Size 14

When you read magazines, turn on your televisions, go shopping, you usually see womyn that look like this (look over to the left) or clothes that fit womyn that look like this (and slightly bigger).

The average size of the U.S. womyn is a size 14. A size 14. But yet we are bombarded with images of eerily thin womyn and are frustrated to even attempt to shop for a flattering pair of jeans. The mass media, fashion designers, and retailers seem to continue ignoring the larger population of womyn.

An article in the Los Angeles Times reported that 62% of American womyn are considered overweight. There’s nothing glamorous about this, health-wise, BUT why are we alienating these womyn? They have money, they need clothes too. It has been shown that full-figured womyn have stopped actively shopping and designers who try to take on larger sizes are eventually discouraged and do not follow through.

It’s no mystery as to why most womyn aren’t satisfied with their bodies. The media continuously picks at womyn with commercials of body-slimming supplements and “get thin quick” schemes. Womyn areĀ  discouraged to shop because there are only a handful of stores that support sizes larger than an 8 or 10. And not to mention, the voluptuous stars that are dropping pounds by the second. There’s nothing wrong with exercising and eating healthy but a line is crossed once your motivation to change your body is the pressure of the mass media making you seem “weird.”

Thankfully some retailers and designer chains continue to support the average womyn: Lane Bryant, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Fashion Bug, Torrid, and Avenue. Even though this is nothing compared to the thousands of retailers and designer chains that cater to the almost non-existent population of womyn (no pun intended), they must be commended. The average womyn is usually forced to shop online where more sizes are offered. But this only becomes more frustrating due to the disadvantage of not being able to feel or try on the clothes. Oh, the alienation.

I guess my message here is to not be ashamed of your body because of what the media is trying to portray as “average.” Even though it may feel like it when you’re out in those boutiques or popular stores, you are not alone. Diet and exercise because it will make YOU feel better about yourself and/or keep you healthier. Don’t do it because the media says you don’t belong. ALL womyn are beautiful, every shape and size.