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National Plus Size Appreciation Day

National Plus Size Appreciation Day "recognizes the gorgeous men and women who may be larger but are also larger than life in so many ways." It recognizes their talent and elegance, and the day's founder, Women Rock, Inc., says the day is for "boost[ing] the confidence for many women and men around the world." More than half of the population of the United States is considered to be plus-sized. Many body types may fit into this category, from big and tall, to full-bodied, to curvy.

For women, of whom the term plus-sized has traditionally been most associated with, clothing size 14 and above is considered plus-sized. The term arrived in the early twentieth century, and was applied to the clothing itself at first, and not in reference to the women wearing it. It became popular after Lane Bryant, a women's clothing store, began advertising "misses plus sizes" in 1922. Not many years later, "misses" was removed and the clothing simply became known as "plus sizes." Other clothing stores besides Lane Bryant began offering the clothing. By at least the mid-1950s, the term was applied to women themselves, not just to clothing.

Plus-sized clothing expanded in stores: more stores had it, there were bigger selections, and some stores, like Lane Bryant, were devoted exclusively to it. During the 1980s and '90s, boutiques specializing in plus-sized clothing began proliferating, some examples being Marina Rinaldi and the now-defunct Forgotten Woman. Many stores that focused on plus-sized clothes were not very fashionable at the time, however. Many of the clothes were shapeless, not showing off the curves of the women who were wearing them. In recent years, some stores have put the plus-sized section in the same location as the other sizes, in an effort to break the stigma surrounding it, while others have expanded their plus-sized section. In both examples, the clothing—and the women wearing it—have been ignored less. These changes are possibly a reaction to the recent body-positive movement, and may also be a reaction to the rise in popularity of plus-sized models.

How to Observe National Plus Size Appreciation Day

If you consider yourself plus-size, today you are to "show your style, flair, and gorgeous self." It's a day for you to wear clothes that are stylish and fit well, which can boost your confidence. It's a day for you to "celebrate your size online," which can be done by using the hashtag #PlusSizeAppreciationDay. Regardless if you are plus-size or not, the day is to "take account of the value you place on your outward appearance." It's a day to give compliments and build confidence in someone you know. It's a day for retailers to expand their plus-sized offerings, to listen to their clientele, and to provide the styles they want.

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