Why is everyone talking about midsize fashion on TikTok and why does it matter?
The term includes anyone between a UK size 12 to 16
Women’s clothes sizing is a minefield. A size 10 in one shop can be a 14 in another and ordering and returning the same top in three different sizes is a regular occurrence (and inconvenience) for many women. While the disparity between clothes sizing is a near universal problem for women, social media, and especially TikTok, has given rise to a newly popular term for women who fit somewhere in the middle of the sizing spectrum: midsize.
TikToks have been appearing all over the FYP featuring women explaining their experience of being “midsized”. For these women clothes size means more than just a tag on the back of a dress, and instead encompasses an experience of living in an “average” body, that looks different to and is often bigger than the models we usually see idolised on social media.
Creators have used the #midsize tag to normalise the diversity of women’s bodies and also to promote the acceptance of so-called imperfections like cellulite and rolls. Body positivity advocates on TikTok often discuss this in their content, like Mary Skinner who used the “bodies that look like this, also look like this” sound to show how a midsize body can still be posed to erase supposed “flaws”.
@marycjskinner💗 #OurType#normalizenormalbodies#bodypositivity#bodyimage#bodyneutrality#bodyconfident#edrecovery#midsize#size6#size8#confident♬ bodies that look like this also look like this – skinner 🌙
The hashtag midsize also includes videos focused on fashion inspiration and empowerment for midsize bodies. Emily Lucy Rajch has 314k followers and posts videos on her TikTok showing how everybody can keep up with the latest styles and trends regardless of body size.
@emilylucyrajch✨Midsize bodies can wear fashhhion too! #size12 #size14 #midsize #zara #zaradaily #ysl #ootd #zarahaul #style #midsizeoutfits♬ original sound – ashleymadison
Okay so what actually is midsize?
Despite the average UK woman wearing a size 16, midsize creators explore the issue that there is a significant and often undiscussed gap in both the fashion industry and the body positivity movement surrounding women who sit somewhere in the middle.
Although straight sizes (often taken to include UK size 6-10) are explicitly catered for by designers and retailers, brands have faced increased pressure to cater towards plus size bodies in recent years (often classed as any size over a UK 16 and usually the face of body positivity in the media). This plus size representation is very important and fully warranted, with plus size women often experiencing further difficulties and prejudices that come with existing in a bigger body in a society that has an ingrained and harmful diet culture.
Definitions of midsize range from UK 12-16 and the term is often described as the middle ground between straight and plus.
While midsized women are often able to shop from straight size brands, they are often not represented or catered for by these brands and are similarly excluded by specialist plus sized ranges. All bodies deserve and are worthy of love.
Why does the midsize movement matter?
It can be easy for midsize women to feel they are not represented or catered for, and it is midsize creators who are attempting to bridge this gap, exploring the realities of shopping, styling and loving an “average” body.
@daniwithloveHi I’m Dani! Welcome 👋🏾 #fyp #foryoupage #midsize #midsizefashion #plussizefashion #tiktokfashion♬ Well follow me I guess – Its ya boy ashraf!!!
Most importantly, the midsize movement has ensured much needed representation, creating a space online where a community of people can share tips, experiences and education.
There are over one billion views on the midsize tag on TikTok which shows just how many people are creating and viewing the body positive content, and how much the online audience of midsize women has grown.
A similar growth in the platforms of midsize creators has been seen on Instagram and YouTube, where bloggers often share content with a focus on fashion inspiration. As well as her huge TikTok following, midsize stylist Emily Lucy Rajch also has 322k Instagram followers.
As midsize creators have grown in their platforms and their voices, “midsize” has contributed to wider conversations about inclusivity on social media, amongst influencers and in the fashion industry.
Considering the high numbers of young women and children using apps such as TikTok, the FYP seems the perfect place to spread awareness of midsize bodies, and body positivity more generally. Anything that makes social media a more positive place isn’t a bad thing by me.