Fashion as a space of dignity

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Despite being considered a social minority, overweight people are, according to official data from the Ministry of Health, 57.2% of the Brazilian population in 2021 .

Even so, this audience is not necessarily contemplated when we talk about clothing and the fashion world. According to the Brazilian Clothing Association (Abravest), the fashion market plus size (sizes from 50) registered, in 2018, a turnover of 7 billion reais – to the detriment of the general average of R$ 124 billion per year for the industry.

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In other words, for most of Brazil, buying a piece of clothing can be an activity that involves stigma, frustration and lack of options.

“I started to develop a habit that today I realize how much it impacted me in my life. I would arrive at a store and I would ask the attendant: ‘I want to know what’s the biggest thing about you, show me your biggest sizes, and then I’ll buy it’”, says Beatriz Melo, 25 years old.

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Today, Beatriz is a model and creative strategist. She sought out, studied and enjoyed the fashion world from a young age, but she never thought that it could become a profession.

“I never thought of myself as a model because I was never part of the fashion narratives I consumed, and not just fashion. Today, when we talk about anything in advertising, I never imagined that I would have a fat body in a commercial, how could I have imagined that this could happen? CNN.

I lived this dilemma: on the one hand I was consuming fashion, which was a pleasure, a hobby. But when I was going to buy, when I was going to have a shopping experience, that was a frustration: a very small amount of options, a very small repertoire of things I could consume, that didn’t have much to do with my style, that didn’t It had a lot to do with my personality.

Beatriz Melo, model and creative strategist

It was also thinking in this way that the friends Luciana Celestino and Alline Fregne thought of founding a brand that could make everyone have a satisfying experience – regardless of the consumer’s body shape.

“We looked at each other, we looked at each other: we are women who have very similar rhythms of life, with very similar tastes, but with totally different bodies. And I thought I would never be able to go shopping with her (Alline) because I wouldn’t find anything in my size.” Luciana Celestino founder of FALA brand a company in operation for nine years and which calls itself an “All Sizes” brand, which has models and parts in stock and enough models for all sizes.

The fat person is always placed as the person who is relaxed, who is sick. We know that obesity can bring several risks, several diseases. But there is a question of genetics, there is a question of the structure of the body, that there are people who will always be, will be born, grow, live and die that way, but they are people who are healthy, who eat well, who do sports.

Luciana Celestino, founder of the FALA Brand

The difficulty of finding clothes to play sports motivated Amanda Momente to found in 2017 the Wonder Size the first fitness brand (according to Amanda) focused on sports performance for fat people in Brazil.

“We don’t send the fat person to the gym, she goes because she has comfortable clothes that she feels amazing and able to do that. And not to mention the social impact, right? Because you are condemned to lose a certain sociability, which is the sociability of the world of sports, movement, leisure, precisely because you are fat.”says Amanda.

Our main purpose is for fat women, fat women, for them to experience sport in a different way, because fat women never have the opportunity to relate to sport other than for aesthetic reasons. We say: ‘go there, try the exercise, do the sport for fun’, because sport is fun, right?

Amanda Momente, founder of the Wonder Size brand

The brand market all sizesin addition to the brands plus size, appear together with a growth of movements such as the body positive, in which it is proposed that people accept their own body and seek, within the personal context and specificities, to live with dignity – something hitherto ignored by fat people, especially in the fashion world.

There is a social impact when you wear a fat body. We have reports from several clients, who say they put on an outfit and felt very happy, they were fine, they were able to work comfortably, they were able to look at themselves in the mirror. Because until a few years ago you could only find specialized stores that were clothes I don’t know, in beige, black (which is for weight loss), to hide the body. How important it is for a person to say ‘look, I got up and managed to walk around, I’ve been in bed for years, because I was ashamed, because I didn’t have clothes.

Luciana Celestino, founder of the FALA Brand

The act of dressing comfortably, having options that mold to your personality and style, more than an aesthetic value, is part of anyone’s identity construction. And not having the right to express yourself as you want can directly impact important life choices, as well as aspects such as mental health, self-esteem and confidence. And this need needs to be understood and absorbed by society.

“Fashion is important in shaping your personality in the way you express yourself, in your identity. So they were things that were taken away from me over time”, reveals Beatriz Melo. “Today, for example, I consider myself a very creative person in relation to fashion, but before I did not know that I was a creative person, because in this fashion space, for example, I could not play and imagine things, propose things, it was all too much castrator . I was always being neutered during this fashion experience of mine.”

I think we live in a moment when we are starting to get real about what we can demand as a fat community. I want to wear trend. I want to wear what thin people are wearing, I want to wear what suits me, my personality. And brands need to bring this into the modeling of clothes, collections, dealings, customer experience, so I think it’s a much bigger thing than just having the piece there. The market needs to look at these people, humanize them too.

Beatriz Melo, model and creative strategist



Source: CNN Brasil

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