I get a lot of e-mails asking me to promote clothes that aren’t made in my size. I received an e-mail last week asking me to support a Kickstarter Campaign for a product called The Undress. It’s a dress that is designed to help people change clothes in public.
I thought it was an incredibly cool idea – this is something that I would totally use in lots of ways – between workouts outside, after swims, at photoshoots etc. So I clicked and found out that it didn’t go up to my size. Sigh. So I replied to their e-mail and let them know that I would love to use the Undress but unfortunately they weren’t making it in my size. I suggested that since they were starting from scratch it would be super cool if they could plan to include as many people as possible from the start and offered to support them in doing so. I don’t know how many requests they received like this but I was pleasantly surprised to get an e-mail back:
Go girl go!! So excited for your IRONMAN event! Woooo Ragen! I’m so glad you brought up different sizes and that’s something that we are definitely working on and are embracing. You are absolutely right about including as many women as possible as that is our mission to provide The Undress to as many women as possible- no matter what size they are participating in athletic events. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. This Kickstarter campaign has been a huge learning opportunity for us to see what people want, what athletic people are interested in, etc.
Let me circle back with my team and keep you posted on further developments with The Undress. Thank you Ragen!! Be in touch soon!
Today they let me know that they had extended the line up to a size 28. (This sizing happens to include me but obviously doesn’t include all people and I’ve sent another e-mail.) It is a step in the right direction, and I spend so much time discussing companies that engage in fatphobia (and who, when we point it out and ask them to stop, double down on that fatphobia), I’m excited to be able to talk about a company that made positive changes in response to a request. (Just to be crystal clear I haven’t received anything to blog about this – no money, promotional stuff etc.)
In a world with so much bullying, shaming, and stigmatizing directed at fat people, and especially in the world of fashion where brands use their exclusion of fat people as a way to show how “cool” they are it can seem almost impossible to make change. But we can, and we are, and we will continue to, create change that makes the world better for fat people. Nobody is ever obligated to engage in activism, but if you want to, the first step is often to ask.
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