Plus sizes not pricing, please
By Diane Cooke
TV host Lizzie Cundy provoked outrage last year when she said that shops should charge more for bigger sizes.
Some described it as fat-shaming while others thought the use of more material was justification for charging higher prices for fashion clothing.
New Look is the latest fashion retailer to revise its pricing structure following customer outrage. But in the past Boohoo, Asos and Gap have come under fire for similar discrimination.
Size 20 model Felicity Hayward pointed out that shops don't charge less for petite clothing, so why should plus sizes be targeted.
She told The Sun: "Everyone is unique in their own right and should be celebrated, not discriminated against. Skinny models, for example, don’t always send out the most healthy message to young, impressionable girls but seemingly get rewarded by being given cheaper clothes.
"More curvaceous women, who it could be argued portray a more realistic, attainable body ideal, get scrutinised and pay the price."
The long-running row escalated in the US in 2014 when online shopper Renee Posy started a Change.org petition when she discovered that Gap Inc was charging more for plus size women's clothing, but not for men's.
She said: "Every woman knows how hard it is to find a good pair of jeans: a pair that is the right fit at the right price. That’s why I was shocked when, during a recent visit to Old Navy’s website, I noticed that they were charging $12-$15 more for plus-sized womens jeans -- but not upcharging jeans for “big” men. If they are charging plus-sized women more to cover the cost of the fabric being used, then why aren’t they doing the same for men?
"I was fine paying the extra money as a plus-sized woman, because, you know, more fabric equals higher cost of manufacture. However, selling jeans to larger-sized men at the same cost as they sell to smaller men not only negates the cost of manufacture argument, but indicates that Old Navy is participating in both sexism and sizeism, directed only at women."
The petition attracted 95,000 signatories and Old Navy and its parent company Gap Inc took notice by appointing a panel of full-figured women to advise them of what the plus-sized customer would like to see in their ranges.
Old Navy even invited Renee to join the panel to discuss more equitable pricing for plus-sized women, improved plus-sized offerings and real women wearing the clothing that they sell online.