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‘Perfect 10′

As I type this, please understand that I am almost shaking with rage, as was the founder of Women Make Waves when she called me to discuss the newly opened Victoria Beckham Boutique in London. What has made us so angry you ask? The fact that the shop will not be stocking any clothes larger than a size 10. I will give you a second to allow this to sink in.

Ready? OK, let’s discuss this like calm and rational people.

The UK average for women is now a size 16 and regardless of whether you think this denotes an increasingly unhealthy approach to nutrition and exercise, the fact remains that everybody needs to be catered for. Let’s also not forget that two women who share a dress size, may share very little else, including taste. I am a size 12, as is one of my friends but there is not enough money in the world to make me wear some of the things she does and I have lost count of the number of eye-rolls and sniggers she has made at some of my outfit choices. So what happens to a size 16, 18, 20 woman who has earned her money and wants to spend it on high fashion? Well clearly she has to go elsewhere because Victoria Beckham has no interest in catering for her.

I had already read about the store being designed with simplicity and ultra minimalism in mind, hence there are no tills, but is it really necessary to streamline the sizes on offer? To add insult to injury, as with most couture lines, the Victoria Beckham collection is notorious for running ‘a little snug’. Well, fabulous. A shop that only stocks up to a size 10, that is actually more like a small 8. I assume that I would need to use a greased up shoe horn just to fit my ‘gargantuan’ backside through the doors of this hallowed establishment.

OK, so I am getting ¬†a little angry now, but don’t we have the right to be? Who has the time to spend 5 hours a day in the gym? Not to mention the money for the membership and specially created, calorie controlled meals? Even if I did, I know there is more to life than being thin, and frankly, unfoundedly elitist. I have been extremely skinny, as a result of serious illness and let me tell you, it was not fun. I felt self-conscious and I looked crap in everything I wore! Lest we forget, Victoria herself was once a very average woman, with a cracking figure back in the day, but certainly nothing to cite as a style and lifestyle icon! How then, has she allowed herself to lose sight of where she came from and who she was supposed to be a role model for? It is even worse when you realise that she has recently¬†been made a UN ambassador. I doubt she could be anymore different from the fabulous Emma Watson who has focussed her attention on far loftier aspirations than making her fellow women feel oversized and under styled!

We have contacted Victoria Beckham’s media agency for a comment on this issue and are still waiting for a response, with little hope of receiving one if we are honest. But what would be the best case scenario? That they do have the full range of sizes in store (alas, this still only runs to a size 14) but only display up to a size 10? Good grief, give me Topshop any day. I used to think they were a little stingy on the sizing front, but they seem positively all inclusive now!

What do you think ladies?


  • Honestly this is so silly! The sad thing is is that she will probably do really well because people will pay to own a piece of VB. It really is sad. Why can’t we all just be happy and healthy and embrace how we look? I have lost 3 stone because I must admit I really didn’t feel happy with how I looked but now being a 12 I feel 100% happy and as long as I eat a good balanced diet, exercise when I can, what’s the problem with that? This really does upset me but if anything this will hopefully spur other shops on the high street to think right, let’s do something for all those normal sized women! xx

  • As a fatty, you won’t find me protesting outside the VB store in rage. Why? because I don’t aspire to be like her. Even if I could fit in a size 10, I wouldn’t be buying her clothes. She’s not a role model. She had a series of lucky breaks and has made the most of the opportunities that came her way. She wouldn’t have become a successful designer without her being in the social position she’s in.

    Does anyone actually think that VB has a healthy body image? As for the UN Ambassador role?

    I suspect this ” size 10″ thing is something that’s drummed-up by her marketing team. It’s to attract attention. A misguided attempt to make us women aspire to shop in the store. In reality, all it serves is to make us feel bad about ourselves. That’s not ” girl power” is it Victoria?

    • Amy Tocknell says:

      Quite right Sarah! Even if a) I could fit in her clothes and b) I had money to burn i have no urge whatsoever to be like her. I hold so many women in far higher esteem. My personal favourite? Tina Fey. Intelligent and amazingly talented!xx

  • Katie Lewis Katie Lewis says:

    Totally agree with you both, I wouldn’t be interested in buying her clothes even if they did my size. I never really had an opinion on her but I have now, and its not a good one.

