Happy Holidays! This is my absolute favorite time of the year, as I am sure it is for many of you readers. Christmas trees are going up, houses are decorated in festive lighting, and the simple cheer that fills the air makes it hard not to smile everywhere I go. While this is the time of year I patiently wait for, it is also the time of year I dread in some ways. Holiday shopping can be difficult, especially regarding apparel in the eating disorder or recovery community.
So, my housemate Katie and I were doing what we do best, online shopping (I wish this could be a major at Gonzaga) when I heard her yell in frustration, “ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!” I knew immediately she was scrolling through the pages of one of our favorite stores, Brandy Melville, and that her growing frustration was not an isolated incident. When we lived in Florence last year Katie and I lived about a block away from Brandy Melville, and we were constantly driven to their seasonal colors and trendy cuts, however “one size fits all” clearly meant “one size fits size 00-8 maybe depending on what the designer was feeling, stop asking questions and wear it, ok?” I mean, when I cannot fit a pant leg over my ankle I think we have a problem.
Sizes, in general, are shifting more and more away from the realistic. A few weeks ago I had the horrific experience of bearing witness to a tag that stated its size was 000. Making clothing one size fits all only goes to further the disconnect between people and their bodies; what proves healthy and normal, and what becomes obsessive and life threatening. Coincidentally, I came across this BuzzFeed article illuminating just how heinous this idea is, and it shows how one size fits all is quite simply unrealistic. There is no one size, there is no one body, there is no one experience; society needs to stop putting us in a box of “ones” and allow us to break the mold a little and embody exactly who we are and what size our bodies are healthiest.
After researching if the same issue existed in the “men’s” apparel world, I could not come up with any thing equivalent. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t exist, though, and I am sure there are certain aspects of clothing that work to hold masculine people into the same confines in terms of their bodies. I am interested in what folks who identify on this spectrum have to say regarding this, and how they have dealt with similar issues with apparel.
In the end, Katie and I gave up on the website and talked about how damaging this size category can be. So, what needs to be done in this industry? What can we do to stop the one size fits all phenomenon that appears to be growing in popularity?