Guest Submission: Plus size clothing should cost the same as regular size clothing!
This complaint is often seen on This Is Thin Privilege. While it is common sense that something that requires more cloth should cost more, I wanted to see for myself just how much of a difference plus size and regular size clothing are in terms of material, cost and size.
I like to make clothing and I often use patterns to do so. I found this nice shirt from Simplicity online.
On the back of a sewing pattern, you can find the measurements and the fabric required to cut out the pieces for the article of clothing you wish to make. I highlighted the important facts.
I am going to be using the US XL pattern since XL and below are all the same cost in clothing stores and I will be using the US 3X for the plus size pattern. Why am I using the largest size in each category? It requires the most material. A woman who wears an extra small will pay the same price for a shirt as a woman who pays for an extra large. A woman who wears a 1X will pay the same for a woman who wears a 3X.
The pattern requires stretch knit fabric. It sells for $4.99 a yard at Joann Fabrics, a popular sewing supply store in the USA. The XL shirt requires 2 yards of fabric, which will cost $9.98 without tax. The 3X shirt requires 3 yards, which will cost $14.97 without tax. Already you can see a difference in price of materials. A spool of thread will be enough for either shirt, so the price of it does not matter here. If you want to be precise, you could measure the length of everything sewn and divide that by the price of the spool of thread, but that’s a bit complicated.
Even with the price difference, the amount of time required to make a 3X shirt will be considerably longer than an XL shirt. Sewing a lot of material can be unwieldy.
I found a similar shirt at Maurices, a store that caters to both normal sizes and plus sizes. It’s a bit more wrinkly and it’s sleeveless, but it’s close.
Typically, whatever is available in a normal size is available in a plus size. Maurices has a weird sizing system. The shirt pattern for the XL would correspond to a Maurices’ Large, while the 3X pattern would correspond to a Maurices 3 (they do not use X in their plus sizes). Most stores do not work like this. The only reason I use Maurices is because they are one of the few stores that have a specific style of clothing in all sizes.
The normal-sized shirt costs $24.00. The plus-sized one costs $29.00. Since sewing patterns do not even go up to the size of Maurices’ 4 (the largest size possible at that store), I can’t even compare the costs of a 4X shirt to a Maurices’ XXL.
However, we are seeing a price difference of $5.00. Price differences for shirts at Maurices and Cato (a similar store with clothing for XS to 3X in the same styles) range from $2 to $5. I haven’t even considered pants, which I’ll probably do a follow-up on later.
In conclusion, retailers have to put a line between normal size and plus size in order to make money. There is no sense in pricing a shirt at a certain amount for all sizes. Stores make more money off of extra small clothing because it is priced to cover the cost of extra large clothing. Likewise, they make more money off of 0X clothing because it is priced to cover 3X clothing. Is it fair? Maybe not. However, giving each size of clothing a certain price would be inefficient. There are 8 sizes of womens’ clothing (typically), which would mean 8 different prices! Either the cashier would have to type in the size at the register or there would need to be 8 different bar codes. Exchanging clothes to get a larger or smaller size would be a nightmare.
tsunderedope asked: What is titp, exactly?
TiTP stands for “This is Thin Privilege” which, in short, is a blog dedicated to what they believe is the exposure of privileges that people who are “thin” have over those who aren’t, and exposing the inherent “fat shaming” nature of presumably American culture.
Fact checking the FAQ part 4: “But what about HEALTH?”
This’ll be a big one so hang on.
-Health is a fairly ambiguous term within legal and social contexts. However, it is a well established truth that wild mammals of all types often sacrifice security and comfort for health, and there has been much work done within the last few decades to show how cultural values and evolutionary adaptation are emphatically linked. TiTP also once again likes to over simplify and misconstrue social constructs by lumping fat stigma into the health problems of those who can’t improve their own conditions, such as the poor and disabled. However, major governmental actions are often taken for the poor and disabled in context of public health, as well as philanthropic actions for both as well. So even if there is a significant amount of victim blaming against these peoples despite substantial financial and societal support, TiTP’s concept of fat stigma being an off-shoot of healthism is simply a false equivalence.
