How the Size Affects Fashion Marketing
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The word fashion has become a household name. Fashion can be defined as a very popular practice or style. It is a word that is normally used to refer to a given upcoming or ongoing trend in a given social setup. Everything is now done in the name of fashion. As if that is not enough, there has been a reported increase in the study of demographic changes in fashion. Today, you spot the tuxedo and you think you’re the talk of the town. But that is only until you spot another guy in the latest Italian double-breasted suit that you will realize fashion is indeed fast paced. Fashion keeps changing every single minute. It is no wonder that fashion ceased to be merely about what you wear. Fashion is now more of a lifestyle: the smile you choose to wear, the drinks you choose to drink, the people you decide you want to be associated with, the place you choose to hang out, the music you chose to listen to. That is fashion.
Body size is a critical factor when it comes to fashion. Many people do not appreciate what they are and tend to work on becoming models or what other people want them to look. It is a factor that cannot be left out by fashion designers if they want to make good profits. In essence, bodies can be categorized into three categories, namely: small-sized people, medium-sized people, and large-sized people. According to the research carried out in the fashion industry, most of the people in the world are medium-sized. Also, the number of small-sized people is greater compared to that of large-sized people. This has made many designers in the fashion industry target the medium population.
Fashion marketing is the application of a range of techniques in order to sell the produce. The fashion industry as an international market has played a huge role in influencing the fashion we are associated with. It is common knowledge that doing business without having a target market will prevent you from achieving the goals desired. And the size is the main factor in fashion industry. The fashion marketing industry is notoriously known for leaning towards the small size as compared to the large size. The petite size has more advantages as far as fashion is concerned. In this essay, I am going to look at how the effect of body size on the fashion industry has played a huge role in shaping today’s fashion (Fashion Trendsetter, 2009).
To determine how fashion is affected by body size I carried out an observation targeting small, medium, and large groups in males and females. My observation covered 100 men and 100 women. My first group to interview and observe were men in front of Coffee House at UCD. The very interested parties were the males who had a small body size followed by those with medium size. Those with large body size were not included in the category. In the category of those who were just interested, medium-sized men had the highest percentage, followed by the small-sized and lastly the large-sized. For the category of men who were not interested, the large sized men were the best, followed by the medium-sized and then the small-sized had the lowest percentage.
For women, I still had the 3 categories: very interested, interested, and not interested. In the first case, the small-sized women had the highest percentage, followed by the medium-sized and then the large-sized women. In the category of interested, medium-sized women seemed the highest followed by the small-sized and eventually the large-sized. For those women who were not interested, the largest number came from the women with large body sizes, then those with medium sizes and the least being the small-sized population.
The effect of size on the fashion industry has contributed to discrimination of people in terms of size. It is rather obvious that today’s society appreciates the zero-size females much more than the plus-size ladies. We do not need a monk to dispute that. Popularity is the desire of almost all normal persons on earth. Popularity comes hand in hand with being stylish, no matter how much money you’ll need to spend or individuality you will need to sacrifice to achieve this.
Beauty no longer lies within but is a reserve for the super petite size. Thanks to the fashion marketing industry, the size zero is gaining a lot of popularity. This industry has crammed the market with magazines like Cosmopolitan, Allure, Glamour and suchlike. Research has also proved that these magazines sell faster as compared to those on business, sports, politics and health. Furthermore, the runaways make it a requirement that models have to be a size zero. The plus size woman has been discriminated against by the same fashion industry (Fashion Industry Marketing Strategies, 2009).
From my research I noted that females seem to care more about their body sizes compared to males. This means that the fashion industry must be more sensitive to the sizes of female clothes as compared to those for men. They should design and market more clothes that are of plus size. Large-sized women are left out when it comes to designing of clothes. The clothing and textiles industry manufacture fabrics suited for the small size (Bruce, 2004). Stores and clothing lines rarely have designs that fit the plus size.
Women have to find a specific store that makes their size and this leaves them feeling unappreciated. The publicity given to the size zero has left most people wondering what happened to the days when the plus-sized was praised. A woman was appraised when fully endowed with much emphasis being laid on the behind and the hips. The fashion industry has, however, corroded this. Thus, size has played a huge role in shaping the fashion industry negatively. The industry should strive to balance on both side of the coin. As much as they want to publicize on size, they should consider the adverse effect it has and try hard to balance on both.
The effect of size on the fashion marketing industry has also influenced advertising (Bohdanowicz, 1994). Owing to the fashion industry giving more credit to the size zero, more advertising firms are turning to this size for advertisement. The latest products on fashion such as colognes, toiletries and facial applications use size zero females as the face behind their products. This sends the wrong message to the society at large as it gives the impression that being slim is the in thing. Products behind petite sizes seem to sell faster than those using plus size. Just recently (26 January 2007), the British Fashion Council refused to ban the use of size zero models in the London Fashion Week.
