Is there a 50/50 split as to what society deems the proper body image? While there is a “You’re beautiful just the way you are” bandwagon, there is still the chorus who idolize the supermodel’s appearance. The price of beauty is high. Top-dollar beauty products and expensive gyms aside, it seems that reaching supermodel status may be too pricey to be possible. Now some retailers are seeing a backlash for charging higher prices on the other end of the spectrum — the full-sized figure.
In a recent controversy, Old Navy was called out for charging higher prices for plus-sized women’s clothing. While there is a hike in prices only for women, the price for plus-sized men’s clothing is the same their average-size counterparts.
Old Navy justifies the price difference by stating that their plus-sized women’s clothing, specifically their pants, are made with more than just extra fabric.
“Old Navy is proud to offer styles and apparel designed specifically for our plus-size female customer, which includes curve-enhancing and curve-flattering elements such as four-way stretch materials and contoured waistbands, which most men’s garments do not include,” spokeswoman Debbie Felix told The Huffington Post.
Old Navy shoppers took to Twitter to express their frustration with the chain. It’s smart business not to offend customers, but Old Navy definitely angered many of their loyal shoppers. No one wants to feel that stores specifically cater to perfectly proportioned people and exclude the individuality of others. There was even a tweet that calls attention to that fact that shopping for plus-sized pants on the Old Navy website are viewed on mannequins, while pants for the average-sized female are are modeled by actual women. Even if Old Navy unintentionally displayed a difference or preference in body type in their prices, they need to evaluate the messages they are sending to the public.
With accusations of size and gender discrimination, a Change.org petition was created to urge Old Navy to charge equal prices for all sizes. The store, owned by Gap, claims to offer high quality at affordable prices for everyone in the family, and yet, it is as if some members of the “family” are excluded. Should Old Navy agree and admit they are unfairly charging women more money to wear their brand who aren’t “picture perfect” or should they stand on the grounds that their plus-sized clothing is worth the extra cost?