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ASize10IsNowConsideredPlusSized,SoIGuessMyStandardOfBeautyMakesMeUglyAF

Courtney Dercqu
Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
over 2 years Story
A Size 10 Is Now Considered Plus Sized, So I Guess My Standard Of Beauty Makes Me Ugly AF

If you peer your head into my closet, you'll find yourself saying to me, "Girl, you've got way too many clothes in here." And after a few minutes of me defending myself, tossing my Givenchy sweater across my shoulders, and sashaying around my bedroom, eventually, you'll stop laughing (my runway walk is horrif) and you'll exclaim, "You don't need all of this."

Ah, how true, how true, FALSE that is.

It's true, I'm a girl who loves to shop. What woman doesn't get a tingle when they swipe their credit card over a cart full of brand new skirts, and Bath and Body work scented candles, and new face masks and ugh - I'm getting excited just thinking about it! 

But, aside from what I'll deny is an impulsive shopping disorder (I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY, MOM!) there's a reason my closet is bulging past where the door can close, I have two bins of clothes I keep in the closet and switch out for the summer, and a chest of drawers that's overflowing with wrestling t-shirts two sizes too small.

It's because my weight fluctuates so much, and so often, that I don't ever know when it's time to toss something. 

...because the chances are, what I throw out in August, is either going to be too large or too small come September.

My weight has always been an issue for me. I've been as tiny as a Hollister model flaunting a size 3 jeans (it's true, and yes, you do begin to ignore the smell when you work there) and as "large" as buying a size 14 pants nearly two summers ago. With a spinal condition, an overload of stress, and an office job where I spent 10 hours each day sitting down and having easy access to the never-ending supply of donut-holes all my co-workers used to bring in, losing control over my physique has become harder the older I become. 

I'm not twenty anymore and can drop five pounds by cutting out half my dinner size, and thriving off three hours of sleep and a diet soda. I'm nearing thirty, and while I recently learned that I can't digest caffeine at a late hour anymore (thanks, biology) I also see my keeping off the weight takes twice the amount of work and effort it did just a few years ago. And, I'm sorry, but sometimes, after working a long day, making dinner, doing homework, and running errands, I don't actually feel like driving to the gym, working out for an hour, and driving home. Sometimes, (gasp) I feel like spending that hour of free time watching television, or cleaning my house, or grabbing coffee, or writing - or an actual productive use of my time having fun - without the guilt associated with it that that's the reason for my double-esque chin. 

So what's the reason for this whole, rambling rant???

Well, it all has something to do with this commercial I seen the other day from Gwynnie Bee. For those of you who aren't familiar, it's an online subscription for plus sized women's clothing sizes 10-32. 

Awesome, right? 

I mean, who doesn't love an online subscription to get items you can't always find in stores? I do, I do! 

But...here's the thing that bothers me, and no, this doesn't have to do with Gwynnie Bee specifically as much as it does society as a whole.

So, this website, caters to plus sized women sizes 10-32, which makes me ask the question: Since when is a size 10 suddenly considered plus size?

Now, I'm all about inner beauty and I think that you're just as gorgeous if you're a size 2, or a size 32; as the testimonials on Gwynnie Bee summarize, each body is beautiful, and every woman should be reminded of that as opposed to being shamed for not fitting into one standard of beauty. 

(You, go, girl)

But, do we actually live in a world where a size 10 - a size that I wear - is considered plus size!? You have GOT to be kidding me! 

Two years ago, I had an article published on Elite Daily entitled "I'm A Size 8 And Not Pretty: Why Your Standard Of Beauty Depends On You." I wrote it after visiting my closest Forever 21 store, and walking out of the dressing room, completely disheartened because nothing - and I mean nothing - not even the XL skirt and fourteen shirts I tried on - looked even remotely appealing on me. My belly bulged so much that I felt like a can of biscuits after you just popped the tin on the counter (after I let out a cute scream because I'm still not expecting that POP sound it makes). 

And, a size 8 was not "fat" at all - at least not in my standards. And sure, a size 8 would have fit me totally differently at different store with clothing that was made out of better fabric, but it was the idea of how disheartened and ugly I felt leaving one of my favorite stores of my early-twenties. When you try something on and it looks terrible, it breaks this regular illusion you have of yourself. I thought I was pretty;I thought I was pretty skinny but the mirror right in front of me convinced me otherwise and so I left the mall, not wanting to try and find a perfectly fitting size 8, because I didn't want that feeling to last. 