This was despite the fact that the runaway was braced with females of questionable size and weight. The fashion show being a major influence in determining fashion worldly, it has given the world the impression that the small size is the perfect and acceptable fit. Hence, the fashion industry has greatly contributed to the issue of size, currently being a huge problem in the world. London and other leading fashion areas should set an example for people to adopt owing to the great influence they have on fashion. Setting a ground for the plus size would be a big step in curbing the side effect that is greatly affecting us.
The effect of size on fashion marketing industry has greatly contributed to the fact eating disorders are getting more widespread (Himes, 2007). Disorders such as under-eating; anorexia and bulimia are becoming as common as coughing. Parents are getting worried over the increasing concern of their children eating less and less. Once in a restaurant, a twelve year old was asked to make her order. The little girl placed an order on steamed vegetables and fruit. When asked why she wasn’t having her usual fries, she did not hesitate to claim that fries had a lot of calories and would help her gain some pounds which she did not intend to. As healthy as the statement sounded, it was utterly surprising. I could not help but wonder who had been feeding the kid on such information. Young as she was, she was already aware of the problems of size. She understood that you have to be a size zero to be accepted. Her peers probably helped her reinforce this misconception. However, the fashion industry is to blame for this. With a little help from the media, they have managed to convince masses that being petite is fashionable. Parents are forced to deal with this growing problem in their children. Following these disorders, young adults are fast becoming less and less healthy. Some are forced to seek the help of psychiatrists as the problem gets out of hand. The society needs to be educated on this to help change the situation that is eating into most teenage females (StyleCareer.com., 2007).
The effect of size on the fashion industry has a role to play in building of self-esteem. Due to the popularization of the size zero by major fashion marketers, the plus size females’ self-esteem is greatly damaged. They no longer feel comfortable in their plus sizes and thus curl up in cocoons. The society makes them feel inadequate and unwanted. As a result, the plus-sized females have low self-esteem. They hardly visit stores as their clothes sizes are a scarce commodity. Attending to social functions becomes rare as they are discriminated against based on their sizes. Moreover, they avoid eating out despite their craving because the society judges them harshly. In general, their individuality is crushed as they never act themselves. However, some females have grown past this problem. They have learnt to appreciate themselves knowing that it is the beginning of a fulfilling life. Thus, they have embarked on empowering the plus sizes despite the growing craze for super slim. Some fashion shows have introduced the plus-sized models as a way of encouraging them to flaunt what they have. The fashion industry should embark on the same as a form of killing the effect of size.
On the positive side though, the concern of size has promoted healthy eating. Statistics in the United States of America has showed that over seventy percent of their population relies on fast food restaurants for their meals. The use of fast foods has lead to rapid changes in sizes of individuals which in turn have had a negative impact on the industry. Research also showed that these foods are the major causes of diseases such as obesity, diabetics and heart diseases.
The fashion industry, on the other hand, encourages people by promoting the small size to switch to other sources not in the name of pursuit of slimness but rather for health purposes. Many people are now practicing health reforms with a majority living on fruits, vegetables and a lot of water. Businesses specializing in traditional foods which are now considered healthy are fast getting ground. Unknowingly, the fashion industry has helped to kill vices such as over-eating. In bids to lose weight, many people have abandoned poor eating habits, like eating every forty-five minutes, for healthier eating. Although some people overdo it, diets have helped many acquire better eating habits. Healthy eating has led to good sizes. Today, everyone tries to eat healthy meals in order to get into good shape. Many models today have resorted to healthy eating unlike in the past whern people used to starve in the name of getting good shape.
In conclusion, the effect of size on the fashion marketing industry has played a major role in a lot of people’s lives. On the positive side, by making people consider the size it has helped many abandon poor eating habits like over-eating in the quest for the famed size zero. However, its negative side outweighs its positive. With a little help from the media, the fashion marketing industry has overly emphasized on the small size creating a feeling of inferiority complex in the plus-sized females. The excessive use of petite sizes in marketing of products, such as posers in magazines and runaways has killed many on the other side of life. Personality and individualism have in the long run been lost. There is need for the fashion industry to change from this biasness.
The field of fashion and design still stand as a nightmare to many designers and marketers who make products without having total information on their target population. They should perform an analysis of the population that they are targeting and come up with strategies that are effective and that will bring more profit once the product is sold. Another problem is in the children designing and marketing. Since the fashion applied to the kids is determined by their parents, a thorough research must always be done in order to determine the taste of the parents which in turn will ensure more sales.
Designers need to assume a positive attitude and come up with designs suitable not only for the small-sized but also the plus-sized. They must also be concerned about the fact females are more sensitive than men whe it comes to fashion. Centralism on small sizes should cease. What’s more the common opinion that only petite is beautiful must be killed. It is high time that people accept each other for who they are rather than what we expect them to be. With fashion evolving every single day, it is no use to discriminate people on the basis of size. After all, fashion is now more of a lifestyle with everything being gauged in terms of fashion. Besides, no one will crucify you for choosing your own style. Create your own style, your own smile, your own dress code, and your own way of walking and let others get it from you and never the other way around. In the long run, personality and originality is all that matters. This will turn ensure industry concentrates on production of items for all people in the target population.