A Look at the Damages and Expectations Caused by “One-Size-Fits-All” Clothing
It all started when I stumbled into a popular underwear store. Hoping for a new, nude-colored bra, I explored the shop and picked out a few options (I won’t even go into much further detail to address the store’s lack of brown-tone bras. Hello, not everyone is “beige”).
Anyway, I was trying on a bra when I noticed a cute, light pink t-shirt hanging on the door. At first, I thought another customer had left a shirt hanging there after trying it on. Then, I noticed that this shirt said, “Try Me” on it:
Oh! The store leaves the shirt here for customers to try on with their new bra. It’s kind of a genius idea: see how this bra looks under your typical, everyday t-shirt before buying it.
How could I resist? I tried it on.
Looking beyond the pit stains, the weird bleached out spot on the front, and the hole near the lower back area of the shirt, it fit me relatively well—not too tight, and not too loose. Man, what a great size! Like Goldilocks and the three bears, I felt like I had discovered something that fit juuuuuust right. How did they know?
The problem is that they didn’t. This is obviously the same shirt left for each customer to wear. Every woman who walks into this store, young and old, is provided the same cookie-cutter t-shirt option, in only a single size.
I typically wear a small shirt in women’s sizes. Sometimes medium.
So, what about everyone else? I wondered.
In the middle of our 21st century’s reignited Feminist Movement, rape culture is being addressed, the ridiculous expectation of thigh gap is faced with backlash, and the gender-wage gap is finally being brought to light. Sure, our country’s marketing system is partly to blame, but so are we. We are the ones who accept this; we are the ones who desire to fit society’s preformed image of who we “should” be. From size-shaming CEOs to tiny one-size-fits-all options, the American woman’s self esteem is on the verge of collapse.
Now, I am not exactly a feminist. It’s not that I am against these societal progressions. It’s just that if I could stay home and bake all day in a pretty floral apron, I would. On the other hand, I would like to see our nation’s women getting paid the same as their equivalent male counterparts—it is only right. Yet, at the same time, chivalry is sexy. Sexier than the underwear in this dang store.
The true culprit in crippling self-esteem by promoting unrealistic impressions of what women should be, however, is not this specific underwear store. At the heart of condemning Americans’ understanding of beauty and resuscitating disoriented values of what is “cool” is the media. The media drives our inability to look past size as a pivotal defining point in a person’s identity—whether too thin, too thick, or anywhere in between.
Now, no one is saying that it is healthy to be morbidly obese—that is a completely different story. All I’m saying is that everyone should have the ability to be confident in who they are, and they should be treated with the respect they deserve as a part of our society, and as people.
We can’t even make a song about all body types being proud of the body they have without promoting an atmosphere of divide. Skinny shaming, fat shaming—can we all stop shaming and just appreciate the array of beautiful shapes and sizes? Like a cliché, overplayed Beatles song, we should all just give peace a chance and come together, right now.
But, somehow we choose not to. Rather, we fall victim to these societal expectations. And thus, we are forced into these “O/S” labeled shirts with tactfully shorted size descriptions. (And, can we really be so sure O/S doesn’t actually mean “Only Small”?)
The truth is, no size fits all. Ever. Why do we want to all be one size, anyway? One thing still rings true: whoever you are; whoever is reading this, know that you are uniquely beautiful. Your body size is on fleek.
No Size Fits All
Join a revolution in bringing awareness to sizeism in our society. Ladies (and hey, gents, too), head over to your local underwear store and post your one-size t-shirt selfies: #onesizefitssmall