I have no idea who came up with the concept “one size fits all.” What does that even mean? How is it possible to have a line of clothing designed to “fit all,” or even more insulting “fit most?”
Such clothing lines, like Brandy Melville (see below for link), advertise as one size fits all/most, but on their website, the size option is to fit size small/medium. While I browsed the Brandy Melville website, it was obvious that I don’t “fit” their small/medium clothing. On top of that, the models are clearly under the age of 21, so their target audience is clearly more youthful than me. However, that’s even more concerning in my opinion. Again, the models on the website appear to be 16-20, which lets me know they are marketing to teens — teens who are already vulnerable to the unrealistic standards of beauty and potentially struggling with their ever changing bodies and body image issues. Now there’s a clothing line and website that falsely tells them that they are not cool or popular because they don’t “fit” the clothes.
This concept of having clothing that is “one size” only further demonstrates how the fashion industry dictates what is normal, what is beautiful, what a woman’s body should look like, etc., which of course contributes to the mass of females falling victim to body shaming, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, disordered eating, and worse. The message being that if you don’t fit into these “one size fits all,” then you are not normal, you literally don’t fit in, and/or you’re flawed in some way. Where’s the celebration and acceptance of all body shapes and types?
The women in the Buzz Feed article “This Is What ‘One Size Fits All’ Actually Looks Like On All Body Types” clearly demonstrate that Brandy Melville and other “one size fits all” designers got it wrong. The women are of all different shapes, height, and weight; The clothes absolutely did not fit the same way as the model, or in some cases, the clothes couldn’t even be tried on because the sizing was so far off. At the end, the women gave summary of their experience trying on the clothes, and their comments speak volumes.
There’s clearly no such thing as one size fits all! Everyone has a different shape, and clothing stores should embrace that instead of making people feel shitty for not being able to fit what they deem to be a universal size.
It made me sad to realize that I felt better about myself when I actually could fit into these clothes. That’s not how I should feel about clothing. When I couldn’t fit, I felt sad. But why? No one body is the same, and that’s how it should be.
Instead of trying to fit into what someone considers the perfect size, I would rather celebrate my unique size and wear clothes that fit me beautifully rather than approximately right. Trying on some of these clothes unexpectedly made me upset and shameful of my body, which shouldn’t ever happen.
I get that the makers of “one size fits all” probably see the average girl as a certain size and a certain height. But the problem is that there is really no such thing as the average girl. You could be the same height as someone but a different size, a different weight, a different body type, and more.
I don’t know what it’s going to take for the masses, especially those in the fashion industry, to get it through their thick skulls that there is no perfect fit, no “one size fits all.” There are so many different body types, and this is something that should be embraced and accepted. The consequences of not doing so are detrimental to girls, women, boys, men, and society as a whole.
By Courtney Thomas, LCPC at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Courtney please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.