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!”
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
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.
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.