Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Size Matters

I wore a size 2 pair of capris to work yesterday. Why is that noteworthy, you may ask? Because I am not a size 2, never have been, likely never will be. At my leanest a few years back I was a size 4 (not a 2), still am a snug size 4 (since I'm not quite as lean as I would like). I have read about size inflation (or is it deflation?), where a size 6 today is equivalent to a size 10 of years past. But the reality of it hit me when I went shopping for a simple pair of capris to greet the amazing weather we've enjoyed this last week.

I grabbed several manufacturer's size 4 and headed to the dressing room. Every last one of the capris (my mother actually called them "pedal pushers" because you wore them while riding your bike!) was roomy, especially through the waist, leading me to conclude that perhaps I had picked up the wrong size. Happy with a style I found, and confirming that I was actually holding the "correct" size, I trudged back out to the sales floor and grabbed a 2. Even that was a bit roomy, but I settled for the larger waist thinking I could wear a belt.

Did I rejoice at being a size 2? No. Especially since I know that size isn't at all what it should be (and I'm not really a size 2), and at another store, or with another manufacturer I would likely be fitting into a 6 or even an 8 (one reason I truly detest shopping). How do I know this? Well, consider the evidence.

In high school, I weighed 109 pounds consistently, and wore a junior size 9 consistently. Today I weigh a few pounds over that (albeit more muscular pounds because of all the training I do), and I suddenly fit into a misses size 2. It really makes no sense, except as some corporate collusion to mess with women's minds, yet again, about their size and body image.

Think about all the media attention postpartum celebrities get about their "baby weight" and speculation about when they might lose it. I felt bad for Jessica Simpson, who was practically ridiculed after she gave birth because she hadn't melted down to her pre-pregnancy weight as quickly as some would have liked. Or how about Kim Kardashian (trust me, I'm no fan). But that poor woman has been splashed all over celeb rags (er, I mean mags) because she's gained substantial weight while pregnant (well, guess what? I gained 50 pounds during each of my pregnancies and I succeeded in losing it, even though it took a year each time). Or Lady Gaga, who"let herself go," some said, when she gained 30 pounds. Or Jennifer Lawrence, that delightfully refreshing Oscar-winning actress, who has said she is considered fat in Hollywood.

Uh-huh. And I'm a millionaire.

See how ridiculous it all is! Don't we have more important things to worry about in this society?

Now, if I'm a size 2, what does a legitimate size 2 do for clothing? Size 0 is quite hard to come by, especially now that Petite Sophisticate is no more. Does the legitimate size 2 shop in the junior section? I don't know about you, but 75% of the clothing I see in junior sections I wouldn't let my junior-size 1 stepdaughter wear.

I wish I had some pithy conclusion to all this, but I don't. Next time I shop I'll have to plan for more time, since I'll likely have to try on several sizes until I find one that fits, no matter what the number says.