questionsdo you automatically equate "plus size" with…

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"Why are so many people prejudiced?"
Not sure how you came to this conclusion. Everybody has different preferences. The "Twiggy" look went out a long time ago! Whatever floats your boat. Looks seem to be more important than they should be. In my opinion size "doesn't" matter. It's not whatcha got, it's how you use it!!

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I'm tall, big busted, have a fairly hourglass figure and in a size 8 (8 tall for pants). I stick out like a sore thumb when I am among my more diminutive friends. Compared to them, I am bigger all over. Longer legs, bigger rack, larger feet. Think almost amazonian. Depends on which store I shop as whether my size is considered a "plus" size or just a mid range or upper end of what they carry.

There is a difference between a curvy woman who has large breasts, a small waist with generous hips but has a healthy bone/muscle/fat ratio, and a woman who is by any account carrying 30+% of her weight total body weight in fat. She can call herself "curvy," but she's "plus" on weight.
I will venture to say that a proportionate woman who is between 5'4" to 5'7" and is wearing pants in a size 16 or above is probably carrying more adipose tissue rather than being extremely muscular. She is most likely over the normal weight ranges/BMI for her height and bone structure as well.

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(more) What it comes down to is these are just words and euphemisms. Larger than average sizes have always been given names whether it be "Missy," "Plus," 'Womens," "Stout," or "Portly" to help differentiate the extra attention to design and proper fitting a larger than average woman requires.

Frequent stores that fit you and your style. Don't get wrapped around the axle over the term for the size that fits you best.

(When I say "larger than average" I mean just that. When one wears a size that is on one side of that bell curve or the other, it means one is not average. Nothing more than that. It is in no way to be taken as body snarking.)

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@lavikinga: Well spoken. There is too much press being given to "beach bodies" and such. I like a woman with no bones prominently showing. Are you available? :::blushes::: @gmwhit: I may have found a new target for my Florida fix. :)

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I once weighed 330 lbs. - I was morbidly obese. FAT! overweight. Whatever you want to call it. I didn't enjoy people's rude comments, but it didn't change the fact that I was fat. I wore plus size 32 (4X-5X)

Now I weigh 191 lbs - I am still overweight, still obese, but no longer morbidly obese. I still wear plus size, but now it's 16W - 18W (1X), although sometimes I can fit in a Misses 18 or XL.

I will probably always be overweight. I am happy with how much I've lost (all diet, no surgery), and I am continuing to work on my weight. But I can accept the reality that I am an overweight American. There are risk factors to being overweight. No matter how normal overweight in America is, it's still overweight.

So who cares if plus size makes people think overweight. Accept yourself for who you are. Be honest with yourself. Nobody sees the size of your clothes unless you show/tell them. It's nobody's business what size you wear. Just buy what fits!

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@lavikinga: Beautifully said!

@jsimsace: Do not blame you; what a beauty!

@trekmiss: Kudos for what you've done. If you want to lose more, I wish you the best. More importantly, I think you get it. It's you that matters.

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My cousin-in-law was a plus sized model for years. She's curvaceous (sp?) but looks healthy.

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@daveinsocal: "My cousin-in-law was a plus sized model for years. She's curvaceous (sp?) but looks healthy."

I'm NOT trying to bust your chops here, Dave, but consider the following (slightly different) way to write what you did above:

My cousin-in-law was a plus sized model for years. She's curvaceous (sp?) and looks healthy.

Using "but" implies that there is something wrong with being curvaceous while using "and" does not.

(And personally, I prefer curvaceous women.)

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@trekmiss: Congrats on your loss/gain. :) My wife recently has lost 40+ lbs. through diet and exercise....a lot of exercise. She spends her lunch hour waliking around a track outdoors even when it's 100+ here. She was a size 26 or 28 in pants but I'm not sure where her size falls now. She looks and feels a lot better and receives a lot of "Wow!"s from people. Keep up your great work and you will benefit. Sorry for getting off topic...as for the OP, "plus size" is not always overweight.

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I'm 5'9" and I wear a size 14 or 16 and don't consider myself "obese." A bit over my target weight for sure, but I always pictured obese as being large in such a way that you have rolls of fat and flab, which I don't. Maybe my view is skewed. shrug I'm I'm happy with the size I am, so as long as I'm healthy, what does it matter? I have been trying to work out more to get in better shape, but losing weight is not my goal. Health is.

