Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fat Tuesdays : It's time to speak up.

Recently, a friend turned me on to a cool t-shirt company, Human Unlimited. They're based out of Akron and have cool t-shirt designs with great messages. Their site is also full of really good messages AND they have yoga at their shop! Basically, super cool. The very first collage image on the site is a wide variety of people wearing some of their shirts...

But if you click through to "shop," you'll see some variation of this :

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 7.17.51 PM

Y'all, it bummed me out. As a fat girl, I'm getting really, really, really tired of seeing companies who go up to my size show only models who are much tinier than me. I mean, it's annoying because why carry sizes you won't show and also because how the hell can I see how a shirt might fit me when the models are so much tinier than me. I can't try on a shirt when I'm shopping online.

I decided to take action. I went to their comment form and said this : I don't understand. You have this deep amazing message and shirts with interesting messages and then your models are all skinny and almost all white. What about inclusivity? How can I believe in your product if I can't even see myself represented on your website?

I just needed to say it. I had no idea if they would grace my message with a response, but I have to tell you I'm super happy that they did. Here's what I received in my inbox a few days later :

Hi Fenn!

Thank you for your question-- it is a good one. When I look around at Human Unlimited, I see people of all races, sizes, and walks of life participating in our yoga and rocking our gear. We celebrate the diversity inherent in the human experience every day in a multitude of ways. So why isn't this reflected in our models on our site? I will bring this question to our site administrators. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We appreciate the opportunity to align our walk with our talk.

Hope that you are having an amazing day!!

:)

-HU

Now, I have no idea what will happen or when. All I'm saying is this : It is time for us to speak up.

If you surf around the web and google questions about plus size and fashion, you find a lot of articles telling us, the fatties, to speak up with our dollars. Meaning that we need to shop in stores that carry our sizes. But fuck that. It's not hard for someone to carry my size. As of right now, I'm a 16. A LOT of companies, including Lilly Pulitzer go up to a size 16 or an XL. Here's what I want : to see myself in the models. I cannot shop online if I can't see myself in the models and I don't want to have to go to a store to see myself in the clothes. I want the companies to prove that I exist by having models of a large range of sizes.

If Target can do it, so can everyone.

I'm urging you to speak up. When you're surfing around online and you see only thin models or only white models or whatever, write them a note! Let companies know you exist and you want them to have models that represent you! Maybe they'll respect that and we'll start to see real change in fashion and the media.

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