Are Muslim brands responsible for body oppression?
As I peered into my Facebook messenger, scrolled through the messages. As I responded to each of them, I came across one message that just broke my heart.
“I’m curious if you know any other brands catering to curvier sizes. My mom is looking for a nice dress for my wedding but she is struggling to find her size. We looked at M******* and other some other sites without a ton of luck. I’m so worried she’s going to feel discouraged.”
Reading this young lady’s desperation to find her mother a modest dress for her wedding was something I’m all too familiar with. Not attending events because of being unable to find something to wear should NEVER be something any woman should go through. It cuts deeper when it’s someone we love. And I’ve personally known shut in’s that decided to just give up on life for that very reason.
So including a minority right?
Take this into consideration: The average size in the U.S is a 16 (XL). Yet the vast majority of Islamic brands carry only up to a size 14 (L). This leaves larger women with scarce and often degrading options for clothing.
I told you in one of my Instagram posts that there was one Islamic brand that shared a “plus” size model wearing a dress that in my humble opinion was a slap in the face. I later found out she was wearing an XL. The dress however made her look a 2X (my size) due to the cut being unflattering. The post had plenty of of women asking if the dress came in their size. They expressed how happy they were to see a “plus” size model being displayed. The brand responded that they only carry up to a size 16 in *some* dresses- leaving many women confused and not to mention left out.
I’m going to say that the brand had NO idea what this post did to women for the sake of civility. However, making a woman appear bigger than she is drew in women that thought the brand would cater to them. As they quickly realized the brand didn’t in fact carry their sizes the comment section flooded with confusion. I’m sure the demoralization of not being able to fit into their clothing crept in. It was hard to read those comments. Not to mention NONE of the other more appealing dresses were chosen for her to wear or represent. (I’ll bet because they don’t come in the inclusive sizing but I regress)
If the average size in America is a 16 then why do we continue to shame larger sizes by offering little to no options for them? And also putting ZERO effort into styling that will flatter their body types?
Let’s get to the bottom of it
As I scroll through Instagram today I see a video post by a prominent plus size influencer figure announcing her new body positive clothing line. As my joy reaches a high it’s immediately trampled by the heartless comments left in underneath the video.
“Stop promoting obesity” one girl wrote.
Hmmm… *is* having clothing that fit larger bodied women promoting obesity? I wonder…
Is making another human feel dignified and worthy promoting obesity?
Does making a woman feel beautiful promote obesity?
Is considering the feelings of another promoting obesity?
Does giving a person the confidence to leave their home promote obesity?
Is encouraging someone to love themselves promoting obesity?
If we can answer yes to any of those questions then we are guilty of oppression. An oppression so discreet it’s plagued a group of women who happen to be commonly existent in our society. Can we really say it’s ignorance at this point?
If the average size is a 16 in the U.S then HOW IN THE WORLD are we not accommodating these sizes in our space? Not only accommodating but making sure they feel and look good in what they’re wearing.
“Just lose the weight”
I honestly can’t digest this mentality but it’s all too common. Whether it’s a husband shouting at his wife or a prominent brand who’s size selection ends at L, this abuse lingers and it’s detrimental for the mental health of a human being.
Including women sizes may not be an easy task but it’s rewarding when you hear a woman say she feels confident and empowered in her skin. Islamic clothing needs to be more inclusive of all women. By doing so they lift up they heavy burden of rejection many of us have felt when shopping for modest clothing.
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