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Stephanie Penn Headshot

It's Bigger Than Plus-Size Fashion

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The word 'obsession' is met with positive and negative responses. If you're accusing someone of being obsessed over something or someone, they will probably give you a loaded response rebutting your claim. However if they are the one referring to themselves as being obsessed, it's viewed in a positive way and used to describe how they're feeling.

Regardless of how it's interpreted, being obsessed entails constantly thinking, talking or having feelings about a certain topic. The topic in this case is plus size fashion.

I honestly can't recall the exact moment when the media became so intrigued with the plus size fashion industry but there is definitely evidence of such an obsession.

Recent articles, such as "Overweight and Chic" featured on ABC News, lead readers to believe that the plus-size movement is all about looking fashionably chic without overspending.

Although I am in complete support of plus-size fashion blogs, CNN chose to focus on fatshion blogs, many of which were created to empower women into loving themselves. However, what we do is deeper than fashion. Each day we're trying to shift the conversation being had about plus-size women. I can confidently say that plus-size women yearn for more than a world focused on what they're wearing.

We're trying to dispel uncalled myths associated with being a plus-size woman, teach young girls and boys to love themselves regardless of their size and erase size discrimination all together, but all you ever read about is plus-size fashion. Fashion can't possibly be the only subject that binds us. How about the fact that we're all humans? That should be more relevant than what or who we're wearing but sadly, it isn't.

I love dressing nice just as much as the next person, but I often view the media's focus on plus-size fashion as a bit myopic and also as them taking the easy way out just so they can say we gave "them" some attention. Because I run an online magazine, I'm very aware of how Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) works, so I understand how reporting on certain topics can drive readership. But that should never trump journalistic integrity. The women that are being reported on have a story to share and their story is deeper than finding out who their favorite plus-size designer is.

In addition to talking about the latest trends; websites and bloggers are promoting size acceptance, loving your curves and embracing who you are in the present. Each day women are trying to tell the world that having a discussion about the plus-size industry isn't a trend but when you look up the term, "plus-size women" you're met with the media discussing fashion trends for plus-size women.

I am in no way attempting to make light of the current issues that plus-size women face as it relates to fashion but I want people (media outlets especially) to realize that the conversation should include ALL issues that affect plus-size women. Our goals are to not only let plus-size women know that it's okay to thrive in their curves but our goal is to change the conversation that society is having with us, our daughters and each other.

People judge plus-size women and men based on their outward appearance. We're openly discriminated against yet all anyone ever talks about is FASHION... There's something wrong with this conversation.