Most American women now fit “plus size” clothing standards, so maybe we should redefine “normal”

When it comes to a woman’s weight, it can feel like there are endless criticisms and critiques from the world around us. A new research study has some pretty fascinating findings about what sizes the average American women actually are, and what that could mean for consumer’s psyches. According to new research by Deborah A. Christel and Susan C. Dunn of Washington State University, which was published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, it appears that the average American women now wears between a size 16 and a size 18. This is in contrast to past research studies that claimed the average American women wore a size 14.


Of course, this begs the question: If the fashion world generally considers size 16 and beyond to be “plus size,” does this mean it’s finally time to redefine what “normal” is when it comes to our bodies and sizes? After all, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what arbitrary labels define and describe our bodies as, given that these things can change basically whenever.


What does matter, though, is the fact that so many people compare themselves to very specific ideas of beauty and what it means to be the “right” weight or the “right” size. If we can start to expand our definition of “normal” and “right” to be more inclusive of bodies and shapes all across the spectrum, we have a feeling we’ll see people feeling a whole lot more comfortable and confident in themselves, no matter what size they are.

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