This was originally meant as a response to a message I received regarding my post about the American Apparel Next Big Thing Model Competition. It has been brought to my attention that the person who wrote in and was linked in this post has since deleted their blog so I will be removing the link and just leaving you with what I wrote.
American Apparel is no stranger to controversy and consumer complaints about the companies ethics. I published my American Apparel post this morning 8/26 and the reason why you didn’t see much of a personal opinion from me in the post was because first of all I wanted to put out the information and allow everyone that wasn’t aware of this yet to react to it in their own way and form their own opinion. The second reason was because I decided to focus more and share the “curvy” model search for any readers that were interested in that. Now I tried to keep my sarcasm to a minimum in my post and I limited it to me striking out the word booty when I referred to their model search as a booty model search. When I read the contest instructions and guidelines I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and laugh because in my opinion they weren’t really looking for plus sized models they were more focused, and they made sure they mentioned this through out their post, on curvy women and women who “need little extra wiggle room where it counts” by using words like “booty-ful” to describe the type of model they were looking for.
I don’t know if you took the time to look through the pictures of women who had entered the contest. I did, and I not only saw that women of ALL shapes and sizes had entered the contest but even a lot of the popular plus size bloggers who blog on tumblr and other places had entered, and yes it was more than 1 familiar face in the crowd. Now I’m not judging anyone for entering the contest at all because it could be a great opportunity for a girl that has the look they want. My only issue with the contest is that like I said I feel like American Apparel is not looking for plus size women clearly they are looking for women who are no larger than a size 14 and women with a larger butt so it’s misleading to plus size women because they are being led to believe that American Apparel wants them when in reality they don’t. They are looking for women with fat where it counts which means if you have a fat ass you’re good but if you have a fat belly they don’t want you and I think this will only lead to disappointment when women out there see a winner who is nowhere near fat.
Now on to my personal feelings about the size issue. I do agree with everyone that offering an XL is by no means adding plus sizes. Like many people already pointed out an XL is, at least in most American stores, part of the regular size run. I think the way American Apparel went about this whole plus size thing is only going to hurt an already fragile if not non existent relationship with the plus size community. I would have preferred for American Apparel to say they were now carrying a full run of sizes instead of trying to profit off of the plus size fashion community now that it seems to be having a surge of popularity in the media. So no, I don’t agree with the way they went about it.
Now them saying a size 12 is plus size doesn’t surprise me at all because a size 12 has ALWAYS been considered plus size in the fashion industry and most clothing brands’ XL translates to a size 12. It used to be that designers would stop at a size 10 and anything after that was considered plus size, now a days some designers consider anything past a size 8 plus size which we can all agree is ridiculous. So I cant say that I’m upset that American Apparel’s XL translates to a size 12/14 because that is pretty much the norm for most clothing companies that are not exclusively plus sized. From a personal stand point I am a plus size girl obviously and I used to shop at American Apparel (not so much anymore not for any particular reason) while I didn’t fit into every style they offer I did fit into most of the stuff they have, tshirts, hoodies, undies, and leggings. They work with spandex a lot and at a size 12/14 I was able to fit into their size MEDIUM leggings. My bottom half is nowhere near small and I won’t get into my measurements but my butt measurements are way past the 40’s in inches. Where I am getting at with this is that we don’t really know how a size 12/14 in any of these styles are going to fit and this is true for a lot of brands. I fluctuate between a 14 and 16 at my heaviest and I do shop straight sized clothes a lot. We as plus size women shouldn’t just be limited to the exclusively plus size companies because it is IMPOSSIBLE for a handful of plus size companies to cater to the style and taste of EVERY SINGLE plus size woman. Whether American Apparel likes it or not the plus size community generates money and whether they like it or not they NEED our money and more and more companies are becoming aware of that. We as individual consumers are in our full right to support or personally boycott any company we want and believe me there are plenty of businesses that I personally do not support. However, I am all for companies offering a bigger range of sizes because somewhere out there there is a plus size girl who now has more options than she did before.