We have always dealt with petite and plus-sizes and never looked at any other body size or shape. It took a long time to finally get plus size people recognized as people and a not as a joke (yet, we still have that issue in a more minimal setting, thanks to Hollywood the continuing joke). But what about people in between those sizes? The ones who are thicker but do not fit into a size eight?
Sizes between 10-18 are called mid-size. This is not a fashion recognized term just yet, but it has been growing online. This is a great term for those that shop at plus-size stores, so they call themselves plus-size, but then get heat for it because they are not 'visibly plus-size' (though the media would definitely coin many people off as plus size). Mid-size allows the gap to be filled between petite, or what some would call 'straight size' and plus-size so the spectrum does not seem so broad as it already does.
This term will also change what it means for Hollywood making those 'plus-size joke' movies (yeah, I am not over it). Ever noticed how in movies where the actress cast as the plus-size joke is always pretty slim (around size 12 to 14)? These women would classify themselves as mid-size, not plus-size. This would cause Hollywood to stop making these insensitive movies where the slightly overweight chick is seen as extremely overweight. Movies like these have a very negative effect on plus-sized women because it leaves the feeling of "if she is a size 12 and people treated that badly, how would they treat me since I am a size 22?" This causes a lot of pain for those that are a size 10 or 12 watching these movies as well because then they will want to lose weight due to the hatred and jokes made towards these same sized women.
Growing up, I have always been thicker and received fat jokes. This made me place myself in the plus-size category, even though I sometimes did not really feel plus-sized. My weight is evenly distributed through my body rather than gathering up in just one place, which causes a lot of surprise when I tell people I am a size 18. When younger and a size 14, my slimmer friends would try and convince me that I am not fat and that I can easily fit into their clothing. I have always been a tall fat instead of a round fat (and fat is not a bad word! I can go more into detail why we should reclaim the word and happily use it in the same sense that people use 'skinny', but that is for another day).
Mid-sizes are not as happily catered to, as most plus-sized shops cater to sizes 18 and up and petite shops cater to sizes 0 to 12. These in-between sizes get left out and when they are included, the way they are made can be a bit funky and not specific to the different body types. I have always been bigger in the breast and smaller in the waist, so getting tops have always been a struggle for me since I have to buy tops that are a size or two larger, meaning the clothes are a bit baggier on the rest of my torso. This doesn't mean everyone has to have the same figure as me to be considered mid-sized, but just the fact that we aren't slim or have a straight figure.
I have been told I do not look plus-size and because I do not look plus-size, I shouldn't tell people I am plus-size. But then what would I call myself? This caused a lot of confusion in my body growing up. Now that I am 21 and fluctuate between a sizes 16 to 20 (depends on whether I am on a health kick or not), I have been calling myself plus-size, but I cannot shake that feeling that it may not be totally right. Now knowing about mid-size, I feel that I am in the right place and I have found my people. I never felt I fit into the group of plus-sized girls or the obviously the petite girls, so this feels way more inclusive.
Some mid-size girls to follow on Instagram that brings some great positivity that I follow are Erica (nrdy.grl), who posts about thrifting and lifestyle; Lyndsey (asmallcloset), whose posts are about sustainable living and fashion looks; Abi (midsizegal), whose posts are about style and inspiration; Nicole (nicoleocran), whose posts are all bright mid-size fashion. I know there are way more, but these are a few girls that I started following that inspired me and got me to better understand the community.
No matter what size you are, this is just about the fashion industry being more inclusive and Hollywood knocking off their disgusting habit and of hurting the mindset of women of all sizes. We have been moving forward as a society to be more inclusive and to be better represent everyone. Mid-size women will be better represented if we start recognizing them and being more inclusive within clothing stores.
Let me know what you think below if you think this will help inclusivity within the media and fashion industry. If you have any questions, go ahead and message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at any of my socials.