I love clothes and I like following fashion, but ninety percent of the time I end up wearing jeans because I'm insecure about my body, so I relate very heavily to this subject.
Recently, I came across a video by Vox from about two years ago in a Facebook video thread. It explained the origin and evolution of standardized sizes of mass-produced ready-made clothing. It was honestly quite interesting to watch and recommend watching it, but that isn't what this is about.
The main point of this article is that at the end of the video the expert, Lynn Boorady, from SUNY Buffalo State, stated: "They're [clothing sizes] just random numbers. They don't mean anything. And if you don't like the size, just cut it out of your clothes."
That really made me feel something.
If I had to honestly reveal where my insecurities come from, it would be the tiny little number inside my jeans. For some reason, I have been trained by society to believe that the further I get from single digits, the worse I should feel about myself and the worse people must feel about me. The size of my clothing, no matter how often I try to remind myself that it doesn't matter, it still gets to me.
It makes me visualize myself as an ugly, beast-like creature next to a petite little princess.
I completely understand that standardized sizes make mass-produced goods substantially easier to make and sell but, more recently, standardized sizing has gone from a utility to a marketing tactic. There are groups of people sitting in rooms deciding that to sell more size eight they will label the size eights as size fours.
The goal of the market is to make people buy their clothing because their brand's clothes are "smaller" than a competing brand. The smaller size makes the consumers' self-confidence rise because they feel better about their bodies, even if that means that nothing has actually changed even though they went from an eight to a four. This tactic really shows how much producers care about their customers (the answer is: not much.)
It makes me sad to see that clothing companies are allowed tug around people's emotions and lives to make another buck. Personally, that would violate my code of ethics. I don't really have a message to leave you with besides: do not let your clothing sizes affect your life. That number is simply some ink on a scrap of paper.