We’ve all heard the term, “plus size”. Plus size dresses. Plus size lingerie. Plus size models. Plus size fashion.
It’s been the launching pad for fashion labels becoming more “size inclusive”, but it’s far from empowering and often, far from real inclusion with sizes only ranging up to 16.
Inclusive, you say? Yeah, right.
But now, we’re embracing the diversity of women’s bodies around the world through the body positivity movement, helping shift the industry toward real size inclusion (and thank god for that!). We’re focusing on what real bodies look like and crafting items to not only fit them, but that make our bodies feel better than ever.
To understand this societal shift toward true size inclusion and how we can keep evolving, we need to understand where this movement came from and reflect on how we got to where we are today in the body positivity movement.
Let’s Venture Back To The ‘60s
Where we revelled in the beauty of colour. From bright, swirling colours and tie-dyed prints to those long, white gloves and go-go boots, it was an iconic era in the history of fashion.
But it was an era that couldn’t be enjoyed by every woman, with size discrimination rife just about everywhere.
What we now call the “Body Positivity Movement” began back in 1969 as, unbelievably, the “Fat Rights Movement”. According to BBC, back in 1969, a New York man named Bill Fabrey wasn’t all that happy about the way the world was treating his wife, so he started looking into how he could change the public discourse around weight and how overweight people were treated.
This led to the foundation of the National Association to Aid Fat Americans, which is now known as the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and is the longest- running fat rights organisation in the world.
While this absolutely isn’t the language we’d ever use in the modern body positive movement (it was hard enough just reading it, let alone using it!), it’s reflective of the time and shows how important it’s always been to improve body positivity, regardless of whether the go-go boots of the ‘60s are on trend or the faux fur coats of the ‘90s.
Now we know where it all began, but how did this outdated, “fat rights movement” transform into the ever-inclusive, empowering, body positivity movement we see today?
The Journey From Body Positivity To Size Inclusion
Body positivity has taken the historic “fat rights movement” and shifted into something far more beautiful. By removing outdated, detrimental labels like “plus size” and “fat”, the modern body positivity movement is pivotal in shifting the fashion industry towards broader, more widespread size inclusion.
And this modern approach was an essential turning point in the movement. Want to know why?
Research has shown that body positivity is associated with improved mental and physical wellbeing. This tends to reduce negative self-talk, reduce the risk of eating disorders and improve overall mental health, helping empower all bodies to be healthier, happier versions of themselves regardless of the numbers on the scale.
And given how easy it is to jump on Instagram and compare ourselves to the thousands of influencers, models and actors with the so-called “ideal body type”, it’s more important than ever to reiterate that YOUR body is beautiful. YOUR body is enough. And YOUR body is worthy of everything you think that “perfect body” should receive.
That’s why body positivity matters. And that’s why it’s important for fashion labels to prioritise size inclusion (and a “plus size” section just doesn’t cut it anymore!).
Our Size Inclusion Commitments
Here at SOMAIA COLLECTIVE, we’re doing our part to contribute to the body positive movement, empowering women to revolt against the norm and embrace their ever-so- versatile bodies!
We’re making true size inclusivity accessible to women everywhere, holding our chic, dress- to-impress pieces in sizes 6 to 22. Not only will the Women of SOMAIA find items that fit, they’ll find dreamy, chic items to stock their capsule wardrobes with.
Life’s too short to be tame. Join the movement, walk in the steps of our body positivity ancestors and embrace your body.