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    What Does Plus-Size Mean to You?
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP posted:
    I have just written a blog on my Everyday Fitness with Dr. Pam Peeke entitled "Pondering the Plus-Size Phenomenon". It'll be posted this week. The purpose for writing this was to look into what the plus-size movement is all about. What I found were controversies, contradictions and lots of hot emotion.

    Retailers are hestitant to offer larger sizes (anything from over 10 to over 14 can be considered plus-size). A few fashion designers are cautiously moving into larger sizes. Consumers want plus-sizes to accomodate their nationally widening girth. Meanwhile, health officials are proclaiming the need for all Americans to shed excess pounds for their health and wellbeing. They want people to drop sizes, not to embrace larger ones.

    What does "plus-size" mean to you? Please share your thoughts and experience(s) with all of us. This is a hot issue and worthy of a good discussion.

    Thanks, Dr. Peeke
    Cap7107 responded:
    Plus Size?? If we're speaking of clothing I would say 14 and beyond.But there are plenty of women that are a 14 and beyond and I wouldn't put them under "Plus Size" umbrella. I myself am a size 10-12 and don't look at myself that way. Although its difficult becuase when I do shop my size is hard to find. We all have our own idea as to what "Plus Size" is. Someone who is a size 0 would think of me as a WHALE. But what is most important is that you are healthy and happy with yourself. No matter what size you are.
    pallzy responded:
    I would agree that a size 14 or above is probably considered a plus-size. And while we as a nation need to shed some excess pounds, I never understood why plus size clothing had to be so pathetic. You can buy all the tshirts and kitten adorned sweatshirts you want, but if you wanted something stylish - good luck. An overwieght person has every right to look and feel nice in what they are wearing as a fit person does. And yet they get overlooked. That's part of the reason I always hated shopping when I was into the plus-size department. There was really not much worth buying.
    5'11 SW 275/GW 160/CW 164
    nursingbug responded:
    A definition for me would be 14 , I guess, I have been plus sized since I was a teen. I used to want to get out of plus sized clothing, but more because I didn't want to deal with finding clothes. It can be so hard to find fashonable, flattering, quality made plus size clothes. Even when I make it to goal, I don't think I will be out of plus size, still may need some in 14 or so, I am just that big.
    I have watched people who have lost 100 lbs on the TLC What Not To Wear, and many are trying to squeeze into 'regular' size clothing because they think that they should be able to, now that they are at their goal weight, and they look awful, and feel worse. After they finally embrace their body for what it is, and not what they think it should be, they wear flattering clothing, so who cares if they need a 12 on top, 16 on bottom, or whatever.
    The comment about health officials wanting people to drop sizes, not embrace larger ones makes me want to laugh- What, by not having clothing available that is going to make you want to change your lifestyle, your diet, etc? not really.
    That takes strength from inside, not guilt.
    The retailers who choose not to have plus size clothing are missing out on a huge demographic, people who may need plus size clothes temporarily, or others who need it permanently due to medical concerns or just because of the way their body is. Plus sized people want to look good like everyone else, and we deserve to.
    fedupagain replied to pallzy's response:
    14 and above and i really hope that i will never ever find myself shopping in that section again! I hate that term -plus size-almost like -the one with the problem/disease. right now i am between 10 and 12 but all i want is to be below 10. As long as i get in single digits i will be fine. I dont want to be size 4 again but 9 would be just perfect.
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to pallzy's response:
    Hi there pallzy. I completely agree with you. The shapeless caftans and the bagg capris are insulting. When I asked some fashion experts about this, they said that there's a bias among the fashionistas. The stereotype is that once people become larger (e.g. over a size 12) then they simply don't care about style. This crowd believes that the woman has given up on herself and could care less anyway.

    Current data says they are wrong, that women want to look and feel good about themselves and deserve better clothes.

    Once my blog goes up this week, have a look. I did some research on why retailers are hesitant to offer more stylish plus-size clothing. It's an eye opener.

    Thanks for your posting. Dr Peeke
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to nursingbug's response:
    Hey nursingbug. Great to hear from you. You're so right all 'round. It makes me wonder why there's a "them vs us" attitude. Why not just incorporate a spectrum of sizes, the way men's clothes are done. Men are not ostracized. They're seen as "tall, big" not "fat". They can score a suit or clothing almost anywhere. Women must often run to the specialty stores or that funky part of the department store where they hide the larger clothes.

