Saturday, June 6, 2009

Super Size Me

I can proudly say that I have completed the compact challenge with ease. I will admit I am not the most fashionable guy, nor the most concerned about fashion or my appearance. However, this class has inspired me to get into the fashion scene more so than I have been in the past. Whether this is a positive outcome or not has yet to be decided. I understand that the compact challenge is supposed to fight consumerism, but I am being compelled to redo my wardrobe. However, there is one major problem with this. For a person of my size (and people significantly larger than me), being fashionable can be a sizing nightmare.

I won’t lie, I will get uncomfortable if I go shopping at a mall in a shop like Guess or Pacific Sun because unlike the majority of the people I see shopping and working at these stores, I likely have a waistline and torso twice the size of their own. It is very hard for me to find clothing that fits me well… And when I say “fits me well,” I don’t mean giving me a double XL shirt that looks like an apron on me and calling that a “fit.” I am constantly reminded of my size through the availability of clothing that is consistently too short, too wide, too long, to large, and in general, non-form fitting.

One of the main reasons I stay away from fashion is because it is such an exclusive entity. I don’t need gatekeepers to tell me what I can and cannot wear. I don’t feel like being told I don’t fit the mold because my chest is too wide or my butt is too big. I am my own mold and the rest of you don’t fit me! So why then, should I pretend to care what I look like when shopping for clothes is like trying on 4 fingered gloves. The fashion industry rejects me and people like me. To get clothes that fit me, I have to spend extra money simply because I don’t “fit in.” There needs to be greater integration of sizing and a greater availability of these items. “Plus Size” clothing categories need to be eradicated, and then integrated into regular clothing lines. There is no such thing as “plus size.” To promote this clothing line is to say “you are too fat to be considered by fashion, but here is a clothing line for you anyways so you can feel good about yourself.”

As we find ourselves within an economic recession, clothing retailers are beginning to halt production and sales of “plus size” clothing. According to the New York Post, “Ann Taylor stopped selling plus-size clothes in its stores this spring. It now offers those clothes only online.” If this isn’t the biggest “Fuck You” I’ve ever seen, now people with more voluptuous physiques will be confined to their homes when shopping for clothes, effectively eliminating them from the realm of fashion and the process of trying on clothes and finding the right fits.

I will not cite any sources from the readings because all the readings do is promote this class-based institution, and being a person who perceives himself as a class-less chameleon, there is nothing in the readings that support my views or arguments about fashion for a more diverse world.

Jesse Kailahi Blog #6

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