American Apparel At It Again

Image from Flickr.com

By Emily Mathis

Last year I wrote a blog about American Apparel and how they are over sexed and overly thin. Well, this year it seems somebody over there heard what the plus size community was saying. (Though they are just as overly sexed as ever.)

 According to reports, American Apparel will start carrying some of their styles in XL.  How did the company announce this? With a semi-offensive modeling ad:

Think you are the Next BIG Thing?
Calling curvy ladies everywhere! Our best-selling Disco Pant (and around 10 other sexy styles) are now available in size XL, for those of us who need a little extra wiggle room where it counts. We’re looking for fresh faces (and curvaceous bods) to fill these babies out. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next XLent model, send us photos of you and your junk to back it up.

Just send us two recent photographs of yourself, one that clearly shows your face and one of your body. We’ll select a winner to be flown out to our Los Angeles headquarters to star in your own bootylicious photoshoot. Runners up will win an enviable assortment of our favorite new styles in XL!

Show us what you’re workin’ with!

 Now I think that I have a sense of humor but that’s just tacky.

 The problem I have with this new line of “XLent” clothes is that they still aren’t catering to actual plus size women. A size 12/14 is average and it’s about time they started carrying the average for America. In my opinion, if you want to really open up your business for new customers that are plus size then you have to actually carry plus size clothing. I mean with all my curves I would be lucky if I fit into their XL.

 Plus size clothing is a vastly under tapped market.  If clothing designers and stores would open their eyes and start catering to most of America you could bet that they would make some serious money. Every plus size women I know, myself included, would like just as much variety as the thin girls get. Because thin doesn’t always mean healthier or better and shouldn’t be treated as such. Lots of my friends are average size and they still wouldn’t fit into American Apparel’s clothes. 

So it’s about time the fashion world caught up to us.

Diet Book For Girls?

Image from Alohapublishers.com

 By Emily Mathis

A new book titled “Maggie Goes On a Diet” is hitting bookstores everywhere and causing quite a stir. “Do little girls need a diet book?” asks Salon.com. That is the question. With childhood obesity rates close to 1 in 5 children, it’s not surprising that someone would write a diet book for children. But is that the right way to go?

“Maggie Goes On a Diet” follows Maggie, a 14-year-old overweight girl, through her weight loss story. According to the publishers: “Maggie has so much potential that has been hiding under her extra weight.” The publishers call the story of a girl who loses weight and becomes a soccer star, “inspiring”. But inspiring is not the word many would use to describe this story.

Already forums on Amazon.com are blowing up with outraged customers, and the book has yet to be released. Some call the book an “abomination” and some customers even threaten to take their business elsewhere if the book is sold on Amazon. Valid points are being brought up about how easy it is to trigger eating disorders, especially in girls.

In fact, according to The National Eating Disorders Association, “42 percent of girls in 1st – 3rd grades want to be thinner”, and “over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives”.  With nearly 10 million girls and women suffering from eating disorders, it’s no wonder people are up in arms about a diet book whose targeted audience is 4 to 8 year olds.

Having experienced being overweight as a child myself, I fear reading a book like this during that period might have steered me down the wrong path. Too many girls already struggle with low self-esteem and lack of confidence, especially about how they look.  A book that shows being fat basically means you can’t be happy with yourself, and being thinner equates to having more friends and being the star of the soccer team; well, that’s just asking for problems.

Girls need books that talk to them about acceptance of differences, of each other, and especially of themselves no matter what. “Maggie Goes On a Diet” is just another example of the media trying to fit girls into a certain image. Maybe instead of publishing books about dieting, the publisher should think about publishing books that promote healthy body image.