This past weekend the Internet was all a buzz over “plus-sized” model Crystal Renn’s latest photographs. The pictures, taken for non-profit Fashion for Passion by photographer Nicholas Routzen, depict a decidedly less curvy Renn wearing a black Fashion for Passion t-shirt. Everyone from fashion bloggers to the Huffington Post have been whispering that the outspoken anti-size 0 model has dropped weight and caved to industry pressure. From careful observation of the photograph one can say that maybe she did lose a few lbs but she still is far from industry standard. The real issue at hand has more to do with our society’s growing obsession with size, than it has to do with whether or not an already average sized girl got a little closer to average.
To see the effects of an overly size conscious society on young women all you have to do is sit in any fitting room, at any mall, on any given day to hear women in denial of their size. The ugly battle plays out between the size-ist stores bent on making everyone a size 10 and below and the size conscious women who were a size 4 three years ago but now fight to squeeze their size bodies into that old size 4. As a sales associate at stores that very rarely carry anything over a size 10, if they carry a 10, I have been given the side eye, talked about, and told off just for suggesting that the obliviously size 6 client may not be able to fit into a size 0.
On the other side of that same coin, I have been asked some of the most personal questions by customers regarding my size as a means to determine whether or not plus sized shoppers were in the right store. At the heart of this issue is both fashion and retail’s blatant disregard for curvier bodies, and the fact that the general public has no idea what sizes actually mean.
As far as fashion and retail goes, they will never care about plus-sized shoppers and curvier standard sized girls unless you hit them where it hurts, right in their profit margins. Stop supporting retailers that do not support you that means stop trying to cram your Beyonce booty into Kate Moss’s jeans. Moving on …
As a consumer, you need to realize that sizes literally do not mean anything. Really, they don’t. Marilyn Monroe was a size 10, which in 2010 is probably closer to a size 6 due to vanity sizing (vanity sizing is where retailers increase the actual measurements of clothes without increasing the nominal size making a size 4 now what a size 8 was ten years ago) and we all know Marilyn was and still is a fox. Also in addition to retailers trying to make you feel better by changing their measurements but not their sizes, clothing sizes in the US are far from standardized. Personally, I wear everything from a size 2-6 depending on the store and that is unacceptable.
The lesson here, ladies and gents, is that not only is it unacceptable to measure your self-worth or the worth of others by a silly little number in a garment but, that watching to see if a model eats or not is a waste of time. At the end of the day whether Crystal Renn is a size 10 or a size 8, she still is far from plus-sized and the fact that she is an anomaly in the modeling world speaks more about fashion and society’s obsession with size than anything else. You don’t see more Crystal Renn types opening shows, landing huge campaigns, and on the cover of Vogue these days do you?
Layout by Margaret
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