Why We Need To Officially Drop The Term 'Plus-Size' For Women
"Plus-size: (of clothing or people) of a size larger than the normal range."
That's the first thing that pops up when I ask Google to define the term "plus-size," and I'm not even sure what to think of this. I don't know if I'm more angry, confused or sorry for the society we live in and the people who feel like that is a good description.
Larger than the normal range? Who exactly was in charge of deciding what was "normal" is in this case? Is this based on body weight, shape, width, fat percentage or just society's perception of how someone's body should look? Did doctors come up with this? Or, was it just some random people who felt the need to judge whether or not your body is "normal?"
We tell young girls not to put too much focus or stress on their body types because everyone is different. We try so hard to decrease the number of eating disorders in teenagers and adults. We teach kids that body-shaming is wrong and that healthy can look a million different ways. Yet, we go and slap this label on people in the public eye constantly.
No matter how many times we try to take out the negative connotation that comes with this term, nothing changes. We see and hear things like, "She is pretty for a plus-size actress," or "She is fit for a plus-size model." Why can't she just be pretty? Why can't she just be fit? Everyone says this because along with the term plus-size comes the assumption that someone is seriously overweight. That is never going to change at this point.
When young girls see magazines suggesting Amy Schumer is plus-size or hear people call models like Iskra Lawrence a "fat cow," clearly they are going to take a look at themselves and wonder if that's how everyone views their bodies.
A healthy body comes in all shapes and sizes. Someone who works out every single day can very well weigh more and wear a bigger size than someone who's never stepped foot in a gym before. The number on the scale or on the tag of your clothing does not accurately depict anything, so why are we still using the term plus-size?
Haven't you ever noticed we never call men plus-size? Many retailers name larger men's sizes "big and tall." Society just accepts that men come in all shapes and sizes without any question or stigma associated with it.
I'm not really sure why the female body should be any different. There's no general consensus on what a "normal" body type is, just like there's no "normal" hair color, skin tone, height or anything else pertaining to our bodies. We are all unique, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Who even cares about the label plus-size, and why the hell are we still using it in 2016? There is literally no reason for it at all. We have eyes and can see everyone's body, so calling it by any name (especially one that is commonly perceived negatively) just isn't necessary.
The only person who needs to love your body is you. At the end of the day, that's all that matters. The same goes for women who are regularly pointed out for being "too skinny." Our bodies should never be classified by these subjective terms. Classifying body types is irrelevant, and it just shows how underdeveloped society can be. Rock your body because it shouldn't concern a single other person out there.
For all the people out there who think plus-size is an acceptable way to describe someone, think again. You don't know how the person you're calling this feels about the term or herself. While some people may find plus-size to be a totally acceptable label for them, other people won't.
Body image is a difficult thing for many people, and the last thing we need is a term that makes it even more difficult to deal with. Leave labeling in the past, especially when it comes to someone else's body.