That article received an overwhelming response. I had countless girls email me, contact me via Facebook, and Instagram, re-tweet me in the Twitter-verse thanking me for my powerful words. I even had actress Sophia Bush tweet my article out on her own accord, quoting my article for the world to see, and I thought to myself - this issue is larger than the insecurities I felt in my hometown - they're nationwide and none of us (celebrities included) are immune from feeling insecure about our bodies.

As I've said, my weight fluctuates, and now, here I am, not fat, yet not really skinny, able to rock a size 8 if I lay on the bed and shimmy my thighs and guts into my favorite pair of jeans, and insecure about the fact that I wear a size 10 comfortably - and it's hard to remind myself that that's actually okay.

I'm already riddled with insecurities about how I look. This is why I watch shows like America's Next Top Model and get the motivation to start working out so I can look like them because shows like that aren't just entertainment anymore, but guidelines on how to be most physically attractive. I redo Instagram selfies, and wear over sized sweaters, even though there's nothing actually wrong with me - nothing wrong with any of us, as it's only a vain, insecure feeling we hold ourselves in because society makes it easy to compare us to someone else whose prettier and thinner. 

And, then, when I feel like I'm starting to accept my body for the way it is, I stumble across something that says that a size 10 is plus sized. It's a label that should be forgotten, because what woman wants to be labeled as plus sized anything? If I am, in my size 10 jeans and unflattering crop top, considered plus sized, then let's say that I'm plus sized in humility. Say that I'm plus sized in spirit, in compassion, in style, and in sense of humor. Say that I have a plus sized heart.

But, the notion of calling someone plus sized, whether a size 10, a size 18, or a size 32 is another unflattering label we cast onto someone that further objectifies their body, and clearly shows that that's what our focus is on. It's not about the person, it's about the body; their fit.

Well guess what? A size 10 is not a "plus size." Because there's no such thing as a plus sized body. But if you're a society who thinks that anyone with hips, breasts, and curves deserves the word plus be added to their description, then I guess it just goes to show how little we've actually progressed as a whole. For a society that tries to claim that we're all beautiful and that we should all be proud of the bodies we have, it's hard to believe that when the standard of "normal size" and "plus sized" seems to be getting smaller and smaller by the second. 

If we continue down this route, then before we know it, a size 4 will also be considered plus sized.

If it sounds ridiculous, that's because it is.

Just as how ridiculous it is that a size 10 is now considered plus sized by some standards.

Or the fact that plus sized is still considered at all.


17 replies

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  • sandradee
    over 2 years ago

    I'm a size 00/0/2/4, and Torrid, a well-known plus-size store, starts their sizing at 2. That doesn't mean I'm plus-size. Sizing is SO all over the place these days taht sizing varies widely from brand to brand. Also, the plus-size stores are starting to size their clothes completely differently - look at Torrid. Perhaps GwynnieBee is doing the same thing, just not as extreme as Torrid? They're trying to appeal to women who are in reality a size 16 by calling it a 10. So I wouldn't take that too seriously or to heart. Also, vanity sizing is a real thing. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16 in the 1950's, which would be a size 2 today. I remember that sizes from 10 years ago were smaller than they are today. So, your size 10 may be a victim to vanity sizing and would have actually been something larger than what it was 10 years ago. HOWEVER, in this case, I don't think that's the case with you, since you don't look plus-size, and I really think it's the former. In fact, they ask you to put down your size in a different brand and to see what size you'd need with them.

    I'm a size 00/0/2/4, and Torrid, a well-known plus-size store, starts their sizing at 2. That doesn't mean I'm plus-size. Sizing is SO all over the place these days taht sizing varies widely from brand to brand. Also, the plus-size stores are starting to size their clothes completely differently - look at Torrid. Perhaps GwynnieBee is doing the same thing, just not as extreme as Torrid? They're trying to appeal to women who are in reality a size 16 by calling it a 10. So I wouldn't take that too seriously or to heart. Also, vanity sizing is a real thing. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16 in the 1950's, which would be a size 2 today. I remember that sizes from 10 years ago were smaller than they are today. So, your size 10 may be a victim to vanity sizing and would have actually been something larger than what it was 10 years ago. HOWEVER, in this case, I don't think that's the case with you, since you don't look plus-size, and I really think it's the former. In fact, they ask you to put down your size in a different brand and to see what size you'd need with them.

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      I appreciate your feedback and your outlook! I definitely agree with what you said. You're right, sizes today are so small. Look at Hollister for example. When I worked there at 17 years old, there largest size was a 13 and that was equivalent to a women's four or six. I know there is a disparity between teen and adult sizes, however there were a lot of twenty-somethings I knew who still shopped there and it was amazing to see how that store fat shamed anyone who wasn't a size 3 which was like a size 0 in adult clothing. It was fun working there, but it definitely gave me an incorrect idea about sizing and women's confidence.