  • I personally am not bothered by it. I’m a size 12 and nearly 6ft but I understand that size 6’s or size 8’s can be healthy for naturally skinny or petite women. I also know I’ll never be one. My body is a size 12 body, if I lost so much weight I was an size 8 i’d feel crap because that’s not what I’m supposed to be. She’s changed to be happier with her body, she isn’t a uk average sized woman so I don’t see why she’d design clothes for uk average sized women. If I designed clothes I’d design them for tall women because that’s what I know. (Don’t get me started on how bad shops are for Tall sections) Kelly Brooke has just launched a collection for Simplybe launching clothes from a size 10 to a size 32. I think everyone can agree that a size 32 isn’t healthy but no one is complaining about that. Cancelling out small sized women and saying its not healthy or its promoting anorexia is just hating on smaller women. I personally wouldn’t buy from Victoria’s boutique because I honestly don’t think she’d know how to dress my body shape. I don’t know why I’d even want her to stock my size. Clothes that look good on petite or small sized women do not look the same on bigger sizes, its a fact. A lot of shops really only cater for small women but increase the size and that’s why the clothes don’t look good (topshop and new look occasionally for me amongst others.) This is a problem that needs to be addressed, only stocking for smaller sizes and then pretending you’re welcome to all. At least she’s being open about who her clothes will look best on. Her being named a UN ambassador for the aids campaign doesn’t really have anything to do with the clothes she makes. She helping charitable organisations stop aids. Good on her if it helps stop that horrific disease. I know I’m not welcome at VB’s store, fine by me. At least I won’t wander in under the pretence I am, slip on a pair of size 14 jeans and end up having a breakdown thinking I’ve magically put on weight when actually the design of the jeans is nowhere near a 14. Which is 80% of the time in high street stores for me.

  • V Tickle V Tickle says:

    I have to agree with Jennifer. I’m really not bothered about this. In my opinion it’s HER business, so it’s HER choice what she wants to do and who she wants to cater to. There are plenty of shops and catalogues out there that exclusively cater to larger sizes – Evans and Simply Be are two that immediately spring to mind. But no one kicks up a fuss about them being ‘size-ist’ and discriminating against slimmer people. I think that the national dress size is far too big and the obesity epidemic is getting out of hand, but I don’t think that Victoria Beckham only designing clothes for smaller sizes and only keeping size 10’s on the shop floor is saying that that’s what she thinks the ideal body type should be or anything like that. Just like I doubt that’s what Evans and Simply Be are saying (or any other clothing business regardless of the sizes they carry in stock). She is simply running her business the way she wants to. I think that’s her right, just like it’s anyone else’s right to run their business their way. If people don’t like it or her (regardless of their size) then they don’t need to shop there and that should be the end of it. To try to put this another way, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant that serves Indian cuisine and demand Chinese food, and they shouldn’t HAVE to cater to my tastes in food. It would be MY responsibility to eat out elsewhere that caters to my tastes, not force my own on other people.

    • Amy Tocknell says:

      Good points around Victoria. The only thing I remain confused about is why the range goes up to a size 14 but the shop only keeps up to a 10! And on that note, I now really fancy Chinese food!

  • Meg Morgan Meg Morgan says:

    I think it could be a pretty clever marketing technique to be honest. If the image that is associated with Victoria’s clothes range is that it’s only for ‘skinny’ women then some women are going to want to
    a) be able to wear it
    b) have people know they’re ‘good’ enough to wear it
    c) feel better than the women who cannot fit into it/ afford it
    Also, if only ‘skinny’ women buy it then only ‘skinny’ women will be seen wearing her clothes, and I don’t mean to offend but this might make the clothes look better simply because the women wearing them will carry them off better.
    Plus the controversy over it is certainly getting people’s attention.
    Right now I’m sort of curious as to what the clothes are like and who’s buying them, which is probably what she was going for. I mean, this post has over a hundred views, that’s a hundred more people who know about and will probably talk about her range. Controversy: free publicity. From a business standpoint, it’s pretty genius.

  • Apparently they do stock up to size 12 but not on shop floor. They keep the ‘plus sizes’ in the stock room!

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