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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vanity and the Facts

In the age of heroic chic and strung out beauty (early 90's) size 0 was introduced into the retail fashion market. The sizes told a story of a shrinking mass majority. The decreasing sizes flattered the market and woman shopped happily in the belief that they were actually shrinking and fitting into the coveted teeny tiny sizes of whimsical ideals. 

When Size 0 entered the market it was seen as ridiculous. Now Double and Triple 0's stock warehouses. Sizes are getting smaller. And on the contraire, we as a society are not getting any thinner. Vanity sizing is the act of cutting roomier petite sizes  to trick the general public into feeling giddy about how tiny a size they are. 

In 1937 a woman with a 32" inch bust would have worn a size 14, in 1967 that same woman would have worn a size 8, and today she would wear a size 0.  Marilyn Monroe, Today is praised for her plus sized beauty, the starlet wore a size 12-16. However, Marilyn's waist was only 25,"  today she would easily fit a size 2.

Vanity sizing fools us, it is an optical illusion. The question though is:
Do we want to be fooled, into believing we are something that we are not?

Pant sizes are based on inches. I wear a size 25 jean. When I take a measuring tap to the waist of my jeans the inch sizing does not match up. My jeans have a waist of 29" a 4 inch size difference. Now I understand that my jeans are fashioned to be worn low, but all other measurements aside; inches are not suggestions they are units of measurement. 

For many woman who don't keep a scale in the house or take measurements the tags on clothing is how we keep track of our waist. Vanity sizing is a dangerous illusion that can easily trick the mind into believing falsified facts. 

We as a society are not thinner, and we are not healthier in 2009 it was estimated that 1/4 of all North American woman are over weight. Vanity sizes nicely conceal the flaws in our physique with a discrete complement. As a society we are in denial, it is hard to place blame on retailers, who in truth are just meeting customer demands.  Vanity sizing works, because it woos us into believing fantasized facts. 

The numbers on the tags of our clothing define us, and impact our ego. We are glamorous and beautiful in sizes 4's, 2's,and 0's. Sizes may lie, and hold no truth, however a measuring tap does. Fitness guru Tracy Anderson advises clients to take weekly measurements of their body to help track progress. Witnessing your body transform and shrink through measurements is a motivating and honest achievement. Style advisers are now insisting to clients to rip out the size tags, wear what fits and flatters and to only believe actual measurements.  

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