Hispanic and African American Women Shoppers of Plus Size
Efforts to find research findings, market reports, and press releases about how Hispanic American and African American women differ from the general population when it comes to shopping for plus size clothing or apparel prove that such information is largely unavailable. However, the data points we found after extensive research has allowed us to determine that these demographics differ in terms of how they perceive themselves, how they feel about the clothes they wear, how much they notice size variability in plus-size clothing, their top complaints, their reactions upon realizing that a piece of clothing doesn't fit them, and the lies they say when talking about their size. White women consider their clothes to be plus size at a 2 to 1 ratio over African American women. In addition, African American women tend to not notice differences in the cut of the clothing for plus sizes in designer brands,
The initial phase of our research involved consulting several articles by research firms, market reports about relevant industries, and the latest press releases featuring similar topics. Upon finding what little results we could, we proceeded to take a more indirect approach and consulted the annual reports of the top players within the industry. After exhaustive research, we found that there is a scarcity of information about differences between white, African American, and Hispanic consumers within the plus-size clothing market. This is primarily due to the insufficiency of data about smaller demographics, driven by the lack of diversity within the market. Chromat CEO Becca McCharen-Tran even states that whitewashing is very prominent within the plus-size industry.
YAHOO LIFESTYLE SURVEY
Yahoo Lifestyle recently published an article featuring findings from a survey about the behavior of different types of women when shopping for plus-sized clothes. Most of the information within this write-up were cited from this survey. The survey covered over 1,000 participants within the US with different races, ages, and backgrounds.
AFRICAN WOMEN SELF-IMAGE
All participants were asked to describe their bodies using just one word. Findings indicate that the top word most participants used was “curvy”. Among all the participants, only African Americans used the word “regular” the most.
CLOTHING SIZE SELF-IMAGE
The participants were also asked about how they felt about the clothes they wear. Data shows that only ⅓ of the participants consider their clothes as “plus-sized”, which is defined as clothes sized 14 and above. Further research shows that this perception is inconsistent with national data, showing that around 67 percent of the population actually wear plus-sized clothing.
WHITE VS HISPANIC AND AFRICAN AMERICAN SELF-IMAGE
Findings revealed that 37 percent of the participants that were white considered their clothing to be plus-sized. In comparison, only around 24 percent for both Hispanic and African American participants arrived at the same conclusion. Experts believe that this may indicate Hispanics and African American consumers are more accepting of different body types.
Data from the survey shows that 71 percent of all participants notice a slight difference in the size of clothes they buy across different brands, retailers, styles, and designers. 28 percent claimed to have noticed a big difference. Findings also indicate that white women were found to notice such size variability the most, while African Americans noticed it the least.
The most common complaints by participants revolved around inconsistent sizing. Another very common complaint, which was most recurring with African American and Hispanic women, was that a style they wanted did not come in their size.
REACTIONS WHEN CLOTHES DON’T FIT
According to the survey, around 50 percent of the participants “felt the sting” upon realizing that the clothes they want do not fit on them. A further breakdown of these findings though reveal that only 34 percent of African American women felt the same way compared to 52 percent of Hispanics and 53 percent of white participants.
LIES ABOUT SIZE
Data shows that around 25 percent of women would lie about their size. A further breakdown of these findings though reveal that white women are around twice more likely to lie about being a smaller size, and nearly half as likely to lie about being a bigger size. It was stated however that Hispanic women were the most likely to lie about their size, with 25 percent lying about being a smaller size, and around 1 out of 7 of them lying about being a bigger size. In addition to this, findings show that African American women were the least likely to feel ashamed of the size of the clothes they buy.
Hispanic American and African American women are different from the general population in how they perceive themselves, how they feel about the clothes they wear, how much they notice size variability in plus-size clothing, their top complaints, their reactions upon realizing that a piece of clothing doesn't fit them, and the lies they say when talking about their size.