"Professional fat chick" Kate Harding didn't like Forever 21's plus-size clothing line, and she's not a fan of Beth Ditto's line for Evans, either, writing: "I'm afraid there's not enough hipster irony in the world to make it work."
Harding is enraged by items like acid-washed denim, shapeless sweater dresses and an oversized cat T-shirt. She argues that if you remember the 80s, like she does, then you'll recall:
For decades, the plus-size fashion desert was one more inescapable message to larger women that we were other, less than, undeserving of the nice things made widely available to women who were closer to the cultural beauty standard — that we were supposed to shut up and take whatever they gave us, because it wasn't like we could ever look pretty anyway…
That's why that stupid cat T-shirt (and related atrocities) feels like such a slap in the face to many of us, after we dared to hope for something different and better. Meet the new fat clothes, same as the old fat clothes.
But the thing is, at least Harding has something to critique. In a time when Ann Taylor has stopped carrying size 16 in its stores and Old Navy has phased out its plus-size section except online, plus-sized shoppers need choices. Maybe Beth Ditto's splangled, '80s leggings aren't for everyone, but for those desiring a cat T-shirt need not feel left out. Harding does concede that it's all about options: "Having real choices when it comes to expressing ourselves through clothing does feel a bit luxurious, even if domino-print leggings don't."