To say that shopping for clothes as a curvy/heavy/fat/fluffy woman is not always a positive experience is an understatement.

Few stores offer a wide range of sizes, and those that do often move larger sizes to the back of the store, pair them with maternity clothes, stash them away in dark corners, or only sell them online.

Growing up, I often found myself admiring purses and jewelry, not wanting to drag my friends to the part of the store that time forgot just to look for shirts that fit my body.


Photo by iStock.

And I'm not alone. Women's bodies come in all sizes and shapes, and we all want to look our best and feel respected, especially by the companies that make the clothes we wear every single day.

Online retailer ModCloth has long been a popular shopping choice for larger women, offering a wide range of sizes in trendy and fashionable options that mainstream retailers just didn't provide.

And now the retail site is taking its dedication to their plus-size consumer base one step further with a truly monumental push for inclusivity.

Yesterday, ModCloth announced that they're "retiring" the separate "plus-size" categorization for clothing.

They'll continue to carry a wide range of sizes but are striking the term "plus-size" from their site.

"The shopping experience should be defined by types of clothing, and not by types of bodies," ModCloth Founder and CEO Susan Gregg Koger told Upworthy.

Photo by ModCloth, used with permission.

"If we're designing the same product for our customer regardless of her size, why are we giving her this kind of segmented and different shopping experience?" Koger told Upworthy.

Kroger points to the ways the body-positive and fat-acceptance movements have worked hard to destigmatize and reclaim the term "plus-size," and how wonderful that is. In a way, this is their hard work paying off.

The change made perfect sense for the retro, vintage, indie retailer.

When ModCloth's namesake line debuted in August, the company released every single item in an expanded range of sizes, from XS to 4X. The clothes were featured at their Fit Shop in San Francisco, and something amazing happened: Friends and family members of all different sizes were shopping together and trying on the same looks.

Photo by ModCloth, used with permission.

ModCloth decided to bring this experience to their site so the rest of their customers could take advantage of it.

It also makes business sense, since size 16 and above was ModCloth's fastest-growing category in 2014, and women who buy size 16 and above placed 20% more orders on the site.

Instead of "plus," ModCloth is using the label "extended sizes."

But the extended sizes don't end at larger clothes. ModCloth hopes to offer a wider range of sizes in the future, including tall and petite options. The "extended sizes" marker will help shoppers find the fit they're looking for.

Photo by ModCloth, used with permission.

So far, reactions to the announcement have been mostly positive.

Many customers were pleased with the news and applauded the company for stepping up.


However, not everyone is cheering. Koger acknowledged the personal nature of this change and hopes to address some of the concerns voiced by ModCloth customers.

The plus-size label "is an issue that a lot of people have a lot of opinions about, so we're excited to talk about it and be a part of it," she told Upworthy.

But ModCloth hopes retiring "plus" sends a ripple of change across the fashion industry.

While ModCloth is just one retailer, they're not alone. In August, actress Melissa McCarthy made headlines when she debuted her clothing line and announced she's pushing retailers to ditch their plus-size departments in favor of a more inclusive shopping experience.

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for HSN.

For now, ModCloth is hard at work on their ambitious goal, perfectly articulated on the company blog:

"We want to create the most inclusive, confidence-boosting shopping experience for everyone and every body."

Get to it, ModCloth. I don't need any more jewelry.

via alyssa360style / Instagram

One of the most amazing (and frightening) realizations one can have as a parent is that your child is always listening and they have incredible memories.

Alyssia, the mother of three-year-old Ayaan, was blown away when during their walk to school he began reciting positive affirmations she taught him a year earlier. When he was two she taught him to repeat "I am smart. I am blessed. I can do anything," when he is stressed.

"Well he shocked me this morning. Out of no where he started repeating it, so I pulled out my phone," Alyssia commented on her Instagram post. "He ended (with enthusiasm lol) once we made it to our destination. So proud of the little boy he is growing into."

Alyssia shared the video on Instagram where it received nearly 100,000 likes.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

"There's only one thing more dangerous than a bad virus, and that's a bad vaccine," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's health emergencies programme, said in March. "We have to be very, very, very careful in developing any product that we're going to inject into potentially most of the world population."

Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have said that developing a vaccine and getting it through the necessary safety and efficacy protocols would take, at minimum, 12 to 18 months. Yet here we are, 7 months in, and Vladimir Putin has just announced that Russia has already approved a vaccine for the coronavirus.

According to the BBC, there are more than 100 vaccines in various stages of development and testing. Six of those have reached phase 3 trials, involving more widespread testing in humans. Russia's vaccine is not among those six.

Meanwhile, hundreds of U.S. doctors have signed a letter urging the FDA not to rush or politicize vaccine trials.

Keep Reading Show less