      I appreciate your feedback and your outlook! I definitely agree with what you said. You're right, sizes today are so small. Look at Hollister for example. When I worked there at 17 years old, there largest size was a 13 and that was equivalent to a women's four or six. I know there is a disparity between teen and adult sizes, however there were a lot of twenty-somethings I knew who still shopped there and it was amazing to see how that store fat shamed anyone who wasn't a size 3 which was like a size 0 in adult clothing. It was fun working there, but it definitely gave me an incorrect idea about sizing and women's confidence.

  • Ldudette
    over 2 years ago midwest USA

    Excellent article, I think the plus size label is just another way to shame women and keep them down, enough already!!

    Excellent article, I think the plus size label is just another way to shame women and keep them down, enough already!!

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      Exactly! How can we love and accept our beautiful bodies, no matter what size they are, when society puts labels on us? Shaming goes both ways. How many times have we said that a celebrity is too skinny? Collectively, we need to accept bodies the way they are because genetics also play a huge role in it, too. I wish we would stop already, because shaming, in every form, does more harm than good.

      Exactly! How can we love and accept our beautiful bodies, no matter what size they are, when society puts labels on us? Shaming goes both ways. How many times have we said that a celebrity is too skinny? Collectively, we need to accept bodies the way they are because genetics also play a huge role in it, too. I wish we would stop already, because shaming, in every form, does more harm than good.

      • Priscilla
        over 2 years ago

        After scrolling through the comments I appreciate you mentioning the opposite side as well. I am a size 2, sometimes 4, and I hear comments on the lean side as well. "She's only like that because she doesn't eat". Or "she must have it easy", or "good genes" (that's a no). I eat healthy 80/20, it's true, but I have plenty of alcohol splurges, and I'm not afraid to chow down on wings and pizza during the Super Bowl, but those comments were made like there is something wrong with me. (Obviously if it was true I wasn't eating there is). I've managed to stay the same size through high school, 3 kids and pushing 40, but I busted my ass in my 20s and after my kids to get this leftover effect, and somehow, beyond me, get resentment for it instead of you must have worked really, really hard. We as women have to stop the labels all together, along with the comparisons. I never hear my male friends compare weight critically, only jokingly, like I have to lose a few. I certainly don't hear "I wish I looked like him". It's not being said aloud at least. If a size 10 plus size term bothers you, I hope it doesn't affect your outlook. You're that size with or without the label, and if you're ok with it, and you're healthy, that's all that matters. Label term or not. Being a plus size 10 or a size 10, is still a 10. Who doesn't want to be a 10! 😉 We have made it so much that inner beauty should be important, and it is, but we have to change that a size 10, 12, 14, has just as much outer beauty as a girl half that size. Still beautiful, we just have to stop with the sizing chart looming over our heads.

        After scrolling through the comments I appreciate you mentioning the opposite side as well. I am a size 2, sometimes 4, and I hear comments on the lean side as well. "She's only like that because she doesn't eat". Or "she must have it easy", or "good genes" (that's a no). I eat healthy 80/20, it's true, but I have plenty of alcohol splurges, and I'm not afraid to chow down on wings and pizza during the Super Bowl, but those comments were made like there is something wrong with me. (Obviously if it was true I wasn't eating there is). I've managed to stay the same size through high school, 3 kids and pushing 40, but I busted my ass in my 20s and after my kids to get this leftover effect, and somehow, beyond me, get resentment for it instead of you must have worked really, really hard. We as women have to stop the labels all together, along with the comparisons. I never hear my male friends compare weight critically, only jokingly, like I have to lose a few. I certainly don't hear "I wish I looked like him". It's not being said aloud at least. If a size 10 plus size term bothers you, I hope it doesn't affect your outlook. You're that size with or without the label, and if you're ok with it, and you're healthy, that's all that matters. Label term or not. Being a plus size 10 or a size 10, is still a 10. Who doesn't want to be a 10! 😉 We have made it so much that inner beauty should be important, and it is, but we have to change that a size 10, 12, 14, has just as much outer beauty as a girl half that size. Still beautiful, we just have to stop with the sizing chart looming over our heads.

        • Courtney Dercqu
          Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
          over 2 years ago

          Thanks for your post and for sharing! You're absolutely right. Shaming works in both ways, and either way, it isn't right because there is so much more to it that we don't see, yet feel somehow okay with judging without context. Thank you so much for your kind words - I'm rocking my solid 10!

          Thanks for your post and for sharing! You're absolutely right. Shaming works in both ways, and either way, it isn't right because there is so much more to it that we don't see, yet feel somehow okay with judging without context. Thank you so much for your kind words - I'm rocking my solid 10!

