The body positivity movement is everywhere – except if you’re size 16

If you are a 16 or above, you might as well buy yourself a giant muumuu and a large sofa and plan never to leave the house, writes Katy Brand

Friday 14 January 2022 21:30
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<p>I thought the conversation around women’s weight had changed </p>

I thought the conversation around women’s weight had changed

In a slightly bored moment last week, I clicked through an enticing pop-up to the online shop of a famous and expensive fashion designer. I was led there by a nice-looking dress that caught my eye, and I glanced over at the sizing chart. It read 8, 10, 12, 14, 14.5. I looked at it for a moment, trying to understand it. Was I going mad? What in the world is 14.5? And where was the 16?

And then seconds later I realised – of course, no one who would realistically buy this dress would ever admit to being a 16. A fate worse than death; a life not worth living, a dress not worth having. If you are a 16 or above, you might as well buy yourself a giant muumuu and a large sofa and plan never to leave the house.

It was a familiar message to me when I was growing up in the Nineties, where the fashion was to look like you might be about to burst into tears from sheer hunger. Even being a size 14 was somewhat beyond the pale back then – if you wore anything brightly coloured at all someone was bound to say, “I just really admire your confidence, that’s all. I couldn’t do it.”

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