The ‘PLUS’ Size Debate

The ‘PLUS’ Size Debate

  • Posted: Apr 22, 2015
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  • Comments: 10

Well there have  been a lot of discussions over the last couple of weeks about whether larger sized people are happy with the words ‘Plus Size’ and as we know everyone has a different view.

What are your thoughts?….

Do you think the words 'Plus Size' should be used??

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Do you have good self esteem?

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Here are my  thoughts as the founder of 100percentpeople.com which has this week emerged again, following illness, as 100percentplussize.com.

When I was in my 40’s, my children were teenagers and I wanted to follow the career I had always wanted, to become a fashion model. I was 5′ 8′ tall and weighed about 9 stone 12lbs not sure what that is in metric and I applied to various agencies and on every occasion was turned down and told I was too fat and in fact ‘Plus Size’ .

Here are a few pictures of me at the time as you can see I was hardly fat or plus size .. so my crusade began…….

KathrKathryn 2005

I did however get my 15 minutes of fame for a charity event with all models real people. I actually modelled with the legendry Jeff Banks who asked me why I was there as he thought I was a professional model !!!

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The pictures are not to showcase me but to show how society has changed over the years about the size we should be – I certainly wasn’t ‘Plus Size’ but the fashion industry said I was because I didn’t look like someone who had been starved to death – in fact at the time I think most professional models lived on a balanced diet of lettuce leaves. Who wants to live on lettuce leaves I certainly don’t!!

So I started to look around at what was available if you were a little heavier than what was classed as the ‘norm’ ,whatever that is!!! It was the time of communal changing rooms and ladies expected to strip of in front of each other, something I found horrific even with a 38/28/38 figure so I felt sorry for those with a little more flesh !

Changing rooms have come back again but in a lot of stores you can’t even swing a cat , let alone take your clothes off to try on that lovely new dress you have your eye on !! – see the survey we did quite a few years ago 

So I decided to set up a retail unit in 1995 on an industrial estate with huge changing rooms including sofas and enough room for the family and the cat !!. The business was doing very well but then ‘forward’ (not) thinking councillors decided I couldn’t retail on an industrial estate even though MFI were right behind me !!! So I had to close down as I had invested to much money in this venture to move on.

13 years later I decided to set up 100% People – www.100percentpeople.com online and the website was going great guns then tragedy hit, my husband was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and everything sort of stopped.

However we are back this week with a new look and feel and the whole site is there for our audience the general public, retailers, and business etc alike.  We have introduced a FREE directory so every one can add their information in order that the ‘ Plus Size’ market has a one stop shop. Everyone however large, small in fact everyone, what ever shape or size, need access to a good marketplace .

So where are we today – yes we have an ever growing issue with weight but to be honest who is to blame…

The supermarkets have introduced so many ready made meals, low fat foods full of sugar, buy one get one free offers etc etc. This has been compounded by the fact that the government sold off school playing fields so children have no where to play sport ( which I did in my youth), parents and children driving everywhere, and families spending their life in front of either their computer or phones. In addition to this people actually don’t get to cook any more and really don’t understand where food comes from, even thought we are inundated with cookery programmes – one young girl I spoke to didn’t realise potatoes were grown in the ground!!!

I know there is an opinion that because you are overweight it is always due to being greedy but I don’t agree this is always the case – when I was told my husband of 40 years had two years to live I ate and drank for England and the World and put on two stone because I was so unhappy. There are also people with health issues that weight is a result of.  I do though realise that people eat for the sake of it but sometimes that is because there lives aren’t great.

My point is that there are so many causes or reasons, that there cannot be one that is more prevelant than another.

I agree it is not right to be unhealthy but people who are very thin can be more worse that those who a larger. However I have seen so many people in hospital who have lost their legs due to Diabetes, something that being overweight can cause, and to be honest it is horrific to see.

So back to the debate do larger people mind being called ‘Plus Size’? After years in this market I don’t think they do it’s  just another label that society puts on something that is ever changing.

Also we have the issue of self esteem –  there are still people who think they are too fat and take actions which have drastic affects – so why can’t we just be happy in our skin and celebrate we are all different and………

‘NOBODY IS PERFECT’

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PS. I am celebrating my 65th birthday this year and hope it is still not too late for my career change as the more mature are becoming fashionable!

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