Same Size Conflicts Inclusivity

Olivia Agnew, Intro Writer

   For some, teenage girlhood comes with many excitements over clothes: shopping with friends, matching outfits, dressing up, and getting ready. However, the increasing prevalence of vanity sizing, which is altering measurement specifications to enable consumers to fit into smaller sizes,  in mainstream fashion is harmful to young women. 

    “It’s unfortunate that some people try to fit into smaller sizes,” senior Lilly Lawton said. “I know several stores that aren’t super reliable when it comes to size.” 

   One store with a controversial sizing chart is Brandy Melville, whose tags read “one size.” Although the company markets its clothing as ‘one size fits all,’ many criticize Brandy Melville for making clothes for a particular girl.

   “As the brand became a go-to label for teen girls and college-aged shoppers, its ‘one-size-fits-most’ sizing and nearly all-white models had critics calling out its exclusion,” According to InStyle magazine.  

   Girls are looking at models thinking that they should look like that when in reality. That look might be unachievable for their body type but girls shouldn’t expect to look like someone else and expect that this is how we think of beauty. 

   Is the reason Brandy Melville so popular because they fit most of their clientele who fit into the “one size fits all.” If “one size” for a 16yr old girl is 118 lb and 5’3, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), then you can say Brandy caters to this average. 

   “That’s super negative. I hate that,” Lawton said. “I like to think maybe the idea’s there and that they don’t want to separate sizes into making you feel like you have to be a small or be a medium or a large, but if one size fits most, and you’re not the most that would suck.”

   Even if catering to the average is their intention, Brandy should make that clear. 

   “They don’t market at all towards the demographic that they’re searching for,” junior Bianca Pelin said. “So if you want to be a one size fits all brand, you can do that but you need to market that.” 

   Abandoning “one size” and having size options in stores doesn’t solve the problem either. Finding the right size isn’t as easy as one would think.

   According to Time magazine, “As Americans have grown physically larger, brands have shifted their metrics to make shoppers feel skinnier—so much so that a women’s size 12 in 1958 is now a size 6.”  This is damaging to women of all sizes, both for encouraging the idea that skinny is better but also for smaller women who are getting pushed out of the sizing chart.

   “When I go shopping I actually usually have to go through the kids aisle because there’s not usually stuff that fits me,” Freshman Elliet McDermed said. “But it’s hard because there’s usually just unicorn stuff and flippy sequins and so that’s annoying.”

   Social media influences a lot on what people wear now. Looking at a model wearing an outfit that you like, when it is probably photoshopped, and it doesn’t fit you like it does fit that model. 

   “[Social media is] basically brainwashing everybody,” Pelin said. “If a shirt that you buy in a different size doesn’t look exactly like the one in a picture, I feel like subconsciously, you’re gonna be a little upset about it.”

   A warped sizing chart isn’t what is needed to make girls think they are “perfect” or “skinny.” Teens should be able to enjoy the aspect of fashion without all of the excess baggage. With the rise of body-positive influencers, hopefully, the fashion industry will realize that soon.

   “I think everyone can be beautiful in their own way. no matter how tall you are skinny you are,” Lawton said. “And that just sucks because I know that it gets in people’s heads a lot.”