Diet Sabya Calls Out Fashion Brands For Their Token Inclusivity While Charging Extra For Bigger Sizes.
There is a new pattern being followed by brands and designers in the fashion and beauty industry and that is pretending to be woke and empathetic to appeal to shoppers. After years of representing their brands with standard sized models, it is now that you get to see a handful of size-diverse models on the ramp and billboards. A very few brands have adopted this and for some it is nothing but a lip service since if you actually scroll through their website, you won’t find bigger sizes and even if you do, it would cost you more. Why? Fat tax! Another one of fashion industry’s unsettling problems.
If you wear plus-size and have rummaged through the designer clothes only to either find a lack of clothes in your size or the designer asking you to pay more, you’d know what we are talking about. God forbid if you are born with a bigger body type, you need to pay the fat tax because the poor designer had to pay extra for the fabric and to his masterji, something they didn’t count on when they came up with their size-inclusive collection. Also, how dare you not fall into the socially accepted size? Well, now you’ve gotta pay more.
The muck-raker of Indian fashion world, Diet Sabya which is an anonymous account on Instagram, called out the practice of charging fat tax from their plus-size customers. It all started when Aishwarya Subramanyam, former fashion editor of one of the biggest fashion magazines and now an entrepreneur, shed the light on how girls with curves have to shell out more for clothing in a series of Insta stories. She wrote, “Imagine clothing brands charging higher prices for bigger sizes in 2020. Scratch that, it’s almost 2021. Imagine clothing brands charging higher prices for bigger sizes in 2021.” Diet Sabya reposted the story with caption “Let’s discuss Fat Tax”. How come having curves is expensive in fashion?Source: Instagram
Also Read: 5 Thoughts We Had While Watching The First-Ever Virtual Lakmé Fashion Week. Mostly, Why Didn’t We See Any Diverse Models?
What was more disturbing than these brands and designers charging fat tax was how some of them popped out to defend this disgusting norm. They claimed that if they the clothing takes up more consumption of fabric and require extra embroidery, they are not going to pay it from their pockets and ask the customers to pay for it. One designer said in response to the DS story, “[The embroidery] is not made of gold but if I’m gonna have to put double the time to embroider a piece and paying extra to the embroiderer I’m essentially paying from my pocket.” They have been trying to normalise fat-shaming through clothes on this baseless logic while touting to be size inclusive because, oh well at least they are customising their clothes in my size. The least I can do is be thankful!
The thing is, standardising prices for all sizes is what size-inclusivity actually means, so brands calling themselves size-inclusive while also expecting their plus-size customers to pay more for the ‘extra fabric or embroidery’ they’d be using comes off as rather phony, TBH. We have been giving in to this faulty logic of how bigger-sized garment need extra cloth and work and so it is okay for the brand to ask for more money from us but that is just plain BS, not to mention outright discriminatory. Think about it. If this ‘bigger size needs more fabric’ logic stands true, why the smaller sizes from XS to M are evenly priced and it’s only when you have curves and want L to XXL (if the brand offers that size, that is) you need to shell out more? Plus, you don’t see brands cutting the cost if you are shorter in height and need the outfit altered, do you? So, basically this reason doesn’t make sense at all.Source: Instagram
Designer shoes don’t have uneven pricing for larger or broad feet even when the manufacturing process and material used is different for every size. It’s because foot-shaming isn’t a thing and the footwear industry isn’t plus-averse while it is completely okay to have a varied pricing scale for different feet sizes. The fact that it has become so normalised that designers and even some shoppers don’t see anything wrong with this, is worrying.
There are brands which aren’t just paying lip service to this body positivity movement and are genuinely size-inclusive. Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika and Raw Mango got a shoutout from Diet Sabya for having same pricing for all outfits regardless of the size. Also, after criticism, two brands Torani and Dot announced that are pledging to go standard on the pricing across all sizes today onwards. About time brands stop fuelling body image issues and sizeism and seeing plus-size customers as a means to siphon off extra cash.
I don’t need to squeeze into the industry-standard size and I most definitely shouldn’t be expected to pay extra few bucks just because I was born curvaceous or different than what the brands would want me to, for their own convenience. It is the fashion industry and the retailers who have a fat problem. They seriously need to standardise their pricing and stop making money off an extra inch of waist of their customers.