  • Tiffany Sollog 81
    over 2 years ago

    Great article. Thank you. As a child of the 80s, and I mom of two, feel that pain too. I work with my doctor since my thyroid is gone. My mom passed away in 2015 from complications of diabetes. Weight is an indicator of my health, so I watch it for a different reason. I think more people should do their best to be healthy and encourage (not shame) others to be healthy. Bodies come in different shapes and sizes. Let's try to accept that.

    Great article. Thank you. As a child of the 80s, and I mom of two, feel that pain too. I work with my doctor since my thyroid is gone. My mom passed away in 2015 from complications of diabetes. Weight is an indicator of my health, so I watch it for a different reason. I think more people should do their best to be healthy and encourage (not shame) others to be healthy. Bodies come in different shapes and sizes. Let's try to accept that.

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      Thank you, and I agree. I wish there was more of an emphasis on health to be in our best physical shape as opposed to comparing ourselves to others, like Gigi Hadid, for example or to look better in clothing that is already made horribly to fit someone without any curves. I definitely lose sight of that sometimes.

      Thank you, and I agree. I wish there was more of an emphasis on health to be in our best physical shape as opposed to comparing ourselves to others, like Gigi Hadid, for example or to look better in clothing that is already made horribly to fit someone without any curves. I definitely lose sight of that sometimes.

  • KTonfire
    KTonfire Innovator/Designer/Publicist/Awesome
    over 2 years ago San Diego, CA, United States

    I hate the term "plus sized", it is so demeaning to me as a sexy woman. I don't go shopping with friends so they do see me shop in the "plus sized" or "wide women's world" . Why is there a difference in insulting category or separation in departments at all? When you do actually go to Forever 21, the Plus sized clothes are sectioned off, same in Macy's or Nordstrom's. All shinning a spot light on the difference & projecting insecurities onto the consumer. Why can't they just be hung with the "normal sized" clothes that are the same style? ? Go into a man's only clothing, rarely do they separate store sections by sizing. They separate by style. YOU CAN FIND A XXL MENS SHIRT RIGHT NEXT TO ALL THE OTHER SIZES. But if you want anything in the women's department larger then an XL you will have to go to a different section or a different floor all together! I never thought of myself as plus sized or fat. I am just me, size 18-22 depending on brand & 5'8. I have sexy curves & I am pretty. Even at a "healthy weight" measured on outdated BMI medical charts, I would still be a size 12/13. Which the last time I wore that size was when I was 16 yrs old. It is not in my genetics to be a single digit size. I am a descendent of Vikings. They are robust genetically! Majority of the world idealize acurvy women, as it is a sign for wealth & abundance. Only in America do we follow this Ancient Greek aesthetic beliefs of perfection & beauty. I refuse to shop Torrid, not because of the over priced items, but because I don't like having a spotlight on my differences. It's like wearing a sign on my head that says "I don't fit into anything except this stores clothes". Which most of their clothing silhouette is disproportionate. They need new fit models. To me Stores like Torrid is like having a store in a mall only for people 5'ft and shorter! So I RAISE MY MIDDLE FINGER TO YOU SOCIETY and your bullshit labels!

    I hate the term "plus sized", it is so demeaning to me as a sexy woman. I don't go shopping with friends so they do see me shop in the "plus sized" or "wide women's world" . Why is there a difference in insulting category or separation in departments at all? When you do actually go to Forever 21, the Plus sized clothes are sectioned off, same in Macy's or Nordstrom's. All shinning a spot light on the difference & projecting insecurities onto the consumer. Why can't they just be hung with the "normal sized" clothes that are the same style? ? Go into a man's only clothing, rarely do they separate store sections by sizing. They separate by style. YOU CAN FIND A XXL MENS SHIRT RIGHT NEXT TO ALL THE OTHER SIZES. But if you want anything in the women's department larger then an XL you will have to go to a different section or a different floor all together! I never thought of myself as plus sized or fat. I am just me, size 18-22 depending on brand & 5'8. I have sexy curves & I am pretty. Even at a "healthy weight" measured on outdated BMI medical charts, I would still be a size 12/13. Which the last time I wore that size was when I was 16 yrs old. It is not in my genetics to be a single digit size. I am a descendent of Vikings. They are robust genetically! Majority of the world idealize acurvy women, as it is a sign for wealth & abundance. Only in America do we follow this Ancient Greek aesthetic beliefs of perfection & beauty. I refuse to shop Torrid, not because of the over priced items, but because I don't like having a spotlight on my differences. It's like wearing a sign on my head that says "I don't fit into anything except this stores clothes". Which most of their clothing silhouette is disproportionate. They need new fit models. To me Stores like Torrid is like having a store in a mall only for people 5'ft and shorter! So I RAISE MY MIDDLE FINGER TO YOU SOCIETY and your bullshit labels!