I could lose weight, but I don't. I could gain weight, but I don't. I have a wide frame. My hips will never be slim and tiny, because that's not how I'm built. My shoulders will never be narrow and delicate, because no amount of exercise can make you lose bone mass. I have a definite "hourglass" figure, and I think that by keeping myself on the "pleasantly plump" side, I actually look better than I did when I was skinny and had all of those bones sticking out awkwardly.

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My kid sister is 5'11. My kid brothers are 6'7". My niece is 6'1" and my nephew is 6'7". All but one of them are properly proportioned for their height, one brother is on the heavy side, but more like a linebacker than a beanbag. They all have really long legs. I'm the oldest and at 5'6" I am the family midget, even though I am of average height for a woman. The linebacker sized brother has to have pants and shoes made as he can't find off-the-rack stuff to fit. "Plus size" to me means bigger than the average person, but it could be in any of a number of dimensions.

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When in high school, I wore a size 15 pants was 5'9" - and my ribs were showing. Just built with curves.

Now though? It's totally fat. And that word is accurate, not mean, not demeaning, just accurate. I am carrying far more body fat than is healthy. So, I'm fat and curvy. No shame, just life. One doesn't automatically mean the other.

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Yes, in answer to the actual question raised.

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When I hear "plus size" in relation to clothing, I'm thinking overweight (but not necessarily fat or obese - it's a broad term that includes many very attractive models and actresses).

I'm 6 foot 2, 200 pounds (male), so my clothing is either XL or "big and tall". I've never thought of anything I wear as "plus size".

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Yes, I do equate "plus size" to being overweight, and not equivalent to "big & tall." I think it was a term retailers started using instead of saying "fat," which sounds insulting. And now the "plus size" label has come to sound insulting as well, apparently. As one who used to be "plus size" (1X), I find it is of no consequence what label is used, so long as it is not used pejoratively. I don't think it changes the word's meaning, only its intent. I suspect "plus size" will soon have a name change, since some ppl are apparently equating it with an insult.

I have 2 kids with "developmental disabilities." I use that label because it's currently socially acceptable. Lots of folks have absolutely no idea what that means. So I often use the term (heaven forbid!), "mentally retarded." The label "mentally retarded" was never meant to be an insult, but lots of folks began using it as such, so the term "developmentally disabled" became the fashion. But it still means the same thing.

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I do automatically think of that, but then I always remember some of my friends at college (girls and boys) who were fit, college athletes that'll wore plus sizes :)

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This kind of got me thinking. America is supposedly in love with people who are too thin. Maybe so, but that certainly isn't translating into actions. Please look at the animation that shows obesity rates in the US from 1985 to 2010. The following are inescapable:

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html/

1) America is getting fatter
2) We are doing so at an increasing rate
3) No state has decreased its obesity rate. None have even stayed constant in the last 25 years.

This isn't OK. What the graph doesn't show (because it is a population graph, and not individuals) is that over time obesity increases with age. No surprise: if one adds only 3 pounds per year ("it's just 3 pounds, get off my back about it, OK!"), that becomes 30 after 10 years, and 60 after 20. And that is a big medical problem.

EDIT: forgot the link.

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@moondrake: EXACTLY! They skew right of the bell curve. For anyone who is carrying extra weight that is hanging stubbornly even with dietary changes, I encourage you to visit http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ You might find there are little tweaks you can make in your eating that will make every difference in the world!

Go with an open mind, read the forums, take a look at how those of us who have busted our backside with diet and exercise and STILL had weight issues stumbled upon a lifestyle that was like waving a magic wand. I adhere to an 80/20 plan (that will make sense if you visit the site). I discovered there are certain foods I either have to avoid entirely, or eat sparingly if I want to maintain a healthier weight. I've veered totally off the lifestyle in the last 10 days as an experiment while on vacation & am paying dearly for it. Thank GOD I brought some stretchy skirt for the trip home 'cause my jeans are laughing at my idiocy ;) Additionally, I feel like crap.

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Yeesh, to the OP, don't get so sensitive about it! Honestly they're numbers and words, what you should be concerned about is actual health.

Obligatory BMI rant - it's a terrible measurement and should only be used as a ballpark estimate.

Clothing sizes are honestly just numbers and letters. I'm permanently stuck between L and M, depending on the manufacturer, but that's because of my height and build. I'm sure there are others on the XL side, but let's be honest - most people aren't stuck there because of height and build alone.

