Melissa McCarthy launches a fashion line and calls for the end of separate plus-size departments.

Actress, comedian, and Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy can add one more talent to her resume — fashion designer.

McCarthy announced her new line, Seven7, an collection of leggings, tees, and denim, each $150 or less, for women sizes 4-28.


Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for HSN.

For McCarthy, this is more than a typical celebrity clothing line, it's a childhood dream realized.

We know her as a gutsy comedic actress, but McCarthy grew up with a passion for fashion and actually started her career making costumes for a dance company. (Which may explain why she consistently slays on the red carpet. Haters take note.)


McCarthy greets fans at the 84th Academy Awards. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

In her twenties, McCarthy took a chance and moved to New York to attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, but the rush from a few open-mic nights drew her in, and her career path changed for good.

McCarthy at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

Well, for good ... until now.

In addition to making comfortable clothes and accessories for women, McCarthy is using the launch of her line to break down barriers in the fashion industry.

McCarthy told Womens Wear Daily she's been, "every size on the planet," adding, "...when you go above a size 12, you don't lose your love of fashion."

As champion for body positivity, McCarthy denounced the label "plus-size" in a recent interview with Refinery29:

While current data estimates the percentage of women over a size 14 is closer to 65%, the numbers are still tough to ignore.

In fact, McCarthy is working with retailers to ditch the "plus-size" label and the clothing departments that only sell clothes 35% of the population can fit into for good.

" I have a couple of very big retailers that I think are going to help me chip away at that in a very meaningful way, and I'm really excited about it. I'm not ready to announce them yet, but they agreed to just put me on the floor. I said, 'Run the sizes as I make them and let friends go shopping with their friends. Stop segregating women.' And they said, 'Okay.'"

Ditching separate plus-size stores and departments is a small step that could change the way millions of women shop.

Despite a majority of women falling into "plus-size," it's still hard to find great clothes in a store because many retailers like Gap and H&M only sell their larger sizes online or in outlet malls. Specialty retailers like Lane Bryant and Torrid exist, but there is a stigma associated with shopping there. This leaves many women caught in the middle, with retailers refusing to listen despite the fact "plus-size" women spend more on clothes and accessories per month than their "standard-size" peers.

It's a $9 billion business, and McCarthy's star-power may be what it takes to get retailers to pay attention.



A customer shops at Lane Bryant in New York City. Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Lane Bryant.

McCarthy's Seven7 debuts in August 2015 in major department stores and online retailers.

McCarthy's collection will be available at Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Lane Bryant and is available right now on HSN.

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for HSN.

An affordable fashion line for women of all sizes that's not strictly animal prints and unflattering muumuu tops is definitely something to cheer about.

And judging by the number of sold out pieces, I'm not cheering alone.

Me too. Me too. GIF from "Bridesmaids."

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

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"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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