Vanity sizing in clothing needs to end
Shopping can be a difficult experience for some women, as many find it difficult to find a size that fits them due to there not being uniform sizing guidelines across brands. This is due to brands using vanity sizing, a practice that needs to end.
Many retail shops prescribe to the idea of vanity sizing, where they assign smaller numbers to clothing sizes. A size six in H&M is not the same as a size six in Forever 21. These different clothing brands are selling the same size and yet both of them are different measurements. The size of the clothes is not the same as the fit of those clothes or how they fit on different women’s bodies.
Whether you have seen how different sizes can be in the same brand, or heard how absurd different brands’ sizes, it is likely that either you or someone you know has suffered for these absurd beauty and size standards.
While tabloids have to think that sizes like 0,00 and 000 means that women are getting skinnier, it is simply not true. Size 000 doesn’t mean that the people are getting skinnier but rather that, there are new sizes being invented in the lower number to accommodate the expanding waistline in America.
These unrealistic sizing standards give women an unhealthy idea of a perfect body. Smaller sizes on tags have been encouraged as a way to boost the confidence of many women. However, it does more harm than good. Many women struggle to find their size, and often end up with vastly different sizes in different brands.
This is not only a frustrating experience but can also be a triggering one. Women struggling with eating disorders often struggle with finding the right clothing size. For someone struggling with an eating disorder, buying a small in H&M but getting a large from Levi can be very upsetting.
Imagine a preteen, who is going through puberty starting to buy clothes from the adults section in the mall. This kid is trying on clothes, but the ones she purchases vary vastly in size; while one of them is an extra small, another one is a medium.
This experience can be confusing and extremely problematic for a young girl to understand, but for someone who is already struggling with body image issues, this can be triggering and contribute to eating disorder behavior.
While the fashion industry is not the sole cause of eating disorders, these clothing sizing differences can halt progress for someone who was already struggling. This can be extremely harmful to someone’s recovery.
It is about time we hold the fashion industry responsible for these unrealistic standards. There has to be a better way for them to size clothes that is not problematic or harmful for women.
Sizes should be fairly similar across the board for most brands. This vanity sizing needs to end for the sake of women’s mental health.
Atiritka Kumar is a journalism freshman who can be reached at [email protected]