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Are You Size-ist?

Whether she's a 2 or a 10 Crystal Renn is hot

Whether she's a 2 or a 10 Crystal Renn is hot

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?

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5 Responses to “Are You Size-ist?”

  1. skullface says:

    I’m a size four. Which means I wear a 2-6. XS-medium. That is a mess. A big mess.

    I don’t care about sizes; I care about clothes that fit. If your friend looks bangin’ in a new dress, you don’t ask, “Hey, what size is that?” You tell her how fantastique she looks. It’s not about size. It’s about body type. A girl with my same proportions who is half a foot taller than me would definitely not be a four.

    Crystal Renn is a hottie. She works it no matter how big or small she is. If she lost weight due to industry pressure, shame on the industry, but that’s nothing we haven’t heard before…

  2. Thea says:

    I agree – it’s a shame. I hope that if she lost weight, she did it on her own in a healthy way. Otherwise the whole point of her recent fame – a successful representative for normal sized women – is cast aside. And I hope that soon there will be another figure like Crystal to serve as a positive example for young girls.

  3. A lot of good points here, Ana. For me it’s super frustrating because even at my lightest, I’m a size 9. At a size 9 I think my body is where it naturally should be and I’m healthy there, but it gets discouraging when I still can’t get fashions I want at a healthy size.

    And don’t even get me started on size 10 being “plus-sized.”

  4. Skim says:

    My days are ruined when I go into fitting rooms. Therefore, I avoid them. I buy clothes without trying them on or I don’t buy new clothes period. Just the other day I finally went into a lingerie store that I walk by every day and pass with dreamy sighs of “I wish…” I wanted to try on a 36B. Um. No. The girls working were chatting the whole time and I had to come back out to get the right size since she gave me a 34B. She then told me, sorry, that’s a popular size. THEN WHY IS THE WHOLE STORE FILLED WITH LINGERIE???

    Why don’t stores carry normal girl sizes? As a younger woman, I did some modeling and was constantly reminded that I could really hit big as a plus-size model. Im 5’10” and at my healthiest, 155.(not so, now, trust.) Excuse me? Let’s just get real and say that fashion models are not meant to be societal indicators on what we should look like. Bottom line. It’s their job to sell clothes. The idea is that we like what the CLOTHES look like. Doesn’t work that way, though, sorry to say. The stats on eating disorders do all the talking.

  5. Ana Ana says:

    Soo many people don’t get that about models, Skim. They are the size they are not beacuse it is what we should look like (not that they look like that, PHOTOSHOP ANYONE?), they are there to show and sell clothes, the end.

    I get insanely frustrated too when I try stuff on becasue not only am I a popular size at the stores I frequent (don’t get me started on being sold out of sizes) but I have a J-Lo/Eva Mendez body and the clothes are not cut for hips and thighs let alone booty. That means I oly stick with brands and cuts that do acomodate my shape, the rest I love but leave on the rack. If more of us stopped trying to make our bodies fit the clothes and only bought clothes that fit our bodies, things would change because fashion is a business point blank. And as we all know the average American woman is far from a size 2.


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