parents

Her son couldn't fit into clothes off the rack. So she did this awesome thing.

Hey Mom! It Fits clothing line

My husband was an obese child.

Nicknamed ‘Fat Phil’, his primary school years by all accounts, were nothing short of hell.

His mother maintains that his eating habits were exactly the same as his 3 younger brothers, yet he was the only one that was overweight.

He was extremely sporty and impossibly active yet he remained large right up until puberty had its way with him and turned him into a slim, 6ft spunk (he’s probably reading this btw, brownie points etc).

Our daughter, now 14, is treading an eerily similar genetic path. She is a big girl but she is also extremely tall. Taller than I am, and I’m no shorty. Her eating habits are generally good, no really, they are no worse and no better than our other children nor other girls her age.

I have made certain not to make an issue out of her weight because I know how it affected me when I was a similar age. I ate only corn and peas for two solid years off the back of some throwaway remark about my ‘large arse’ from some guy in Year 10. In hindsight, of course, I was stick thin, but this makes me ever conscious about what I say to my own daughter. I just want her to be healthy and happy.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s well aware that she is larger, she’s not oblivious but I think what I love the most is that she is comfortable in her own skin, is extremely confident and has developed her own style, one that suits her figure. I’m 38 and still haven’t quite worked this out, so I am rather envious.

The only clothing item she laments she doesn’t feel comfortable in, are jeans. Welcome to being a woman honey, 90% of the population despise wearing jeans.

The thing is though, due to her size and weight, she has had to shop in the adult clothing department since she was 11. Whilst this isn’t a major problem, clothes designed for adults are usually different to the ones designed for children and often very inappropriate.

A lady named Ruth Smith has recognised this gap and launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and start supplying ‘plus-size’ children with comfortable, fashionable clothing.

Life as an overweight kid is hard enough without having to go on a scavenger hunt for clothes. A new Kickstarter, “Hey Mom, It Fits!” is seeking funds to create attractive, available children’s clothes in larger sizes.

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Hey Mom! It fits girls’ clothing

An estimated 1 out of 3 kids in the United States is overweight or obese, and yet few retailers stock enough options for kids who wear plus sizes. Project founder Ruth Smith of Bolingbrook, Illinois is striving to fill in the gaps.

“After working with plus sized women’s fashion for years,” she writes, “it was painful to see parents come into a women’s store to purchase clothes for their 9- to 12-year-old children.”

Not only is this a source of embarrassment and discomfort for many kids, but it also unfairly puts limits on the time they get to just be young. Smith adds, “Many of the children looked like little women and not little girls.”

Hey Mom, It Fits! is seeking to meet a goal of $12,000 by December 8. Backers will receive thank-you gifts like a t-shirt or sweatshirt, a pair of custom jeans for a child or adult, or the chance for their child to be a model in the catalogue. Pretty adorable.

It’s definitely not ideal for a large number of children to suffer with obesity, as it can lead to physical and mental health issues, but outcasting the kids who already struggle is never the solution. Thankfully, people like Ruth Smith are working to bring some peace to the experience of shopping with a plus sized kid. She writes:

I can remember the frustration when shopping for my plus sized child. We went from store to store and came up empty handed. Remember, clothing is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, but for my son it was a source of rejection.

Here’s hoping projects like Hey Mom, It Fits! will positively impact the lives of plus size kids. “We would like to show them that no matter your size, you are a beautiful individual,” Smith writes. Amen.”

I’m torn.

I can see that it’s a great initiative, that Ruth is coming from a good place but I worry that it will ostracise larger or ‘Plus Size’ children further by making it blatantly obvious that they will be shopping for clothes in a store designed especially for overweight children.

That it will compound the fact that they can’t shop where all the other kids shop.

What do you think? Is this really a necessary and positive addition to the retail world? Or is it simply making an already difficult world even harder to navigate?