Clothes! Everywhere! Clothes that fit!
In which Ameya is overjoyed to see how the fat liberation movement has changed sizing in the US
I am back! And half frozen because now I have made it all the way to the cold state of Massachusetts in the USA. And let me tell you, it is cold. Today was a balmy 19 degrees C, but last week was mostly 9 max and -3 min. There’s frost on the lawn every morning, and the leaves are outlined in ice. We even had some deer come and visit!
Of course, being back in the US has one great, almost ritualistic meaning for me, which is, as I’m sure you can guess, that I can buy clothes in the stores!!! I haven’t been here in nearly three years, and my wardrobe is greatly depleted as a result, especially when it comes to winter clothes and workout clothes. My mother brought some when she made her visit, but the true joy of finding pants that fit me is something I have been waiting for.
Old Navy and Target have been my go-to shops for many years, but I also had one incredible pair of shorts from Lane Bryant, which I knew was a plus sized brand, so I decided to check it out as well this time. And I had seen Universal Standard on the internet, so was looking forward to maybe buying some clothes?
My first visit was to an Old Navy store, and dear me was it amazing! I haven’t always been able to find pants at Old Navy because they didn’t always have plus sizes, and even when I was an 18 it wasn’t always in stock. But now they have a whole new policy, and they stock everything up to size 30 or something like that, in the store! I can’t begin to express how amazing it felt to just have the first size fit me, because I wasn’t trying to squeeze into something too small!
I feel I must restate this.
Every style in every size. No plus section, just all clothes for everyone in the same place.
Anyway, so I bought all these pants that are comfortable and fit. And then I switched to shopping online because I wanted a swimsuit, maybe an actual gasp bikini! Best beloveds, once more I was not prepared for the huge range of options, styles and prices that I found.
I mean, the US has always been the place I could buy clothes, but that didn’t mean I would have the same access as someone who’s an M or even an XL. It makes my heart swell with joy because you see all this is a direct result of the hard hard work of so many rad fatties in the Fat Liberation movement! It gives me hope that maybe in India too someday we can have inclusive sizing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy a suitcase…. lol.
The most interesting thing I read this week was this wonderful piece that articulates a lot of things I rant about—how capitalism only values certain kinds of “productivity” and “labour,” and how “lazy” is an unfounded slur.
This week on Instagram, I posted a photo with some of those new clothes, and made a meme that sparked some lovely discussion. Do you think a body neutral person can want to actively lose weight as a goal? Pallavi made more fabulous reels, and this heartbreaking infographic that led people to share their stories of how fat phobia has affected their mental health.
That’s all folks!
Ameya ( Pallavi)