Blogs, Articles & Research

Overweight vs Skinny: Lululemon, Abercrombie, Debenhams and the Size Debate

 

 

Comment

 

Yoga clothing retailer Lululemon was criticised for discriminating against overweight women; hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons is not good for business as customers are choosing other retailers in protest.

 

Abercrombie & Fitch had to rethink its sizing after customers voted with their feet (read our previous post about Abercrombie).

Providing More Choice is Good for Business

Providing clothing for larger customers (without discriminating them for being overweight or obese)  is a good business decision – it's about including a variety of people and not excluding them. Critics to this type of decision roll their eyes up saying it gives obese people permission not to do anything about their weight and therefore spinning the obesity epidemic out of control.

 

Debenhams has introduced size 16 mannequins in their stores so that customers can see what clothes would suit their figure. Considering that the average clothes size for women in the UK is 14-16, seeing clothes on a size 16 mannequin can help sell more items as customers don't feel excluded from wearing something fashionable. Overweight women may find shopping for clothes stressful as fashion is so idealised with unrealistic body shapes.

 

There is also social stigma attached to being overweight, with images of low-income households perpetually obese or overweight versus the aspirational skinny figures of the wealthy. “Aspirational” retailers like Abercrombie made a very clear statement about excluding customers who were not “cool” enough, meaning not young and slim.

 

What we really need is variety in clothing and change perceptions.

 

If you feel you need support in dealing with your weight, we are here to help. Email us in confidence info@weightmatters.co.uk

We also run workshops on body image, weight and relationships. See our workshops page for more information.

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/12/its-not-just-lululemon-and-abercrombie-stocking-plus-sizes-isnt-popular/

 

Words by Paola Bassanese

*Disclaimer - Results may vary from person to person

Read some of our latest blogs

The Relationship Between Bulimia and Anxiety 26 July 2017 - Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and compensatory behaviours to control weight...
Weight Loss Counselling 20 July 2017 - Do you struggle to lose weight? More and more people struggle with their weight and obesity....
How is our Gut Microbiome Linked to Weight Gain and Obesity? 6 July 2017 - The gut is the largest endocrine gland in the body and it has its own nervous...
How can nutrition contribute to the treatment of clinical depression? 6 April 2017 - With more and more people experiencing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, it is...