Today I hit the Boise Towne Square Mall with my Mom and had a little pre birthday shopping spree. I don’t do a lot of shopping locally, not just because I am a techy online ordering kind of girl, but also because the Boise area offers so very little for plus size consumers. Shame on them for only providing us with two Lane Bryant stores and plus size sections in Maurice’s and H&M that are so small and bleh that it’s not even worth the gas to get there. With this bleek reality in mind I hit the mall in search of shoes and a nice handbag, both of which I brought home with me. During my trip I had an interesting set of experiences that I felt were worth sharing with the community. I have good new and bad news.
The bad news. While I was there I decided to pop into H&M to see if they would magically have something that I could settle for to feed my manic shopping desire. I headed to the back of the store, money in hand, where the menial plus size section exists in an eerily quiet manner. I came to find the prior plus section filled with Christmas sale items, none of which in a size 14+. I tracked down a H&M employee and asked where the section had moved to and was told in the sweetest way possible that they had decided to move their plus sizes off of the sales floor to make room for all of the Christmas sale items.
Insert here my jaw hitting the floor followed by every part of my body moving to full sassy “oh no you didn’t” position.
Hearing this choice from H&M not only offended me but also offended my mother who is not plus size as well as an older woman who was also looking for plus sizes to purchase as gifts for her Granddaughter. The sales associate also expressed that she was displeased by this disrespectful and discriminatory choice of her employer.
The good news. This associate, even though she herself was not a curvy chick, then informed me that the Forever21 upstairs now carried plus sizes. She again expressed her sincere apology for her company’s foolishness and mentioned that she had worked for Forever21 before and wished she was still there, especially now that they are offering plus sizes in store and catering to the needs of the average woman in America who is a size 14.
If you know me, you know that I really enjoy the Forever21+ line. I purchase from it regularly online and feel like they offer cute pieces that are on trend at really reasonable prices. My only issue with them ever has been that I couldn’t shop in store in Boise and now that’s not a problem. As I left H&M promising myself that I would never enter that store and give them my money ever again I was also excited to go hit up a store that actually catered to my sizing needs without being dowdy or made as if all plus size women must be 6 feet tall (cough, Lane Bryant, cough). I ended up finding some really great pieces and left with a smile on my face, an empty wallet and some new pieces that make me feel like the fabulous fat babe that I am.
While this experience worked out for me I am still really bothered by the choice of H&M to toss their plus size customers to the side like a worn out toy. Wasn’t it just in the last year or so that H&M started carrying a small range of plus sizes and campaigned that they cared about their curvy consumer and wanted to give them fashionable options? How quickly the tides change.
Through this choice H&M is projecting the idea that the plus size woman does not need consistent fashion resources and that they should just be happy that they carry clothing for “fat women” the rest of the year. They expect us to tolerate their abuse and blatant disregard and still give them business in the future because we are just happy to be included. With this maneuver they are also indicating that a plus size woman should not receive clothing as a gift for the holidays. By not providing these size options they have hindered not only the shopper but also the gifter who is now unable to make a purchase. In reality through this disrespect they have not only excluded the average American woman who is a size 14 but also the holiday shoppers searching for the perfect gift for the voluptuous vixen in their life. The fact that they think this will fly and that we will stay quiet is comical because as we all know we are better than that!
We cannot put up with this treatment and allow them to walk all over us. I personally have made a promise to myself that I will not set foot in that store or on the H&M website and will not be giving them a cent of my money from here on. I will not be sending shoppers to them and will not be forgiving their discrimination and disrespect. It is so important that we send a message to H&M that this is not ok, that we are not a toy for them to play with at their leisure and then toss aside in the blink of an eye. In reality the biggest move we can make to show them that we deserve more is to spend our money elsewhere. While we may not be able to hit them where it hurts most, in their wallets, at this moment as they are literally asking us not to shop in their stores, reminiscent of another fat hating clothing company who inevitably had their ass handed to them by the plus size community. We must take any step we can to express our disapproval shouting it from the rooftops of our social media circles and by directly tagging and posting to the company, all of which I will be doing myself.
Fuck you H&M, my body is not here for your amusement, I will not be complacent, tossed aside or disrespected. What you have done is offensive to so many women for so many reasons and you should truly be ashamed of the ignorance that was shown with this decision.
At the end of the day, for me, the score is pretty clear:
Forever21: 100 the same amount of MY money they received today.
Game, set, match.
How do you feel about H&M and the choice they have made?