Fat tax is a body shaming practice and here's all you need to know about it


Fat tax is an actual body shaming practice and here’s all you need to know about it

Can we bid farewell to it already

By Nishtha Bhalla  November 10th, 2020

The realms of diversity and inclusivity have been a huge topic of discussion in fashion, more so in 2020. The recent digital fashion presentations saw diversity at its best but it lacked one thing in particular–inclusion of curvy models in silhouettes fit for all. And now, we’re introduced to a bigger, more invisible problem–fat tax. After fashion watchdog Diet Sabya brought the issue to the surface, it striked a massive conversation between designers, models and people alike. Designers like Gauri & Nainika and Ragini Ahuja of IKAI took to their social media to express their opinions.

Karan Torani’s festive 2020 collection titled Kaaya

But here’s a question. What’s fat tax anyway? A cursory search on the internet and fat tax is described as a surcharge placed upon fattening food. But when it comes to fashion, the ‘tax’ comes into play as designers and stores charge extra for plus-size clothes, justified by ‘more fabric equals more embroidery equals more costs’.

Fat Tax
Stephanie Novas in Rihanna’s latest Savage x Fenty campaign

With a larger conversation taking place in the industry and light finally being shed on this matter, a wave of change has come through, starting with Gauri & Nainika. The designer duo shared that they would no longer be applying a surcharge for extended size clothing, adding that this was always an uncomfortable conversation but one that was necessary. While fashion houses like Nikasha and retailers like FUEL followed suit, reiterating that they will no longer be charging fat tax.

Fat Tax
Shivan and Narresh’s 10th anniversary show

Not only do plus-sized women get shamed for their body on a daily basis and deal with unwarranted remarks, they also face trouble finding the right sizes for themselves–after all, many retailers don’t stock larger sizes due to a ‘lack of demand’ which is factually incorrect.

Plus-sized women make for a large chunk of the population and when they do find the right size, they have to pay extra money. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? But no matter how far we’ve come, we still have miles to go and this is a step in the right direction. 

Photographs: Instagram