Because the internet is my friend this evening, I present to you the earliest "Plus Sized" advertising in women's fashion, courtesy of Lane Bryant, the company that first brought us clothing to fit in larger sizes.

If you are not slender...

not slender

...or if you're downright stout...



(Insert confession here: I totally want a Gay printed percale frock. I just do.)

Perhaps you prefer another term:


Lane Bryant's your source:

Lane Bryant

I also present to you the latest So-and-so, to show you how each time the story gets recycled, it is exactly the same. This one's about Whitney Thompson, who was the first "plus sized" winner of the t.v. reality show "America's Next Top Model" ...and from the very same source, our friends at People Magazine:

Whitney Thompson

And who, for some reason, in spite of having a "winning" appearance, gets so Photoshopped in her pictures that she looks like a character from the Sims:

Sims Whitney

Notice how both Laina Pecora and Whitney Thompson's articlesj, nearly 20 years apart, begin with a statement about how (unlike other models) they EAT. Oh, my god! They take in food that is necessary for the sustaining of life! Can you imagine an article about a man, in any field, that makes his most remarkable, headlining feature the fact that he can take in food??

Whoo, boy, have we ever come a long way, baby!

From: [identity profile]

What this shows, I suspect, is that the 1920s the first time thinness (i.e boyishness) became an ideal in the fashion industry (women's bodies be damned), and it took about a generation for the plus size/stout business to pick up.

To judge form her statues, the goddess Venus was about a 10/12.

On the other hand, Pliny advises girls that if they want to loose weight before their weddings they should go out at dawn and lick the dew off leaves, which will take the fat right off--but I've always suspected that may be girls who want to go from a 16 to an ideal 12.

From: [identity profile]

That's a wonderful bit from Pliny!

That's a good point about the 20's figure, and I'd add to that that the idea of ready-made clothing manufacture was also only just getting off to a start, so part of it is also the process of creating standardized sizes for the first time.

From: [identity profile]

I wonder if there was some other sense to the word chubbies when that ad came out? Or was it a straight-up call like all their ads for Stout Women?

From: [identity profile]

It is probably unlikely, but I guess that's my optimist streak. Without further etymology resources at hand, all I know is chubby probably comes from chub fish. The synonyms offered were roly poly, plump, and some others. I perceive chubby as somewhat negative, but not plump or roly poly, in the same way. So it looks like it probably didn't have a different meaning altogether, but maybe it was like saying "healthy" or big boned.

From: [identity profile]

I don't think it was pejorative, at that time--fully as out-of-date as the use of "stout". (Although I rather like "stout", I'd use it myself if it didn't automatically link to "short" in my mind.)

From: [identity profile]

Thanks to the little teapot, I have the same association with stout.

In my mind, chubby is also sweaty. I don't know why.

From: [identity profile]

My mind links chubby to happy. Something to do with babies, I'd guess.

And stout is strong.


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