Today on EGL, someone, most surely a troll, made a post arguing that there is no such thing as being "western bodied", you are just "plus sized".
No doubt this thread was meant to stir up drama, but it got me thinking.
Lolita clothes are made to fit Japanese bodies. This is logical, since a majority of their market is Japanese, and it's only in the past few years that brands have been marketing and shipping to the rest of the world. In addition, the Japanese are a more homogeneous group of people, so it's pretty easy for them to release one size with some stretch to it and it will fit most people, something that is pretty much unheard of here in America. Of course, I'm sure there are girls in Japan who can't fit all brand lolita, but it's not nearly as big a problem as in the west.
Now, I will use myself as an example. I consider myself to be average sized for my age. I wear about a size 8 to 10 American dress, size 7 to 9 pants, and I can't really give a top size since sizing varies so much from store to store (I have shirts in sizes from small to large).
At my smallest, I could fit non-shirred brand... but it was a tight squeeze. I needed someone to help me get the zipper up, and I broke a few of them. I gained a few pounds and boom, shirring was a necessity. If I worked really hard to lose weight, I'm sure I could fit into non-shirred brand again, but at this point it's not my priority, and it's not that comfortable anyway.
But here's the thing: I could fit, but not well. And that was when I was at the thinnest I've been since high school. The problem? I have a large rib cage and pretty big boobs. No matter how much weight I lose, those things aren't going to go away, at least not without surgery. And I'm not about to get my ribs shaved or a breast reduction for lolita.
What's my point? As an average sized American, I don't fit into non-shirred brand. Not because I'm plus size, but because my body is different than a Japanese body. It's the same reason that a lot of dresses are too short: I'm 5'5", at least a few inches taller than a majority of Japanese girls, and most of that is legs. Many dresses are too short for me, at least in my own personal opinion.
I know that I am, in essence, "plus sized" compared to most Japanese girls. But I also know that a lot of this is not my fault, it's just the way I'm built. Yes, I could lose some pounds, but it wouldn't change too much. I would probably still only wear shirred items if only for comfort.
I don't know if "western bodied" is the best term, but there is no doubt in my mind that there is a difference between a Japanese body and a Western body.