Plus Size Representation in the Media and Clothing


Our size doesn’t define us.

Maya Messick

Body shaming is a concept many think is easy to spot. While the most obvious ways of shaming are verbal comments, the issue runs much deeper than that. Finding clothing as a plus size person can be near impossible, especially when most companies seem to want people to hide their curves rather than accentuate them. In many popular stores, sizes only go up to 10-12. In the modeling industry, “plus size” is often considered sizes 8 and up. 


Body image is something many teen girls and boys struggle with, no matter their size. Stores don’t commonly offer a large selection of options, and when they do, it’s limited and sometimes pricier than smaller sizes. Shops like Brandy Melville are absolutely destructive towards young girls. One size does not fit all, and even if it did, it wouldn’t be an extra small. “They think plus size people wearing their clothes would ruin their name,” one anonymous  high school girl replied when asked why stores may not always offer inclusive sizing. 


The root of this issue has nothing to do with health or weight, and everything to do with comparison. “There’s so much pressure to look a certain way,” says one source. Social media sites and apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and so many more have the ability for people to convey their lives as perfect. The perfect, edited photos could be the only posts that show up on your feed, creating the perfect, skinny, pretty, unrealistic person that doesn’t actually exist. This leads to thoughts such as “I don’t look like them” or “I should look like them.” This can even travel down the road towards eating disorders, disordered eating habits, depression, and much more. 


Exclusively plus size stores like Torrid are determined to make as many people as they can feel beautiful and included. More and more plus size influencers are growing and prooting all body types everywhere. “We weren’t made to look the same,” says a high school freshman, and that point cannot be emphasized enough.