Fashion Victim or Masochist: a Tale of Abuse

O! fashion. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

When I was a little girl I loved to play dress up. My sister and I had a large wicker basket that was almost as tall as I was. It was filled to the brim were dresses, hats and high heels, slips and even a faux fur stole. My Barbies also had a wicked collection of clothes for every occasion and occupation. As an adult I still have a fascination with clothing and accessories except now my interest has expanded to include make-up and an intensifying desire for hair extensions.

Part of me knows that my affection is a manifestation of advertising and pop culture and the American way of life (Capitalism, baby!). Shameful.

But the other, louder, selfish part of me wants a teal, jewel-encrusted ball gown similar to the one Shelley had (that was always the name of whichever Barbie had top billing in my afterschool hours), although I have never been to a ball and likely never will.

I also want this Valentino dress.


Or one of these from Dolce and Gabana:


Pipe dreams.

Nevermind the cost. That is not the foremost limitation.

Top designers refuse to accept or acknowledge that women exist outside of a size 10. Or if they do recognize us perhaps they simply agree with the CEO for Abercrombie and Fitch who, a few months back, said that he doesn’t want fat people in his stores or wearing his clothes because he wants his customers to feel like they are one of the “cool kids”.

Why, fashion, why? Don’t I love you enough? Didn’t I always tell you how beautiful you are? Why do you beckon to me like Sirens from billboards and magazines? And why do I torture myself watching runway shows on YouTube when I know that, unless I develop serious sewing skills, I can never wear you?

Because like a masochist in an abusive relationship, I keep coming back for more pain and humiliation. I am being super dramatic but I am really feeling some major feels about this.

Select retailers have caught on and have plus size options and even entire sections (how generous of me to describe a few racks as a whole section) of their stores devoted to tubby trend-oids. Yet fashion continues to belong to the svelt. Seeing plus size models—who in reality wear sizes 6 and 8—on the runway is cause for gasps and hearty slaps on the back, as if this is some kind of turning of the tides. I can go into Forever 21 and make my way over to the 10 square feet of fatshion but I still feel like a second class citizen in the fashion world. The black and white striped leggings and fab blazers that lured me into the store are not to be found in that dark, dank, little plus-size corner.

So now, in what some might call the prime of my life, I just want to play dress up like my Barbie-esque peers. Get a clue, Mark Jacobs, I would rock your frock!


About mariannemarch

Marianne is a writer, editor, econ-freak, and makeup junkie. She can be spotted roaming around Atlanta, usually drinking coffee and scribbling in her notebook.

Posted on August 14, 2013, in fashion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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