Size Does Matter

Get your minds out of the gutter people…I’m not talking about THAT…I’m talking about clothing sizes.

Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson! A rant is imminent!

Yes people…Imma ’bout to rant my ass off.

Maybe it’s because I’m hyper aware (what with my commitment to lose the equivalent of a fourth grader and all) but I am really fed up to my ample ass with Madison Avenue and clothing designers creating an unhealthy environment where normal sized young women are made to feel fat.  I know this has all been written about ad nauseam but something happened today that really got my granny panties in a bunch.

The oldest twin and his girlfriend were about to leave when I called everyone back to give me the obligatory hug and kiss and so that I could give them the obligatory “I love you.  Be careful.” (Yes, I do this every time they leave.  Sue me.)  Then, being the nosy mom that I am I asked where they were going.  The girlfriend said that she had to take back at shirt she had purchased before Christmas because it was too small.  Then she said, “It’s supposed to be a large but it’s skin-tight.  It really makes me feel fat.”

People…this child (she’s not really a child..she’s 22) is not, in any universe, any where NEAR fat.  She is normal.  Beautifully normal.  However, because some dumb ass clothing designer and manufacturer decided that an XL would now be a MED and a L would now be a SML and MED would now be an XS and a SML will now fit my two-year old granddaughter, the girlfriend now feels fat.  Trust me when I say that the look on her face wasn’t, “Oh well, guess I’ll get a better size.”  It was more like, “OMG!  I’m a house!”


At the risk of sounding like an old fart sitting on my porch and yelling at kids to get off my lawn, I remember when it was merely a minor challenge for women to shop.  Yes, most of us needed to either have our pants hemmed or give up any chance of wearing heels because, unlike men, our clothing came in only one inseam and shopping for jeans and swimsuits struck fear in the hearts of even the hardest of the hard bodies but I do not remember looking at a shirt that claimed to be an XL and thinking that it belonged not even in the Juniors section of the store but on the other side of the mall in the American Girl store as clothing for the dolls!  Well, unless I was shopping for a wedding dress – I don’t know what their problem is…but I digress.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, let us remember our friends over at Abercrombie whose CEO, Mike Jeffries, caused controversy when he, essentially, said he didn’t want to clothe fat people…fat being anyone over a size 10.  Now I seldom set foot in that store because it triggers an asthma attack (and I don’t even have asthma) and I can’t see (which I believe to be intentional because not only do they not want fat people in their store but they don’t want old people there either) but I remember clearly that they had sizes similar to the one’s I’m writing about here.  So…I guess that means their 10 was actually a 4.  Now, to be fair, Mr. Jeffries…no, fuck that…I don’t have to be fair to him – the guy’s a dick.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yeah…perfectly healthy young women feeling like they are fat and subsequently developing a low self-esteem and body dysmorphic disorder all because of some ridiculous standard set in Hollywood, perpetuated in New York and carried out through the media.

Deep breath.

Yes…I am overweight and have, for the better part of my life had to manage my weight.  But I always had a pretty clear impression of what I looked like and the number on the scale was closely aligned to the size of my clothes.  In short, that meant that when I went shopping the size in the back of my sweater was merely a confirmation of my size rather than an indictment of my worth as a human being!

Okay – maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.  But if you’ve ever been with a 14-year-old girl who comes out of the fitting room in tears because her size 6 jeans don’t fit in this store (when she has several pair in that size at home) and she announces that “she’s never eating again” then you know the fear and heartache that is created in a mother’s heart.

And what’s more, you know how absolutely ridiculous it is because she’s a beautiful young woman who deserves better than to have nameless, faceless clothing designers who bow to the whims of Hollywood make her feel this way.

We need to figure out a better way.


26 thoughts on “Size Does Matter

  1. I do truely feel sorry for the young women of my generation (generation y) as in why in the hell can’t I fit in anything? Magazines, the media, clotheing people, and those who control fashion need to get together and be slapped upside the head, with a kendo stick.

  2. People happy with their bodies aren’t thinking ‘I shouldn’t spend too much because it won’t last long if I loose weight’, so why doesn’t the clothing industry want to do something about it? Great post. Very thought provoking.

  3. Thank you. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for saying it. I always believed I was overweight, as a size 8. Until I had a teenage daughter who was called fat, because she was a size 8. It breaks my heart, as a woman and a mother. So thank you, for ranting.

  4. I used to watch What Not to Wear all the time. I love that show because Stacy London taught me that the fashion industry is playing into human psychology and our insecurities but that I can dress my body in a way that makes me feel beautiful despite the size on my tag. As a grown woman, I get that lesson but I have no idea how to teach it to a younger generation. I guess I’ll get my chance with my 4 year old daughter. Great post Sherry!

    1. I LOVED that show!!!! And for the same reasons. They took so many women (and a few men) who thought there was something wrong with them and showed them how to feel beautiful just the way they were.

      Stacy and Clinton for President!