    I once stumbled into such a department at Saks as I was trying to locate my sister. Not one but two of the sales ladies cheerfully walked up to me and said "you don't belong in here". Confused I asked why not, and they politely replied that their section was for women of "greater girth". I couldn't believe it. Segregated!

    You're right about the health officials as well. Size isn't the issue. Higher levels of health and fitness are. There are plenty of cigarette smoking, sedentary skinny people. Strength fronm the inside is indeed the answer.

    Make sure to read my blog on this subject as i went into the retailer's issues. Quite a mind blower.

    Thanks so much for your posting. Dr. Peeke
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to fedupagain's response:
    Hey there fedup. You have quite a toxic response to the plus-size term. What was your history with it?
    Dr Peeke
    An_202030 responded:
    tempymae2007 responded:
    I don't think plus size should be considered an actual number size but the way you look. My younger sister is really skinny, she has no stomach and you can see her ribs and hip bones. She has always been skinny with a little bit bigger thighs/hips but when she was still in HS her gym teacher told her that she needed to slim down because of her weight, she was 140-150 and is 5'7". I about blew my gasket, this is why our young girls have so many image issues. She was in a size 14 because of her hips, it was really hard to find jeans that would fit her tummy and hips at the same time, now she is in a size 10 but it's because she barely eats. I just wish I could have told that gym teacher off, instead of encouraging her to become more active in sports or exercising she just told her she was too heavy and needed to lose weight. In case you didn't guess I am overweight and have been for most of my life. I am currently at 248 and I am 5'5" so to me yes I am a plus size woman. Do I think we should have different clothing racks at a store, sure that doesn't really bother me, makes it easier to find my sizes. However like others have said, give us some options that are fashionable. Why can't some of the same clothes that the skinny people get be made into larger sizes for us. I understand that I can't wear short shorts but I don't want to wear purple stipped shorts either. Just my two cents.
    fedupagain replied to tempymae2007's response:
    when i was at my fattest i worked in the city-NY NY city and especially around holidays-time of the biggest sales we would go shopping on our lunch hour. So we walk in those great stores and all my slim and fit friends would go where "normal" people shop and i would have to go to the left-the fat section!, and as i tried to find something i watched those skinny girls trying their clothes right there, checking themselves in the mirrors and i was not even be able to face my image in a "privacy" of a dressing room. Just grabbed whatever i thought would cover my rolls and make an escape thoward the register.And then we would go to stores where they were not able to accomodate people of my kind.....i was very humiliating. So i dont ever want to face the horror of searching for the plus size section.
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to fedupagain's response:
    Thanks for sharing this from your life. I'll bet that a boatload of women out there can relate to your experience. It's the issue of being "different" in a negative way. Buying clothes becomes a torment. Anything that smacks of that memory (clothes that are labelled plus-size) you run from.

    What was it like for you to be able to shop in the "normal" place?

    Dr Peeke
    Exchange_Blogs_Admin responded:
    Please read Dr. Peeke's blog post, Pondering the Plus-Size Phenomenon. She takes an in-depth look at how both society and the fashion industry view plus-sizes. Then come back here to share your comments and answer the question, "What does plus-size mean to you?"
    men7al replied to Exchange_Blogs_Admin's response:
    someone who has a heart and is human like the rest of us.I think size is stupid and its just a factor.My mom is plus size and she is not a bad person.shes a 20.I am no size 0 that is for sure.But,I can tell you its no easy task trying to be someone your not..just love yourself no matter what the hell ppl say.
    wpro12 responded:
    One of the most irritating things, especially this time of year is the lack of long (to the knee) shorts to wear, especially for work outs. Men have long shorts available at any store you go to. Obviously, you can wear capris or long pants, but it's 98 degrees outside today, and I'd like to wear a decent pair of shorts, but I sure don't want to show my 30 lbs overweight thunder thighs in public.

    Maybe it's a body image problem on my part, but I like to try to look my best and not feel self-concious.

    Perhaps it's a conspiracy by the fashion industry to keep womens' legs on display as much as possible...................

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