Imua 'Iolani

563 Kamoku Street

Honolulu, Hawai'i

imua@iolani.org

One Size Fits...None?

January 10, 2019

     One size fits all! Or does it?

     Girls across the country are buying clothes that have been labeled “one size” in bold, black letters. It sounds like an easy shopping trip with no need to look for specific sizes, right? Wrong.

     Imagine this: Movie night comes around. It’s time to wear those new clothes! Wait… this skirt is way too tight to put on! The cute sweater is falling off at the shoulders! What happened to one size fits all?

     At Brandy Melville, a fitted black corduroy skirt has a 22-inch waist and is advertised as “one size.” However, according to Health & Fitness Calculators, the average waist of someone about five feet tall should be above 25 inches. An extremely low percentage of people have a natural waist size of 22 inches. Many girls have probably felt overweight as they try on clothing made to fit a very small part of the population. Beauty should not be measured in inches. It should be measured in the good deeds and kindness of others.

     On the other hand, many teen stores are using models who have flaws and embracing them, refusing to Photoshop anything. For example, Aerie, a women’s clothing store, uses #aerieREAL to empower women around the world and encourages them to send in pictures without any additional retouching or editing. Aerie also hires models who would be considered “too old” or “overweight” by other companies. The company aims to “show the world that there’s REAL power in the optimism of youth.” These companies inspire girls to be themselves because beauty isn’t what is on the outside, but on the inside.

     Although the concept of “one size” might seem to be a convenient label for simple shopping trips, it sends a message. People might assume that if something is “one size,” it must fit the standard person and everyone is the same size or shape. This is not true. If only a small segment of the population  of people can fit certain pieces of clothing that have been deemed “one size” by advertisers, how could it possibly be “one size?”

     Contrarily, other stores are sending the message that no one can possibly be “the right size,” going up against the normal stereotypes of models who are skinny and pretty. They empower girls who don’t fit clothes that are “one size,” showing that everyone can be beautiful, no matter what they look like.

 

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