That Number Is Not a Size


Since the introduction of size zero (and even size double zero), there has been a lot of controversy about sizing in the fashion industry – and I have only recently been able to understand it. I used to see the attack on smaller sizes as an attack on women who were naturally thin, short, petite, etc. However, I recently learned this is not the true intention of campaigns like the “Zero Is Not a Size” campaign. It is not an attack on the women who wear a size zero or the clothing that they wear. Rather, it is an attack on the sizing system, itself.

Women’s clothing is sized on a system from 0 to “however big it comes.” By arbitrarily assigning numbers to each size, size has become a rating, with zero as a perfect score.  As a result, women strive to fit into smaller and smaller sizes even when they are already healthy. Since no size is right for everyone, it is inappropriate to align any size to a universal goal.

While this seems like an inevitable problem, it is not one inherent to the fashion industry. As a matter of fact, its solution is already being used…in the men’s department. Men’s clothing is sized based on a combination of actual measurements. It takes in to account both someone’s height and width – making it very difficult to establish a single, universal goal. Instead, it is much easier for men to make sizing goals based on their own unique situations. While I never understood how profound this difference in the sizing systems was, I now know how necessary it is to close the gap.

A sizing system based on measurements instead of judgments – just imagine how freeing that would be.


1 Comment

  1. It would be amazing. A clothing utopia!
    You’re exactly right, and the way everyone is bombarded these days with marketing telling us how crap we are and we’re no good unless we wear that, look this way, eat this etc the problem is what we are being brainwashed to aspire to and we need to bring that system down.
    The great thing about this idea of revolutionising this system of ‘you suck unless you submit to our marketing’ is that all we have to do is stop. Even as individuals we can make a difference and blogs like yours only help xo

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