Women Have to Pay More for Plus-Size Jeans at Old Navy, but Men Don’t

Retailer joins other brands in body-image controversies

Old Navy becomes the latest brand to find itself embroiled in a plus-size controversy.

It is under fire for charging women more for plus-size jeans, sizes 16 to 30. Men, meanwhile, pay one price for a pair of denim no matter the size. A Change.org petition—which has already gathered over 25,000 supporters—notes the price disparity can be up to $15 for women. For years, plus-size women have paid higher prices because manufacturers claim more fabric leads to higher production costs. But, the petition argues, this doesn't hold true if manufacturers and retailers are discriminating between genders.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, Debbie Felix, a spokeswoman from Old Navy parent company Gap, said, "Old Navy is proud to offer styles and apparel designed specifically for our plus-size female customer, which includes curve-enhancing and curve-flattering elements such as four-way stretch materials and contoured waistbands, which most men's garments do not include."

Old Navy's website features a special section called "Women's Plus," selling larger sizes of everything from pants to pajamas.

Earlier this month, Victoria's Secret faced criticism for its Perfect Body campaign that only featured one body type: ultra skinny. The company has since changed the slogan for the campaign after it faced petitions and backlash online for what some said was a "body-shaming tagline" that implied only certain types of women's bodies are "perfect."

And this week Calvin Klein took its own share of heat when it released a new campaign aimed at plus-size women, using a model who is reportedly a size 8 or 10. In several interviews with media outlets this week, Myla Dalbesio, the model in question, defended the ads, noting in one with Elle.com that she is "not the biggest girl on the market, but I'm definitely bigger than all the girls [Calvin Klein] has ever worked with, so that is really intimidating."