-Human’s expression of love often pushes us to do things to ensure that connections and relationships maintain, even if those things are rude or considered culturally “mean.” So, even if it is wrong, the consensus amongst the layperson is that being significantly overweight or obese risks a plethora of health problems, so expressing those concerns to someone they care for and consider at risk is often less of them being “assholes” and more them being caring.
-Although the BMI standard is fairly controversial, and there are plenty of better tools for measuring health within the context such as the body adiposity index, and Sagittal Abdominal Diameter there are two main reasons this shouldn’t outright mean the BMI standard is “bullshit.”
- Much of the evidence inditing the BMI standard as a whole comes from non-physiologists and physicians, such as mathematicians, political scientists, or miscellaneous one off journal entries, while international and national organizations such as the WHO, NIH, Japan Society for the Study of Obesity, and LSHTM all continue to use the system as an indicator for unhealthy levels of weight.
- The major flaws within the BMI system is that adult men with high lean body mass are often categorized as overweight or obese despite being low in adipose and visceral fat, which as studies point out may “explain the unexpected better survival in overweight/mild obese patients.”
-Another thing to note is that a startling majority of the “evidence” that TiTP posts in this section is from non-qualified individuals or in non-relevant publications or journals or people who are young and relatively non-scientific in their approach. When one starts to compare the consensus of independent organizations to the misguided minority of skeptics, it starts to sound like a fairly familiar problem.
In my next few posts I will deal with what I call the “main 13.” And if anyone has some info they’d like to send me, please feel free to do so. Or if you’d like to have a debate, make sure it stays above the 3rd echelon :)
Fact checking the FAQ part 3: “Where is the line between skinny and fat?” or “Who has thin privilege?”
- There is an incredible lack of bright-line which as pointed out in the first section of the FAQ, could easily allow for many misinterpretations of asks or submissions which could lead to unintended hostility and aggressiveness from the mods of TiTP, leading to a miscommunication, which runs counter to their own take on activism and privilege from a section before
Fact checking the FAQ part 2: “What is thin privilege?”
- The link used to define privilege has little linguistic or evidential merit and fails to warrant or cite any of it’s truth claims. It is also culturally homogenizing as it focuses on the “mainstream” western concepts of the privileges it acknowledges without taking into consideration the subjectivity of culture, which can be potentially damaging to followers due to the emphasis on corporate identity rather than the personally controlled identity.
-The notion of privilege the link expresses also ignores the sources of such privileges, such as the explanation for "Living on the Outside Privilege" ignoring the ethical and societal legitimacy of the legal concept of imprisonment, twisting the meaning of privilege to mean those who are free of responsibility or burden, which could be dangerous to followers because it instead removes personal autonomy and ethics and instead places blame of such actions on society and the state but qualifying positive traits and consequences as “unearned [in] nature.”
-Arte fails to cite any examples of "fat stigma" and homogenous such diverse areas as "entertainment, science, news reporting, advertising, sports, business, etc" into one singular cultural force of fat stigma, which is again problematic on a societal and scientific level because it devalues hard instances of nature and fact (science, news reporting) and places them within the same spectrum as superfluous and culturally dynamic elements (entertainment, advertising).
-Lastly, already TiTP is establishing the truth claim that “fat” and body composition is void of personal responsibility and autonomy, and instead that it is rigid and unaffected by such things as diet and exercise, but that will be addressed later on the relevant portion of the FAQ is fact checked.
Fact checking the FAQ part 1: “But…but…but…!” (or, how not to argue)
- "If you find yourself in the bottom echelons of this chart, please don’t bother us with asks, submissions…" falls within the third echelon of the chart they provide while "…also fuck off already" falls within the second, qualifying the opening argument of the FAQ as an informal fallacy.
-"Don’t expect your…to mock you" falls on the boarder of the fourth and third echelon, whilethe rest of the paragraph devolves into ad homniem, making the entire section something of an internal contradiction.
-This section also fails to explain the importance or the impact of these echelons within argumentation and asserts their value in the blog but fails to qualify any other than the bottom row.