THE NOTION THAT CLOTHING SIZES ARE A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT

Ever been into Zara and tried on a pair of trousers, a jacket or a coat in “YOUR SIZE ” and it does not fit? Strange right? Then you begin wondering if that pizza you ate the other night was a good idea because, there is no way you could’ve gained weight and sized up from last week – that would be bizarre. Well I’m here to tell you that it really does not matter whether you have sized up or not, or lost weight or not because sizes were created amongst our very beings.

Let’s be real because, that is what I am here to do. There is no way that our great great great grandparents gave a care in the world about whether they were a size 10 or not – if they had a good heart that’s all that matters. It is so heart-warming to hear tales about my family. Things such as who had the best and biggest smile, who cooked the best meals and that one uncle that was the best handy man is all that we will remember because that is what reflects their character and who they were.

Now that I have finished that rather lengthy tangent…

Personally, I know that it doesn’t feel the best when you are more than confident in your body and something small like a label that states “L” instead of “M” can just make you second think that confidence. Next thing you know, you’re asking either your best friend or boyfriend the”Am I fat?” question that nobody wants to answer because its deemed as a silly thing to ask to your loved ones. I am so guilty of this and I want you guys to know that just so you realise you’re not in this alone.

In the midst of writing this post I questioned how sizing actually came about because it is obvious it is a social construct. And nevertheless, I stumbled across an article by Katrina Robinson that can be found – HERE

To pick at a few things that I learnt, just take into consideration these things when you next feel any sort of negative way towards a label when trying clothes on:

  • Before mass production clothing there was made-to-measure, where garments were tailored to specifically fit each customer. (Are you kidding, like every single item specifically made for your shape?! Yes please!)
  • In 1939, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a yearlong study titled Women’s Measurements for Garment and Pattern Construction and  they studied the weight and 58 body measurements of 14,698 women across seven states in the US. The women had to be white and while some non-whites did have their data collected, those measurements were eventually excluded from the final statistics. (So, they tried to make buying clothing easier by conducting a study but left out every other race of woman that are bound to come in all shapes and sizes? Sounds socially constructed to me…)
  • The measurements in the standards primarily catered to the hour glass figure…But a recent study by North Carolina State University indicates that only 8% of women today boast an hour glass shape.
  • The commercial standards were updated to “more accurately reflect the current population of women,”

DISCLAIMER: This article seems to be an honest article and states facts from the past. The chosen statements above are used for the main message written in this blog post and do not sum up the message of the article.

If I am being honest, items of clothing should make you feel good about yourself and confident whilst wearing them. There has been so may instances where I intentionally buy clothes that are larger just because I feel that I can style them better with a larger fit. It is all down to personal style. Don’t let numbers and letters decide whether you will feel good in an item… YOU WEAR THE CLOTHES, DON’T LET THEM WEAR YOU.

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