Opinion | Plus-Size Female Shoppers ‘Deserve Better’

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Just Make It, Toots,” by Elizabeth Endicott (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 20):

Despite the fact that two-thirds of American women are size 14 or above, brands and retailers continue to overlook and disregard plus-size women whose dollars are as green as those held by “straight size” women.

The root cause is simple, and it’s not that it’s more expensive or time-consuming; these excuses have been bandied about for years. There are not enough clothes available to plus-size women because brands and retailers assume that larger women will just accept whatever they’re given, since they have in the past.

As Ms. Endicott pointed out in her essay, this is no longer the case — women are finding other ways to express themselves through clothing that fits their bodies, their styles and their budgets, from making clothes themselves to shopping at independent designers and boutiques.

We still have a long way to go, but for every major retailer that dips a toe into the market and just as quickly pulls back, there are new designers and stores willing to step in and take their place.

Plus-size women deserve more and deserve better. Those who won’t cater to them do so at their own peril.

Shanna Goldstone
New York
The writer is the founder and C.E.O. of Pari Passu, an apparel company that sells clothing to women sizes 12 to 24.

To the Editor:

Plus-size people aren’t the only folks whose clothing doesn’t fit. I wore a size 10 for decades, but most clothes wouldn’t fit my wide well-muscled shoulders. Apparently being really fit is just as bad as being a plus size.

I wasn’t alone; most of my co-workers had similar problems. Don’t even get me started about having a short back and a deep pelvis. I found only one brand of pants that came close to fitting and have worn them for almost 40 years. They definitely are not a fashion statement.

Eloise Twining
Ukiah, Calif.

To the Editor:

Thank you, Elizabeth Endicott, for revealing the ways that historically marginalized consumers grapple with retail trends. You recognized that “plus size is now the American average.”

As someone who works for a company that sells clothing outside of the traditional gender binary, I’d add that gender neutral clothing will also soon be an American retail norm. It’s now up to large-scale retailers to decide if they want to meet this wave of demand, or miss out on contemporary consumers.

Ashlie Grilz
Providence, R.I.
The writer is brand director for Peau De Loup.

Why Trump’s Supporters Love Him

To the Editor:

Re “The Thing Is, Most Republicans Really Like Trump,” by Kristen Soltis Anderson (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 30):

Ms. Anderson writes that one of the most salient reasons that Republican voters favor Donald Trump as their presidential nominee is that they believe he is “best poised” to beat Joe Biden. I do not concur.

His likability is not based primarily on his perceived electability. Nor is his core appeal found in policy issues such as budget deficits, import tariffs or corporate tax relief. It won’t even be found in his consequential appointments to the Supreme Court.

Politics is primarily visceral, not cerebral. When Mr. Trump denounces the elites that he claims are hounding him with political prosecutions, his followers concur and channel their own grievances and resentments with his.

When Mr. Trump rages against the professional political class and “fake news,” his acolytes applaud because they themselves feel ignored and disrespected.

Mr. Trump is more than an entertaining self-promoter. He offers oxygen for self-esteem, and his supporters love him for it.

John R. Leopold
Stoney Beach, Md.

ChatGPT Is Plagiarism

To the Editor:

Re “Schools Shift to Embrace ChatGPT,” by Natasha Singer (news article, Aug. 26):

What gets lost in this discussion is that these schools are authorizing a form of academic plagiarism and outright theft of the texts authors have created. This is why over 8,000 authors have signed a petition to the A.I. companies that have “scraped” (the euphemistic term they use for “stolen”) their intellectual properties and repackaged them as their own property to be sold for profit. In the process, the A.I. chatbots are depriving authors of the fruits of their labor.

What a lesson to teach our nation’s children. This is the very definition of theft. Schools that accept this are contributing to the ethical breakdown of a nation already deeply challenged by a culture of cheating.

Dennis M. Clausen
Escondido, Calif.
The writer is an author and professor at the University of San Diego.

The Impact of China’s Economic Woes

To the Editor:

Re “China’s Woes Are Unlikely to Hamper U.S. Growth” (Business, Aug. 28):

Lydia DePillis engages in wishful thinking in arguing that the fallout of China’s deep economic troubles for the U.S. economy probably will be limited.

China is the world’s second-largest economy, until recently the main engine of world economic growth and a major consumer of internationally traded commodities. As such, a major Chinese economic setback would cast a dark cloud over the world economic recovery.

While Ms. DePillis is correct in asserting that China’s direct impact on our economy might be limited, its indirect impact could be large, particularly if it precipitates a world economic recession.

China’s economic woes could spill over to its Asian trade partners and to economies like Germany, Australia and the commodity-dependent emerging market economies, which all are heavily dependent on the Chinese market for their exports.

Desmond Lachman
The writer is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The ‘Value’ of College

To the Editor:

Re “Let’s Stop Pretending College Degrees Don’t Matter,” by Ben Wildavsky (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 26):

There are quite a few things wrong with Mr. Wildavsky’s assessment of the value of a college education. But I’ll focus on the most obvious: Like so many pundits, he equates value with money, pointing out that those with college degrees earn more than those without.

Some do, some don’t. I have a Ph.D. from an Ivy League university, but the electrician who dealt with a very minor problem in my apartment earns considerably more than I do. So, for that matter, does the plumber.

What about satisfaction, taking pleasure in one’s accomplishments? Do we really think that the coder takes more pride in their work than does the construction worker who told me he likes to drive around the city with his children and point out the buildings he helped build? He didn’t need a college degree to find his work meaningful.

How about organizing programs that prepare high school students for work, perhaps through apprenticeships, and paying all workers what their efforts are worth?

Erika Rosenfeld
New York

Source: Read Full Article