Did you even know this was a thing? Ya, news to me too. Listen up to this crap:
Mostly in the U.S. and the U.K., the standards for clothing sizes have changed over the years. So when your friend says "Oh I have been a size 6 since I was in my 20s" you can passive aggressively send that bitch this post. A size six isn't what it used to be, honey.
You see, ready-to-wear clothing has become bigger over time. In the 1937 Sears Catalog, a size 14 dress had a bust size of 32 inches. By 1967 those sized boobs snagged you a size eight frock. In 2011, you and your little B cup breasts get a high five from the girls at the gym because you wear a size zero. Yes... zero.
This from Wikipedia:
"Some argue that vanity sizing is designed to satisfy wearers' wishes to appear thin and feel better about themselves. Designer Nicole Miller introduced size 0 because of its strong California presence and to satisfy the request of many Asian customers. It introduced subzero sizes for naturally petite women. However, the increasing size of clothing with the same nominal size caused Nicole Miller to introduce size 0, 00, or subzero sizes."
Sub-zero sizes? What is THAT shit now? So women are chasing the elusive skinny jean and the size is being altered like a fun house mirror to make them feel better. On top of that, a study in 2003 said that the more expensive the jeans are, the smaller they are cut. So rich women have to pay trainers more to fit into small sizes, and fat women are easily fooled? Is that how this works? Is it that rich women are more focused on their size? That would be a great chapter in a psychology book.
So which is it fashion industry? Are you trying to make us feel good about ourselves or ashamed of ourselves? Oh wait... that is it. The fashion industry is trying to make us do stuff. They keep moving the sizing around because they KNOW people will do shit like this to wear a particular size number:
So when somebody says they don't get on the scale they just go by how their clothing fits, the could conceivably outgrow a size 10, go to the store, buy a size eight that fits perfectly and be happy. Which makes them want to buy more size eight stuff. Maybe I am on to something here?
On the flip side, for me anyway, the idea of going shopping for an evening dress is so daunting, because in the designer racks, I am easily three sizes larger. And why am I upset? Because I am buying into a number that isn't real. Why am I, an intelligent worldly woman convinced that sometime between my home and the store I gained 20 pounds and THAT is why I look like a sack of potatoes in a dress that is supposed to be my size?
I don't know about you girls, but the whole thing pisses me off.
Am I fat, am I thin? I feel healthy but apparently I am supposed to take up running or some bullshit to keep fit yet my pants will magically change sizes regardless. My jeans don't look like they used to but I am going to assume that has something to do with my ass. Also some of it goes to the people who are trying to sell me pants that will counteract gravity.
And finally there is Lululemon. Their dude says that maybe the problem of fabric pilling is because women whose thighs rub together dared buy pants designed for thigh-gap women. Maybe they should have security people at their store entrances making sure that women with thighs that touch can't come in.
This may not be a popular view, but I think Vanity Sizing is just another marketing/shaming tool. The fashion industry and the magazines they feed hate women, they really seem to anyway.
If I could sew... I would starve them out.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
Runk is the star of a May 2013 H&M swimwear campaign that gained widespread media attention for not relegating the gorgeous size 12 model to the "plus-size" pages of their website. In an interview with activist group SPARK, Runk told a young blogger: "I remember often feeling like I should be unhappy with my body, but it was confusing, because I never thought there was anything wrong with it until people started talking about it." In a piece for the BBC, Runk wrote of her newfound media attention: "This is exactly the kind of thing I've always wanted to accomplish, showing women that it's OK to be confident even if you're not the popular notion of 'perfect.'... There's no need to glamorise one body type and slam another."
The famously outspoken "Hunger Games" star has been extremely vocal about resisting diet culture and pressure to be unnaturally thin. "If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet,' I'm like, 'You can go f*ck yourself,'" Lawrence said in an interview for the November 2013 UK issue of Harper's Bazaar. She also hit the nail on the head during a Nov. 7 Q&A with Yahoo! employees. "The world has this idea that if you don't look like an airbrushed perfect model," she said to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. "You have to see past it. You look how you look, you have to be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That's just dumb."
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Lamm, an artist who works for MyDeals.com, used CDC measurements of an average 19-year-old woman to create a 3-D model which he then Photoshopped to look like a Barbie doll. His images of "normal" Barbie next to the doll sold in stores is truly worrying. "If we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well," Lamm told the Huffington Post in an email. "Furthermore, a realistically proportioned Barbie actually looks pretty good." It's awesome to see a man take a stance on these issues, especially considering that many men experience their own body struggles -- often in silence.
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Woodley, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in "The Descendants," told Flavorwire in July: I saw somebody -- what I thought was me -- in a magazine once, and I had big red lips that definitely did not belong on my face. I had boobs about three times the size they are in real life. My stomach was completely flat. My skin was also flawless. But the reality is that I do not have those lips and my skin is not flawless and I do have a little bit of a stomach. It was not a proper representation of who I am. I realized that, growing up and looking at magazines, I was comparing myself to images like that -- and most of it isn’t real. Because of her discomfort with how women are constantly Photoshopped and edited on-screen, Woodley doesn't wear makeup to events. What a badass.
Raouna, who was crowned Miss British Beauty Curve 2013, told the Daily Mail: "you don't have to be size zero to be a model, and you can be pretty and plus size at the same time." The beauty queen hopes to use her platform to inspire young women to be comfortable in their own bodies, regardless of their weight. "My confidence has grown over the years and hopefully I can inspire other plus-size girls to be confident in their own skin," she said.
The Refinery29 staff writer turned to intuitive eating, a practice where you learn to listen to your body's signals and eat accordingly, to help manage her body demons -- and is chronicling her journey on the Internet via the Anti-Diet Project. "The goal here is not fast weight loss," Miller told the Huffington Post in an email. "It's about creating a healthy, neutralized relationship with food and learning how to be fit and active every day -- but still have a life."
Pree Bright's photo series "Plastic Bodies" examines how beauty ideals affect women, especially women of color. Her striking images combine doll parts with segments of human bodies, and the discord between the two is startling. She told HuffPost in an email: American concepts of the “perfect female body” are clearly exemplified through commercialism, portraying “image as everything” and introducing trends that many spend hundreds of dollars to imitate. It is more common than ever that women are enlarging breasts with silicone, making short hair longer with synthetic hair weaves, covering natural nails with acrylic fill-ins, or perhaps replacing natural eyes with contacts. Even on magazine covers, graphic artists are airbrushing and manipulating photographs in software programs, making the image of a small waist and clear skin flawless. As a result, the female body becomes a replica of a doll, and the essence of natural beauty in popular American culture is replaced by fantasy.
If you've ever doubted that fat can be beautiful too, watch this health coach and fat acceptance activist's video response to a comment on her blog. Poretsky's advice on such a delicate subject is both warm and practical: "One way to see the beauty in more and more people is to literally look for it."
Adele says she tries not to worry about her body image and doesn't want to be a "skinny minnie." "The first thing to do is be happy with yourself and appreciate your body -- only then should you try to change things about yourself."
The actress took to Twitter to say, "I'm not trying to be hot. I'm just trying to be a good actress and entertain people."
Follow Magnolia Ripkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MagnoliaRipkin