A recent Twitter post by a fellow plus size blogger brought this issue to my attention and I was horrified. Let me give you some back story on my experience though.
A few months ago I was shopping with a "standard size" friend and she wanted to go to H&M. I made a comment while we were in the store that I never shop there because they don't carry my size in store. This friend of mine, who works in marketing, was surprised that a store that seems to be so inclusive of a lot of products and styles does not carry plus sizes in the particular location we were at. I commented that I think they carry them online but I hadn't looked into it too much.
A few weeks ago, I was in Torrid and the woman at the cash register was talking to me about places I shop at. She told me that H&M does carry plus sizes online but to always order a size up because their sizing is generally European, which runs slightly smaller.
Fast forward to today. H&M stores in New York apparently did have plus size sections in their stores. They even ran an ad with Ashley Graham, popular full figured model. However, in order to make more room for home goods and beauty supplies, their plus size sections were removed.
I find a few problems with this. In one of the biggest cities in America, New York, you think that you can cut out the section of your store that caters to the average size woman. According to a new statistic, the average size in America is an 18. I believe, based on some reading I did, H&M stores generally carry up to a size 14 and even the 14 selection is limited.
Another issue is that H&M used a fuller figured woman to promote their plus size collection. How does it make sense to now remove that section from their stores? If you want to promote diversity and body positivity, you NEED to keep a larger selection in your stores.
As a plus size woman, when someone at a store says to me "oh, we don't have plus size clothes in the store, but you can order them online," I instantly want to rant. Plus sizes vary so widely across retailers that a size 3X may fit me in one store but at the next store I might wear a 1X. There is very little consistency. Even when you go by measurements, it's still not necessary true to size. So how is someone like me supposed to order something online when I can't try it on to see what your version of my size is? It's so hard to find clothes that fit and places I order clothes online from, I usually only do so after trying on some pieces in store to get an idea of what size I need. Yes, I know you can always return things but that's such a pain.
This is part of why the body acceptance movement exists. It's because retailers in the US are making larger women feel unworthy of looking good. It makes us feel like we should just be wearing a tent because no one wants to look at us anyway. I would love to see America get to a point that they carry a plus size section in every store. Of course we're not there yet, but a girl can dream.
If you'd like to see the article, click here :http://www.abc2news.com/newsy/hm-pulls-plussize-clothes-from-some-of-its-stores
If you'd like to see more from me, visit my blog at: http://www.mightymurphinfashionranger.wordpress.com