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.