Who needs another social networking site, right? Apparently, plus-size women. The company that owns Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherines is launching Sonsi.com, a site hawking clothing and accessories for “real women” who are size 12 and up, as well as an “inclusive” social networking site called SonsiLiving, which offers articles on fashion and beauty, recipes for entertaining and groups like “SuperMoms” and the “Fashionista Club.” I guess I don’t understand the point of the site. No one would call me “plus-size,” but I actually wear a size 12 on bottom and I am “overweight” according to the Body Mass Index. But who knew that just because I’m a size 12 and you’re a size 12, we might want to be friends!? Besides, depending on what you think of the legitimacy of the BMI, a huge portion of our society is “overweight.” As our friends at TheGloss.com point out:
Women who are a size 12 or above make up 60% of the population. It seems odd to treat them as though they’re an odd minority who need their own special site when they’re pretty clearly the majority.
I, for one, am rubbed the wrong way by the fact that SonsiLiving primarily exists to provide a platform to advertise products to plus-size women. Not that they’re supposed to bring women together under some broader, altruistic goal of creating a safe haven in a fat-phobic society — but the fact that they are brought together under the pretense of consumerism just feels icky, considering American society at large tells larger women their bodies are embarrassing and ugly and pushes diet products on them. It just seems depressing to me that plus-size women may feel so isolated that they need their own social networking site.
Of course, a plus-size women who join SonsiLiving is self-segregating into a group to be on the receiving end of advertising. In fact, Lane Bryant already has a social networking site of its own called Inside Curve — as of today, it boasts 22,664 members. I just wish the media, the medical profession and, frankly, all of us, could offer them something better. [Philadelphia.BizJournals.com, TheGloss.com]