Whether you like it or not, plus-size persons do exist. Fat shaming and fatphobia are widespread, not just in Pakistan but throughout the world. Individuals who do not conform to society’s ideal of what a person should look like are looked down upon. ‘Thin-ess’ is synonymous with beauty, while overweight is always deemed unattractive.
For example, award-winning singer Adele recently shed ten kg following her divorce, and fans congratulate her for retaliating against her estranged husband through weight loss. Any other rationale is beside the point.
Closer to home, across the border, Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha recently released a dramatic video in which she remembered being fat-shamed and shared all the derogatory things they called her. They ranged from softer names like ‘Fatso’ and ‘Aunty’ to more ominous ones like ‘Motakshi Sinha.’ Simply reading such terms should make you uneasy.
Despite this, the world is attempting to combat body shaming. Any international clothing brand will have a department dedicated to plus-size ensembles. However, this is not the situation in Pakistan.
Faiza Saleem, a comedian, and performer who is one of the top champions for plus-sized women in our country, recently collaborated with Lulusar on a campaign for plus-size clothes. While many people lauded the drive for being inclusive, a sizable portion of the populace left demeaning comments on social media sites.
On the other hand, Lulusar Brand took Bihamal, aka baemisal, as their model for their brand. And no doubt she looks stunning in her pictures.
A generation has already experimented with plus-size apparel and had great feedback. Still, aside from a few advertisements here and there, no one has taken the concept forward or made it a permanent fixture.
Lulusar spoke on why most Pakistani businesses avoid plus-size apparel, stating, “Cost might undoubtedly be a consideration, as this is a high niche market, and the lesser return on investment compared to normal campaigns would not be ideal.”