Fat People Get Pregnant, Need Clothes
Manufacturers and local retailers incredulous
Portland, OR — It is supposed to be the “happiest time in a woman’s life”1, but for Portland resident and fat pregnant woman Arwyn Arising2, it has proved to be a time marked by frustration and frumpy clothes.
“Sure, there are plenty of fat chick clothing stores in the area — from national chains like Lane Bryant to upscale boutiques like Magical Creations to trendy thrift stores like Fat Fancy — and there are all the usual pregnancy clothing stores, but do any of the above stock maternity clothing that will fit someone like me? Not that I’ve found,” said Arising.
An example: what Arising has found is half a dozen local retailers who stock a brand of maternity tank which, “barely!” according to Arising, comes up to her size — but none of them carry the “curvalicious”3 sizes.
This journalist contacted several of the local retailers for their take. All of them wished to remain anonymous4.
“Oh! I didn’t even know they made them that big,”5 said one maternity store, demonstrating a typical surprise that plus-size women do not universally dress in muumuus.
“No, of course we don’t carry that size,” said a lactation specialist, who went on to wonder how obese women managed to breast-feed their infants without suffocating them “with all that unnecessary breast tissue.”
“We stopped stocking that brand when they moved their manufacturing to China, because it doesn’t matter whether anyone can afford our products or even have clothes to wear as long as our purity standards are met. But I don’t think we ever had that size,”6 said one particularly earnest employee at a “mama-baby boutique” which caters to the cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, too-much-money crowd.7
“Fat chicks get knocked up? By WHOM?? Don’t they know it’ll only make them fatter?”8 asked one maternity worker in response.
Many manufacturers, however, protest that they do, of course, make “fatty sizes”.
“We offer up to 3x! Only offered online,” said one.
Another, “Plus sizing to 24W! Not available in stores.”
“Like we’d want fatties cluttering up our shops,” said the most candid retailer representative, whom we’ll call Babs9.
“Don’t they, like, smell and stuff?” she continued.
Arising noted that part of the problem may be the way manufacturers label the larger sizes of clothing.
“Take this tank, for instance. 34 B/C through 40 D/E: all the same product, just different sizes. But jump to a 42, 44, or an F/G, and suddenly it’s a whole different product with a different product number — and they charge 20% more.”
“We can’t let them think it’s ok to be all fat and pregnant without paying for it,” said Babs when queried about price differentials.
She hastily added, “What I mean is, it takes extra fabric and stuff.”
Arising again: “They’ll tell you it’s for ‘extra’ fabric, but do they charge less for the 32 Bs? Do petites pay less? Not from what my short and thin friends have told me.”
Arising suggested the solution would be for maternity retailers to make all their sizes available in stores, and for plus-size retailers to reach out to independent maternity designers.
Babs, meanwhile, had her own solution: “They should just, like, stop getting pregnant. Or stay home. No one wants to see them, anyway.”
- Because of course all women, and only women, get pregnant with the intention of birthing baby(s), happily and intentionally and unambivalently. ↩
- Name changed for anonymity and because a newpaper article just isn’t the same without a surname to quote. ↩
- I wish I were making this up. ↩
- Translation: being blacklisted from all the local lactation-supportive stores would suck rocks. ↩
- Direct quote. Swear to gods. ↩
- It’s possible that everything after “China” in this quote has been added for dramatic effect. ↩
- Please don’t let these lovely people ever figure out they’re being referenced, or at least let them have a sense of humor. ↩
- Hat tip to Violetsouffle. ↩
- Bigoted Against Big Suckas. What? You try to do better. ↩