29 July 2014

An Overshadowed Problem: Skinny Shaming

I've heard a lot about how disappointed some people are in the fact that J. Crew is now adding a size 000 to their clothing. It's amazing that no matter what a company does, it always appears to be in the wrong. Why should it matter to everyone if J. Crew wants to allow more women to fit into it's clothing? I dont see this as some ploy to show that all women should fit into that size, it is simply allowing for a larger market for their clothing. Some women are born petite. Some are born plus sized. Human size varies from the small end of the spectrum to the large end due not only to personal habit, but also largely (and predominantly) from genetics!

Personally, I find that a lot of stores (J. Crew, Express, BR/Gap, among others) run really big. I can buy a size 00 shorts in the petite section and I still swim in them without a belt. This is simply because I was born petite. I'm 5'1 and lean, and trust me, I have a healthy appetite. I'm not trying to stay the size of your average 16 year old girl, but that's how I was made. I live off carbs and the only exercise I regularly do is run and I haven't changed weight in five years. Are you going to tell me I'm unhealthy for fitting into a smaller size of clothing? Sorry, but 0 is a size, and there are healthy women who need that.

The assumptions being made about the people who would fit into these clothes are incredibly offensive. Maybe it's because I am one, but regardless... what gives any other person the right to make a judgment call on somebody else's body? Their small size is not harming you, and you have no idea if they are having trouble gaining weight or what their personal story is. When you mutter under your breath that these women should eat a hamburger, take a step back... reevaluate why you have any right to shame on their body. Not everyone who’s skinny has an eating disorder, and not everyone with an eating disorder is skinny.

I have always believed that women are beautiful regardless of size and there are many people out there fighting to make others realize that larger women are beautiful. Why should it be okay to bash those who are smaller? Shaming at either end of this spectrum is not okay and it is never going to allow for beauty ideals to be realistic. All we can do is allow others the freedom to be happy and comfortable in their skin, and encourage self-confidence from within. Healthy is beautiful.

Size 00. Also I have hairy arms.

It seems to me that today, people will find anyway to put a negative spin on things. While I would in no way support this sizing addition if it were encouraging women that this was an ideal goal to be reaching, or if it were to insinuate eating disorders among other health issues, as of now I see no need for the amount of backlash this has received. While vanity sizing is real, and does play a role in shopping, someone who is not already similar to that size, is not going to be incredibly affected by the addition. While there are definitely those out there who attempt unhealthy regimes to reach unnatural sizes, it is unfair to place the blame on all women who are that size. With globalization occurring more and more every day, and it's importance paramount in company success right now, allowing for a larger market of customers is intended to increase sales, not to decrease body size.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. (Shout out to my Chi O sister Harper Lee). Here's to hoping everyone can be comfortable in their own skin regardless of the number on the tag.

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