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      I love your post! You're right, there is SO much disparity between sizes and I don't care how confident you may be (not you specifically, but you in general) in other areas of your life, we all feel insecure when we go into a fitting room. And, when things like this, show that we're placing an even larger emphasis on being skinny, it really hurts us. I'm so glad you shared your story. I shopped in Torrid once for a pair of fringe heels - and I will admit, they fit perfectly lol.

      I love your post! You're right, there is SO much disparity between sizes and I don't care how confident you may be (not you specifically, but you in general) in other areas of your life, we all feel insecure when we go into a fitting room. And, when things like this, show that we're placing an even larger emphasis on being skinny, it really hurts us. I'm so glad you shared your story. I shopped in Torrid once for a pair of fringe heels - and I will admit, they fit perfectly lol.

  • Erica Natalini 96
    over 2 years ago

    Great message. I so get your humor. Your article read as if I was talking to myself. You lit the spark in my brain that leads to new thoughts so how about this...SIZE 10, All that skinny girl stuff, PLUS A WHOLE LOT MORE. LOL

    Great message. I so get your humor. Your article read as if I was talking to myself. You lit the spark in my brain that leads to new thoughts so how about this...SIZE 10, All that skinny girl stuff, PLUS A WHOLE LOT MORE. LOL

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      Lol, well thank you! I wanted to write this to show how it is for me when I try on new clothes. I mean, clerks at Forever 21 probably think I'm crazy because you can hear me so often being like, "omg what it this?"

      Lol, well thank you! I wanted to write this to show how it is for me when I try on new clothes. I mean, clerks at Forever 21 probably think I'm crazy because you can hear me so often being like, "omg what it this?"

  • cjhinesy
    cjhinesy Writer, editor
    over 2 years ago Iowa

    Great post--and I agree with you on everything. It is disheartening but we have to continue to stand up for ourselves and know that we are beautiful and enough just the way we are!

    Great post--and I agree with you on everything. It is disheartening but we have to continue to stand up for ourselves and know that we are beautiful and enough just the way we are!

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      Exactly! What do you think the fashion industry can do to help break this idea of plus sized?

      Exactly! What do you think the fashion industry can do to help break this idea of plus sized?

      • cjhinesy
        cjhinesy Writer, editor
        over 2 years ago Iowa

        It's not just the fashion industry--but that is part of the problem--the way women are portrayed in TV, movies, in ads for everything from cars to soda pop--women are skinny and attractive. It's an unrealistic portrayal of real women. The fashion industry is just responding to the ideal of what a beautiful woman looks like. If we want to change the industry, we have to change the way we are portrayed. That will be a huge undertaking. I don't have the answer--other than we all have to stand up and say, "We are beautiful just the way we are and we aren't going to cave to your ideals of what beauty looks like." It's weird because I'm a size 12 and when I go shopping and a store has a sale, what sizes are usually left to select from-the 0, 2, 4. Not the 10, 12 or 14. Go figure.

        It's not just the fashion industry--but that is part of the problem--the way women are portrayed in TV, movies, in ads for everything from cars to soda pop--women are skinny and attractive. It's an unrealistic portrayal of real women. The fashion industry is just responding to the ideal of what a beautiful woman looks like. If we want to change the industry, we have to change the way we are portrayed. That will be a huge undertaking. I don't have the answer--other than we all have to stand up and say, "We are beautiful just the way we are and we aren't going to cave to your ideals of what beauty looks like." It's weird because I'm a size 12 and when I go shopping and a store has a sale, what sizes are usually left to select from-the 0, 2, 4. Not the 10, 12 or 14. Go figure.

  • AudreyCodes
    AudreyCodes xxCoder
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    Preach! This is such a great post! I feel you completely on this.

    Preach! This is such a great post! I feel you completely on this.

    • Courtney Dercqu
      Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
      over 2 years ago

      Thanks girl!! Are you as shocked as I am that a size 10 is now considered plus size??

      Thanks girl!! Are you as shocked as I am that a size 10 is now considered plus size??


Courtney Dercqu
Content Marketing Strategist & Writer

Author of Mindy and Mommy Moon | Chinese Food Connoisseur | Full-time Content Marketing Strategist & Writer | Owner of Bad Art and Meow Follow my life @kort_nay on both Twitter and Instagram I'm still dreaming about that pizza in my profile picture.

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