It's an open secret that the sizes of women's clothes don't mean anything. A size two from one store could be identical to a size ten from another. (As a man, I didn't learn this until I was an adult, and I was horrified.) But even though all women know about this, it doesn't keep impressionable young girls from having their egos warped by the onslaught of contradictory body judgment.
One youth counselor named Deena Shoemaker finally got so sick of this madness, she decided to speak up. She posted pictures of herself to Facebook wearing six different pairs of pants in different sizes. And along with the photos, she included a harshly-worded open letter to the fashion industry. Her message: cut it out.
Here's Shoemaker's full post:
No I'm not selling my pants; I've just got a bone to pick.
I've worked with teen & pre-teen girls as a leader and counselor in various places for the last 6 years. I've listened to countless girls tell me about their new diets and weight loss fads. I've have girls sob in my arms and ask me, "if I were skinnier, would he have stayed?" I've counseled girls who were skipping meals. I've caught some throwing up everything they've just eaten.
But as I was going through my clothes tonight I started to notice how dramatically different the size of all my pants were. And I have a real problem with the fact that my size 5 pants fit me THE EXACT SAME WAY that my size 12 pants do.
Let me explain why I'm not happy, America. You photoshop models and actresses and slap them on the front of beauty magazines. At this point it's a pretty universally known truth that you're lying to us and those aren't accurate portrayals of the human body. I can prove it to girls pretty easily by simply showing them how photoshop works.
But when you resize a girl's pants from a 9 to a 16 and label it "plus size," how am I supposed to fight that? Photo manipulation is one thing but how do you expect me to convince her that the number printed inside her clothes is a lie too? How do you expect me to convince her that she doesn't need to skip dinner for the next month because her pant size didn't *actually* go up by seven digits?
STOP telling my girls that a size 4 is the "ideal body size" and the "epitome of beauty" if you're going to change a size 4 into an 8 or a 12 or whatever number you feel like on any given day.
And to you; my dear beautiful girls, my size 2 girls or my size 18 girls, your size doesn't determine your beauty; your life does. The size printed inside your clothes is subjective to the fashion industry's personal taste and it fluctuates rapidly. Stop believing the social normatives about who and what you should be.
You are lovely and you are loved.
Just exactly the way you are.
Good on her. The tyranny of this sizing issue has to end. We won't have true gender equality in our society until women's pants are measured in inches, like men's are. It's really a pretty good system.