Articles, Body Image, Fashion

Online Shopping When the Models Don’t Look Like you

In our society, we have a very specific idea in our head when we picture a female model. Many teen girls (myself included) visit websites for online shopping. Those include Free People, Lulu’s, and Urban Outfitters. However, they only show their clothes modeled on a very specific body type. That’s why when we have a friend who’s tall and thin, we say “you could be a model.” Their body type is the only one we see on models.

I often see plus-sized models on these sites when they are advertising clothing specifically in plus sizes. I think it’s a great thing that plus sized girls and women can find so many stylish pieces online these days when not long ago, options were pretty scarce. Still, on many sites, the plus sized clothing isn’t what you see on the home page. So it can be hard to find, even if the store technically offers it. This hiding of plus sizes can be frustrating to shoppers, and it communicates the idea that regular sizes are the “default.” I definitely recognize that there is still improvement to be made in the plus-sized shopping industry.

But what I wanted to talk about  is the very wide gap between the “regular” and the “plus size” models on websites. A lot of teen girls and women with a variety of body types fit in this “in between” category, and even though the right sizes are available, it’s hard to pick them out is my own experience online shopping. Personally, I know I wear regular sizes and I can pretty easily find the right size for me in a certain item when I’m shopping in stores and I get to try them on.

Lydia Bloodworth

Lydia is currently a graduated Springboarder and former president of Girlspring. She hopes her content will help and inspire other teen girls.

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