Why do women continue to allow this to happen? A recent battle between a marketing campaign and a Dallas based blogger underscores that society is often biased, sexist, size-st and unfair. A company was adding "plus size" fashions to its line. The sizes were 12-14. I have seen this on various other online catalogs where plus size, full figure, and similar terms were now for sizes under size 20. How things change. But have they really?
In the 1930's "vanity sizes" first appeared as clothing for women became standardized and mass produced. I have personally seen antique patterns for smaller women carrying the sizing of "16". I was then a current size "12" and could not have fit in it! My mother explained sizes changed. To say the least.
According to one source, standard sizes range from:
US Small (2,4) Medium (6,8), Large (10,12) XL (14,16)
European Small (32,34), Medium (36,38), Large (40,42), XL (44,46)
UK Small (6,8), Medium (10,12), Large (14,16), XL (18, 20)
Note these all refer to the same body measurements! A 36 1/2 inch bust is going to be either a "10", "40" or a "14" depending on where it was made. Plus sizes (US sizes 18-28, European 48-58, and UK 22-32) offer equally confusing and disheartening size ranges. The basic measurement of the 1910-1930 years was based only on bust size and all else adjusted from that. Then standardization arrived/.
See some vintage patterns here.
The mystery is what it is within many women which allows them to sign over control of their looks to third parties: a man, designers, fashion industry, beauty magazines?
The realization that "fashion" is a construct designed to help perpetuate an economic system goes far in freeing some women from the clutches of the annual seasonal buying, updating, redoing, and rebuying cycle designed to allow someone's warped visions and unnatural dictates to control how they will look, what they will wear, and how they will live. Other women, simply have their own style and ignore the voices seeking to control how they look. Some other women know what looks good on them and stick with what works.
Bones sticking out - yeah really sexy
Why should someone else tell any woman how to wear her hair, what clothes to wear, or how she should feel about herself? It is the result of centuries of women being taught to need the approval of parents, other women and men. It is a problem which often leads young women to severely abuse themselves because they have accepted the inference of their inferiority and they believe they are never good enough, small enough, or pretty enough. Various health and mental health issues result.
While rumbles of revolt against this annual guilt trip affirming a woman is not good enough being herself have surfaced periodically, they are soon beaten back down by the fashion industry and social pressures. Women gleefully abandon themselves to yearly looks ranging from prostitute, uni sexual, and vamp not because they really want to but because it was what Vogue told them to wear, or what they saw modeled in music videos, commercials and movies. Women comprise a significant economic force in society - isn't it time women called the shots and demanded more of what they want based on their self-value and self-respect?