  5. Rant from the other side of the size range:
    I am coming from the other side of the fence. Right now I am “underweight” according to the BMI scale, which has also been changed recently.
    I feel healthy and great at my weight. I used to wear a size 2. (I am not bragging or trying to be an asshole, I am making a point.) That size fit me perfectly. In the last two years, the industry has made the pants so big I could wear them with someone else.
    Sometimes I can find some that fit, sometimes I have to go to 0 or 00, sometimes I wear a 4. (When did 00 become a fucking size?) Most of the time I have to shop in the juniors. I am fifty fucking three, I DO NOT want to wear juniors clothing. Thank god I mostly wander around in my running clothes.
    It is a frustration for all women. It is an abomination. Playing with our oversensitive emotions about our size, be it large or small.
    I would love for women everywhere to call out the fashion industry and have them make standardized sizes for women’s clothing. They can do it for men, why can’t they do it for women? Why do they make our “ideal” fashion icon a skeletal 16 year old? What WOMAN can ever achieve that? and why should we want to?
    I read this great blog post this year:
    This is where it is starting now,with toddlers, and it is disgusting.
    We should all be outraged. We grow up believing our self worth is the number or letter in the back of an item of clothing, it is horrendous. Who cares? Just make clothes that fit, call them whatever you want, I just want to be able to go into a store, go to a rack, and know that the size I am looking at will fit me, not matter what store I am in, nor what the number or letter may say!
    (This has been a boiling topic for me for years!)
    Great post!

    1. Great comment!!!! You’re right from both sizes on the spectrum. When did 0 become a size???? Not to mention 00. What does it say when you think, “I’m a zero.” and that’s a good thing?


  6. Great rant Sherry :)! I vacillate between really wanting the clothiers to JUST DO THE RIGHT THING (and size appropriately/consistently) and just chucking the whole idea – what’s really wrong with wearing a nicely sewn garment from Omar the Tentmaker? Every day. My 13 year old came home crying over the weekend after going to a bridesmaid (Jr. or whatever, my ex’s family, what can I say) dress fitting – she was freaking out bc the size chart at Alfred Angelo (yes, I am calling them out) pegged her hips at an 8 and her bust at a 0. WTF? And she’s being measured for something that’s being heavily tailored anyway – what possible relevance are the sizing details of PARTS of the stupid dress? I hate them!

    Elsewhere in the news…halfway thru Day 3. It seems momentous even though it really is not. It’s just that stopping that everyday action (that numbs out all the annoyances and grievances and seems – temporarily – to smooth rough edges) is a consumptive exercise. I cannot wait to get past the single digit days where it is not a radical departure from the norm to just fix myself a seltzer and lemon or tonic and lemon and get on with cooking dinner. Ideally with fewer handfuls of chocolate and salty/crunchy crap, which are of course de rigeur on the early days. Beats drinking or seriously injuring fellow homedwellers :).

    Hope you are having a great day!


    SR .

    1. See!!!! That’s what I mean! It’s one thing to torture fully grown women like us but our daughters do not deserve this! And what IS it about wedding/bridesmaid dress designers anyway? I think they just make it up as they go along and then sit back and laugh at the rest of us.

      Congrats on Day 3…and I mean that sincerely. Sometimes it gets worn to here us say it over and over but in the early days every day, hour and sometimes minute is cause for celebration.

      And yeah…whatever keeps you from killing the fam is fair game right now. 😉


  7. Great post! Just found your blog and I want to mention that so many of us with drinking problems (including myself), or other addictions, are also battling body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders. The fashion industry is not helping in our sober efforts!

    1. You are so right. The last thing you need as you get sober is to have the fashion industry kick you when you’re down.

      I think a lot of the reasons we develop eating disorders just bleed into drinking disorders. I’m reading a book right now that touches on that. I’ll talk about it here when I’m finished.

      Thanks Malin – I think this is an important aspect.


  8. MY daughter is “petite” in that she is 5ft nothing poor love – short women is a trait in my families genes, both my Grandmothers were small, my Mum wasn’t that tall, my sister doesn’t break 5ft and my niece is shorter still! However she does have curves… this means she is often buying things that simply are way too long on her to get them to fit over her bust. Now – I’m a man… I look at women (sorry ladies but all men do this) I notice that bust size and curves have no relation to height some short woman are flat chested, some have ample bosoms… So my point is – how can one size fit all! Doesn’t work. Over Christmas my daughter was wearing a shortish woollen dress… someone pointed out that actually it was being sold as a jumper! At least she makes the most of this issue to have “unique” clothes. Surely there needs to be a size 10 (small bust) a size 10 (medium bust) size 10 (ample bust)… or am I just being stupid?

    1. No you are not being stupid but you’re thinking like a man because that’s how they make men’s clothes. 44 Regular, 44 Tall, 44 Short and pants that are made to be tailored. Women don’t have that luxury…like you said – one size is supposed to fit all but never does.


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