ 16, impossibly short inseam be damned, just so the waistband will fit. But Well-Meaning Yet Clueless Thin Woman: Shut Up. For you know not of what you speak.

When fat women talk about being unable to find clothes that fit, they generally do not mean “fit” in the sense of “flatter.” They mean “fit” in the sense of “cover the part of the body the garment is intended to cover in the way the garment is intended to cover it.” And Thin Woman, unless you have a habit of trolling the racks at Baby Gap, you will never have this problem. Sure, nothing on the racks of the average women’s clothing store may flatter you – but everything will cover you.

Naturally, the average fat woman would like her clothes to flatter as well as fit. She’s a woman, after all. But flattering becomes a concern of nominal importance when nothing in the store will even go on your body in the first place.

So Thin Woman, the next time you want to chime in with your fat sisters about clothing that never fits: don’t. That you spend a fortune on a tailor isn’t a sign of solidarity; it’s a sign of privilege – that the clothes do, in fact, fit.

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11 Responses to “Clothing and Thin Privilege”

  1. Thank God. I always hear this when pepople complain about clothes fitting, and skinny women like my friend Jen are saying “I have the same problem, all the clothes are too big for me,” and I’m thinking, “At least they fit ON your body, you moron. how can you NOT see that it’s worse when the clothes won’t even go on your body? You have to wear a belt, boo hoo, poor baby. I can’t wear the clothes AT ALL.

  2. Hey, I never even thought about this! Granted, I would never respond to someone saying “I couldn’t find anything in a larger size” by telling them I can’t find anything that hugs every inch of my body as if it was made for me.

    Great post 🙂

  3. Thanks to you

  4. 4 Brenda

    Although it was a bit mean to call thin women clueles, I agree with you, that it is not the best thing for me to chime in that I cannot find clothes that “fit” either. But as I write this, I think, dang, I may really be clueless. I remember in one of my church classes, the women were talking about over eating as being a sin and I said that not eating enough is as much as a sin. That analysis really did not go over well with my Christian classmates and although I was truly trying to relate, it now certainly sounds clueless. I don’t like being a minus size 0 and I am constantly reminded that I am skinny, i.e. you’re going to blow away in the wind, you can’t hide behind that pole, only you can fit between this space, etc. and since I cannot gain weight, I feel that is a tad bit clueless too. People have no reservations insulting me in that manner. That being said, when I go to clothing boutiques that specialize in larger sizes, I do really find nice fitting clothes for my sister who ranges from 18-22 and sometimes larger. A lot of larger women assume that I try to keep my weight down, but it’s not true, I often try to eat healthy, high caloric foods, but so far, nothing has helped. I’ve heard it said, “wow, I’d like to have that problem”, but believe me, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.

    Today, I bought a St. John Knit jacket at a thrift store for $30 and I was thrilled with my purchase. I ran home and got on line to possibly find some pants to go with them and when I clicked on size 0, it said “no such luck.” This adventure is how I found this website. While lamenting about this, clueless (enlightened) me, realized that it would be as difficult to find a size 24 or larger.

    Thanks to you all, I am going to stop making clueless statements about weight and clothing and hopefully, you will stop making assumptions and statements about “skinny people”.

    P.S. My husband is 6’8 and as skinny as me, ( I can wear his underwear comfortably, (although I don’t, smiles) and he faces the same problems, it’s no fun being “gawked at” when we go out together.

  5. 5 Evan Kuhl

    Atleast you can do something to change your bodysize. Most overweight people became overweight because of their own personal choices. I just spent 8 hours (literally) trying to find professional dress clothes with my girlfriend who is tiny. Unfortunately, the juniors section doesn’t have business attire.

    A few years ago she would have fit into a zero but the clothing stores keep trying to make larger women feel better about being overweight by dropping sizes. If you don’t like how you look in clothing then maybe it’s time to take your health into your own hands.

  6. women loves deep colors so i think that the best womans clothing should have bright and beautiful colors “:’

  7. 7 rosie

    Tell the fat people to stop shopping at the limited-they may have better luck.

  8. 8 Britt

    …This is probably one of the most ignorant rants I’ve ever seen. I’m sorry your inhumanly over-sized, I believe finding clothing that fits is the least of your worries. You should be more concerned by the fact that if your so heavy, XL does not fit then there is a good chance you will die in the next 10 years. I for one think clothing should not be made to support this kind of lifestyle. Please oh please loose some wieght before you die,

    MEDICAL ALERT FOR SUPPORTERS OF THIS POST:
    Do NOT stop at Cinnabon on your way to forever 21!

  9. 9 Sarah

    I am thin and not (always) clueless. I was overweight nearly my whole life and now am underweight due to a medical condition. My size issues are frustrating, too.

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  11. Thanks for finally writing about >Clothing and Thin Privilege | Smart Angry
    Women <Loved it!


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