After flicking through several copies of the latest fashion magazines, I have to come to the conclusion that big women still aren't seen as beautiful. I'm not one to spend my days idly looking over the waste of paper that is Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire as I find them pricey, superficial and an utter con; however, I had time to waste.
I'm not entirely into fashion and therefore I wouldn't exactly put myself in a position to criticise. Yet, the fundamental flaw in the industry screams at me from every glossy image of a sickenly thin model, pouting like a guppy fish wearing barely anything; fashion can't just be scaled upwards. Designers envisage something fabulous on a size zero skeleton, and then expect it to fit a size 18, which apparently in this current climate, is about as repulsive as announcing that you are a rabid hippo that has sprouted wings and is about to take flight over London.
I can almost put my finger on the point where I truly began to hate the fashion industry for their discrimination towards size. It was the moment where I could no longer fit into children's jeans: simply because the waistband was beginning to act like a gastric band, even though my tiny little legs still weren't poking out the bottom. It's sick - even at ten, they were designing jeans for skinny girls with long legs. Since then, I have watched as my peers bought items from Jack Wills, Abercrombie and Fitch and Superdry - who, incidentally, barely stock anything above a size 12, let alone employ anyone that 'large' - and detested it all more each second, knowing I never could shop from there, as the vests could hardly cover a single arm.
Despite the fact that it's obvious that those clothes just weren't designed for us, I see women all around who have forced themselves into crop tops, huggy leggings and tiny shoes with massive heels: tottering around, body parts wobbling everywhere and generally making an utter fool of themselves. Somehow they cannot understand why everyone sniggers at them. After all, aren't they wearing what's in? It is, however, better to look good than fashionable, and no, they are, in fact, not the same thing.
I won't deny that the industry seems to be improving slightly, if only thanks to the hit TV series Ugly Betty. Working in an office full of 'six feet tall, perfectly waxed Glamazon women', Betty Suarez manages to prove that you don't have to be fashion forward, let alone look perfect in order to make it in the industry. Yet still, most are still fixated on the fact that she's neither beautiful nor skinny. Well, yes she is - on the inside. And isn't that the essence of the show? To prove that it's the inside that matters, not the out? Oh, and to all the narcissistic, pessimistic and pathetic nay-sayers out there who say that inner beauty doesn't get you a boyfriend: erm, at the last count, Betty has had at least five boyfriends and is currently being pursued by the gorgeous yet notorious ladies man, Daniel Meade - so there!
Given that a small portion of the media has come to realise how harsh 'fashion' is, you'd hope that the rest would follow suit? But no, we still have to play along with the media's perception of beautiful, which - no surprise - passes over the bigger women. We are shunned to the side like the pervy uncle you don't want to meet; the office guy fling who still follows you, only hoping for a smile; and that half blind cat who you fed once and now sits on your garden wall staring into your window.
In addition to this, you have a new super breed of exercise DVD's, full of perfectly toned, perfectly tanned and perfectly beautiful women who, realistically, never had to exercise a day in their life. I take one look at them and decide it's better to leave the aerobic workout to another who wants to see someone else's perfect body. Yet there are still some who will slave away for hours and then cry their heart out during Coronation Street because of their non-existent social life and the fact that their perfect body is showing no signs of appearing any time soon.
The fashion industry needs to re-evaluate its perception of beauty and fast. We bigger women are finished with only finding socks in our size. There's a storm coming.