I won't rag on someone for being overweight/obese/underweight though, because it's in the end not my business. I will take offense when someone that is morbidly obese starts trying to give me diet advice though, and this is a pet peeve - I won't take financial advise from a person going through bankruptcy. Similarly, I won't take diet advice from someone that is morbidly obese.

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@figgers3036: What if that person in bankruptcy has started taking classes in finance in order to get control for the future? Isn't it possible that despite their past mistakes they have something to teach you? I know a whole lot more about nutrition and means of controlling my weight now that I am older and battling the bulge than I ever did when I was young and gifted with a high metabolism and an hourglass figure.

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@moondrake: Unfortunately they haven't proven anything yet until they're through the first part of it, which makes sense, right? I mean, if someone just files, and are saying what sounds like good advice, wouldn't it be wisest to wait until it pans out before actually taking that advice?

There are plenty of other people that have either been through bankruptcy or never entered and are wealthy I'd rather take advice from - Ideally, I would emulate the person that's wealthy without going through it. Similarly for people that are overweight, either a person that has lost a lot of weight or never was overweight, I want to emulate the people that are right now at a healthy weight, not the recent convert. And I want to emulate the person that never was overweight.

Full disclosure - I was overweight. I would rather someone take advice from someone that never was than from myself.

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@figgers3036: I agree the BMI is crap. I can have a completely normal BMI and STILL be carrying around more fat than I should. The calipers test doesn't work for me either, but the water displacement test? Pretty bang on.

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@lavikinga: I didn't even know about the water displacement test, so I totally just learned something this morning. I also learned about cooking with duck fat, so apparently today is a great day for learning new things via woot. :)

Some interesting opinions, everyone, and thanks for keeping it respectful and chill in here. :)

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@figgers3036: Except I ended up overweight by not changing my diet or activity level as I got older. When I was 25 I literally lived on potato chips and pizza. But as the years passed, my body chemistry changed, my metabolism slowed down, and my body started needing fewer and better quality calories and more exercise to stay in the same shape it was before. This is true for most people. So the advice my very fit and trim 25 year old self might give you would be very different than the diet advice my not nearly as fit and trim 50 year old self would. Yet the nutritional advice of the plumper version of me would actually be much better advice, since it's based on knowledge rather than relying on the glory of youth. Personally, I wouldn't trust a skinny person to give me diet advice unless I knew they'd once been fat, just as I wouldn't put much credence in the financial advice of a trust fund baby. Just being rich or skinny doesn't mean you know squat about finances or health.

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@moondrake: Ok. I'd still trust a 50 year old that never was obese over one that was. And look at wealthy people, what percentage 'made it' and what percentage were born into it? I still don't see where my point fails.

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@figgers3036: I've never been overweight. I grew up in a very weight-conscious sport (at 5'4" and 100#, I was picked on every day by both my mother and my coach for being "fat"). I cook low-fat/high-density (i.e., I eat a ton of food, but I tend to eat foods that are calorie-light relative to their mass), and I'm really good at eliminating all "unnecessary" calories from a recipe - so I'd have some tips to offer to someone who wanted to overhaul their diet. But the nitty-gritty of losing 100 pounds? How to handle family who wasn't supportive, how to overcome the psychological barriers, the times one must feeling like quitting an epic battle? How to cope with foods traditional in one's culture or how to cope with dieting in a culture where food is considered an expression of love and it's not acceptable to refuse food? There are many things that only someone who has been there can understand. And someone who has lost 100 pounds probably knows everything I do about healthy cooking!

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@figgers3036: I think that people who have never been overweight may or may not have stayed healthy due to knowledge of diet. A lot of people have decent genetics. Example - My sister takes after her father, lean, athletic, tall. I take after my father, tall, broad, thick build, athletic but biggish. We are the same height. We can eat the same diet, get the same amount of exercise - and she won't gain a pound. I'll put on weight super fast eating the same as she does. So, she never had to learn about nutrition. I did. Would you rather take advice from her, with her constant light build and healthy weight; or me, with my experience and extra pounds? (not saying your opinion is wrong, I just like to know abstract thought processes.)

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What an interesting bunch of comments. I'd ignored this question, because there have been so many contentious questions/comments the past few days that I just felt like I was in overdose, but this was refreshing. Thanks to everyone for this interesting and pleasant diversion.