Honestly, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard it. I was flipping though my CNN app on my iPhone when I saw the video for J Crew’s newest size for women’s clothing – 000. That’s right, triple zero. I can’t begin to fathom their thinking on this despite the rationale they purport. Their reasoning is that Asian customers need smaller sizes available to them.
This somehow suggests that Americans don’t yearn for the idealized thinness and size identifications of young Asian girls in J Crew stores. But they do. Being as ultra thin as possible and getting the smallest size clothing label are obsessions for so many of the anorexic women we see as clinicians in the eating disorder field. It’s not an American issue either. Where do we see some of the highest rise in anorexic patient numbers? Asia!
J Crew has been in hot water for some time thanks to the designer wear’s “matchstick” and “toothpick” denim designs, their vanity sizing methods (clothing size numbers moving upward to make someone think they have moved down in size), and fixation on all things skin-tight. But going with the 000 size seems to speak to their tone-deaf attitude. Whatever it takes to move product seems to be their motto, even at the cost of young people’s body image, self-esteem, and health.
My hope is this latest backlash will have an impact on their bottom line so they can sew a better hem line for the rest of us.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C - Founder, Executive Director, Psychotherapist at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.