I have pretty big feet. I mean, hardly any stores carry cute shoes in my size. Maybe it is because when shoes get my size, they often lose that cuteness they had at, say, size 7. I have lived with this since about 6th grade. I distinctly remember shopping for shoes with my mom and the shoe salesman laughing outright when I asked for my size of shoe.
And then there is the issue of my shape. I am what we will refer to as “the streamlined model.” If I’m at an athletic weight, I seem to look thin to most people. I have been called a beanpole. Just what every girl likes to hear. What some of them don’t understand is that if I gain weight, I don’t gain curves. I am just a thick bean pole. Sturdy and streamlined. Some days, I think if I read in one more place that “real women have curves” I will scream! To top it all off, I am a little taller than average, with largish shoulders. Shirts AND dresses with shoulder capacity large enough to accommodate my shoulders usually hang over my chest like I’m a starved refugee.
All of this makes shopping for ready-made clothing and shoes less than fun. Even if everything did look good on my particular package, it is simply not available in many cases. For years, the only pants that came close to fitting me were boy’s jeans. Girl’s or women’s pant had these extra flaps of fabric on the sides where some women seem to keep “hips.” When higher waisted pants were the fashion, everything I wore looked like riding gear. Or, I felt “fat” around the waist because I tried to fit into pants that fit my hips. Then, I couldn’t breath and got horrible stomach aches. Whose fault was this? Should I have sued the clothing companies to make something MY size!?
When low riding jeans came out, I was ecstatic. For the first time in my life, I could buy a pair of pants that fit! So, while some have complained about exposed mid drifts, I got my navel pierced and celebrated. For years, I have felt the lack of ability to “show cleavage” or find a bra that fits without bagging. They can learn to deal with my belly button showing some of the time.
Clothing and shoe manufacturers were not being cruel to me all those years. They were trying to make a living. They were making things in sizes and shapes that people would buy…. whether they fit them or not…. whether or not those things looked good on them, because they wanted to wear the latest fashion. It is that useful, discriminatory feature of an open, free market. Someone will find a way to provide the products that most people want to buy. If the items aren’t being sold, and there is a demand for them (and no government interference inhibiting their production), someone will be inspired to provide them. An untapped niche in the market is a beautiful thing to a person with business sense.
Unfortunately (sarcasm), people do make money doing these things. Somehow, everyone wants the best wage they can get for their own job, but if someone makes more than them, the wealthier person is labeled evil and greedy. And open to slander at every opportunity. In the comfort of anonymity, those who willingly spend their money on any variety of products offered in the marketplace, turn like vultures on a successful businessman like Tasmanian devils eat their own. This is usually done without knowing anything valid about the businessman’s struggle to succeed or life experiences; or biases of people starting the smear campaign. The business owners almost dare not have opinions or personal preferences. Slap on the most unflattering photo possible, and hatred is kindled among the masses who have so benefited from the same free market. Competition stimulates lower prices, in case you didn’t know.
Instead of wasting time complaining about what was not available, I learned the value of sewing my own clothes when I could. I had the choice to buy or not buy certain products based on how well I could work with them. I learned I didn’t need as many clothes as I wanted. I didn’t get mad because someone didn’t sell my size. I didn’t get offended at companies that advertised to traits that didn’t compliment me. I could have started a business, if I thought there would be enough demand for what I wanted produced. This is how some businesses get started.
The bottom line is, that if I want the chance to be discriminatory in my purchases, if I want a variety of options, there have to be people who are discriminatory about what type of products they make. If the wrong kind of pressure is put on businesses, governmental or politically correct propaganda, the businesses will not be as efficient or creative. It will be too risky. Your dollars are already doing the talking when you buy or don’t buy things. Other reactions lead down the slippery slope of communism and mob mentality.