I was recently shopping for jeans at a well-known retail store. Sifting through the sale rack, I pulled a few pairs out and took them to the change room, where I found the only sizes that fit me in a certain brand were either zero or double zero.
I’m not the kind of person who weighs herself all that often, but I know for a fact that I have not likely been dropping that much weight since I was a teen, when I was about half a dozen sizes up on the fashion scale. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense – hardly any, really.
People who were once a size 12 are now considered a size seven. Do the high-end clothing companies actually think they’re fooling anyone? Are these women really expected to fall for this trick and assume they’ve managed to go down five dress sizes without any effort whatsoever?
It may seem ridiculous to put up a fuss about being knocked down a few sizes, but how can a size less than one even be possible, and what kind of a message does it send women?
There should be no such thing as a size zero, let alone a size double zero. Extra-extra small shouldn’t exist either for that matter, but it does.
Isn’t it time we started making women, and everyone in general, feel good about themselves without trying to dupe them into it for the sake of making a few sales?
Thankfully, the entertainment industry is starting to realize this. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the portrayal of leading ladies in Disney and Pixar animated films. No longer are they depicted as the damsels in distress that they were during my childhood. Sure, it would have been fantastic to live like Sleeping Beauty, who was likely a size quadruple zero and got to snooze away until her prince came and awoke her with a kiss and swept her off to his castle to live without a care in the world for the rest of her days (although you have to wonder what the lives of these royal couples were like post-“happily ever after.”)
But that’s not how it works in real life, and today’s post-modern animated hits show just that. In Brave, the leading lady is not just indifferent to finding a husband, but downright rejects the notion. Released last year, Frozen is another animated film that continues to be well-received by toddlers as well as their parents. Again, one of the female leads carries the storyline without a potential suitor in sight. The popularity of these movies among all ages shows that they must be having a positive impact on their audience. The female characters don’t need a man to come and rescue them, because they have the confidence to make it on their own.
A few of today’s most popular songs also address body image and low self-esteem felt by many women. Colbie Caillat’s new single Try deals with just that.
“Take your make-up off. Let your hair down. Take a breath. Look into the mirror at yourself. Don’t you like you? ‘Cause I like you.”
That’s the kind of meaningful music to build people up that I like to hear.
Now if we could only get clothing companies to follow suit and encourage women to feel comfortable in their size eight – not “size two” – jeans, maybe we could teach the next generation to not only feel comfortable with who they are and confident in their abilities, but also their body type.