Katie Sturino of The 12ish Style is taking a stand on social media, giving a voice to millions of women who face the same shopping frustrations.

By By Jaime Osnato
September 21, 2018
Photo: Katie Sturino / Instagram

Ever fall in love with the raddest romper only to discover the store doesn't carry your size? And then, later, when you attempt to buy it online, you still come up empty-handed?

For plus-size women, this type of frustrating shopping experience is the norm. Despite the strength of the body-pos movement and a swelling chorus of #effyourbeautystandards, few clothing brands make inclusive sizes (even though the average American woman wears between a size 16 and 18, according to a 2016 study). (Related: Where the Body-Positivity Movement Stands and Where It Needs to Go)

After years of facing size discrimination, one woman has had enough. Last month, plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino took a stand on social media, giving a voice to millions of women who face the same issue. Sturino, the entrepreneur behind The 12ish Style, a blog that celebrates the idea that chic style has no size limit, took to Insta to vent her frustrations about shopping for extended sizes. (You may remember her as one of the badass women who helped us launch #LoveMyShape.)

"I've hit my limit with designers who don't consider my body type!" she captioned a selfie in which she's half-wearing a pair of XL Frame jeans that don't fit. "Please post your frustrated fitting room selfies and the styles you wish were available to you."

Her call-to-action launched the #MakeMySize campaign. Through it, Sturino hopes to bring awareness and change to the fashion industry by urging designers to make more inclusive size options. She's not holding back her criticism, using social media as a platform to confront companies that don't offer styles for curvier bodies.

In one particularly scathing Insta post, Sturino calls out Zara for the brand's longtime size exclusivity. "@zara is at the top of the #MakeMySize list bc they have been making me feel bad in the fitting room for years," she says in a picture wearing a Zara dress that's too tight to button.

"What kind of message are you sending to high school, college, and basically any aged woman who walks in your store," she asks accompanying a series of pics snapped in an Aritzia dressing room. In each image, she's wearing the largest size available in a top, skirt, and dresses, which don't fit or flatter her fuller figure.

Tagging the high-end brand Alice and Olivia, Sturino captions one post, "I love this leopard wrap dress and I'd love to wear it in my size. Let's let designers know we want to wear their clothes too."

Her message is hitting home with her 227K followers who've been sharing their own feelings about size exclusivity. "We want to wear cute clothes too! Not MUMU's!!" one commenter writes. Another encouraging comment reads, "keep up the fight, you are an amazing inspiration and role model. Confidence is the most attractive size." Others have even started posting their own frustrating fitting room selfies.

Despite all the support, Sturino has also received a wave of negative, body-shaming feedback. (A quick message from the Shape crew: To all of you trolls out there, we respectfully ask you to #MindYourOwnShape. Bullying someone about their body is never okay.)

These hateful responses toward Sturino just confirm why the #MakeMySize movement is so important. Focused on staying positive, the beauty blogger ignores the haters but reminds us that the stakes are high. Whether it's a blatantly mean comment or the lack of inclusive sizes in a store, the message is undeniably harmful. Every woman deserves to feel good about herself, regardless of her pants size. (Related: Good American Invented a New Jeans Size-Here's Why That's Important)

The good news? Change is on the horizon. Some designers like Mara Hoffman and Rachel Antonoff are starting to expand the range of sizes they offer, according to Sturino, who provides an exhaustive list of plus-size-friendly brands on her Insta page. She also gives a shout out to her go-to faves for inclusive sizing including ModCloth, Nordstrom, Loft, Stitch Fix, and J.Crew. (Related: The Best Size-Inclusive Activewear Brands)

Above all, no matter what you wear on any given day, Sturino empowers women to "put your confidence on first." Thanks, Katie, for the reminder that self-love is your most valuable accessory.


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