Realistically we know that our worth is not determined by the size of jeans we wear; but sometimes living by that truth is easier said than done.

Who should be helping us in this battle? The clothing industry. Who is making this an impossible feat? The clothing industry. It’s a common issue nowadays; you buy jeans in one store and they’re far too big, you purchase the same size at a different store and the button won’t fasten. Why is this such a common issue?

Standardised sizing is, in fact, not a standard at all. A size ‘10’ in one shop can have totally different measurements to that of a size ‘10’ in a different shop. There are no regulated measurements; companies can decide entirely for themselves. Therefore, we the consumers are left guessing to find the right fit. It has been suggested by experts in the field that this confusion is, in fact, a marketing tactic. ‘Fitting room fraud’ is where companies purposely size down whilst pushing measurements up to allow customers to believe they are a smaller size. This generates a good feeling that’s reinforced every time they shop and, therefore, keeps them coming back for more.

How does this affect us?

To be told such contrasting information from shop to shop will ultimately impact the way in which we perceive ourselves. Companies such as ‘Pretty Little Thing’ and ‘ASOS’ promote body positivity via advertising campaigns yet do not offer reliable sizing. Therefore, this promotion of commercial body positivity is fundamentally flawed when their sizing leaves customers feeling negative about their bodies

The lasting impact these measurements can have on people are concerning. Mental health conditions (particularly eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorders) often stem from this need for perfection, of which clothing can be a trigger. This warped sense of sizing only further confuses self-perceptions of our own bodies. It’s also worth noting that these particular mental health conditions are often viewed to be most common amongst young women; the same demographic who also seem to be the main target for dubious sizing. Therefore, it is only right for these clothing companies to turn their body positivity campaigns into direct action; starting with standardising their measurements.

“We are not meant to fit into clothes, the clothes should fit us”

Ultimately, it is important to remember that we are not meant to fit into clothes, the clothes should fit us. After all, these numbers do not represent who we are as people and what we are worth.

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