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Bamboozled No More! Size-ism, Sexism and Shoppers

 

11 PM is the bewitching hour for me. This is the time I spend glued to my TV, watching the local nightly news recaps of the day’s happenings.

On Wednesday, November 12, the camera crews were dispatched to the small town of Westminster, MA, where the local folks were engaged in a battle over a proposed ban on the sale of tobacco products. Angry people were throwing around phrases like “violation of rights”; this was probably the biggest event in Westminster’s history.

As I watched neighbors yell at each other I wondered just how engaged these folks were a week ago at the voting polls. But that’s a story for another day.

Then there was the Old Navy (store) story. This was the story that hit me hardest. The news teams revealed that the chain store giant used a pricing system that discriminated against women according to size. I call this a case of size-ism. The news crews discovered that Old Navy was charging more money for larger sized women’s clothing (size 16 and up) than the same items in smaller sizes.

The store chain tried to use the ole ‘larger clothing requires more fabric, thread etc” argument. But sharp investigative reporting uncovered additional information. Old Navy’s men’s clothing prices stayed the same regardless of size. So now we can add the word, sexism to the story.

I admit I was never a fan of Old Navy clothing, even when it found its way to the racks of the local Goodwill stores. However, I did empathize with these women, “my sister shoppers” who patronized the stores in good faith.

But the reality is that the story is bigger than Old Navy. The fashion world has ignored us of decades. We don’t have a trendy marketing name.

We are referred to as the “plus size women”, sizes 16 and up. We were expected to be grateful for inferior quality, unflattering clothing options in matronly “Women’s” Departments that are usually placed in some remote location often next to the Maternity Department.

My sisters we need to take a stand and let these designers, buyers, department store display and layout specialists etc know…WE DON’T BUY IT, ANYMORE!

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.

 

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