We’ve all been there. You walk into a store, scan the racks and pull six different sizes of jeans, unsure of what really fits you, because, unlike men’s pants, women’s pants seem to be arbitrarily sized.
Maybe at H&M you’re an 8. Maybe at Target you’re a 6. Maybe at Old Navy you’re a 4. Go into a new store and then you have to find out what size you are there too. It’s an endless, maddening cycle that can leave women confused as to what their bodies really look like.
Last week, 27-year-old Deena Shoemaker, a preteen and teen counselor in Kansas, decided to show off this infuriating predicament in a once viral and now removed Facebook Post.
The post itself, which in just one week has clocked over 80,000 shares and thousands of comments, shows Shoemaker in four different sizes of pants and six different styles, all of which fit. The sizes range from size 5 to a size 12.
“As I was going through my clothes tonight I started to notice how dramatically different the size of all my pants were,” Shoemaker wrote. “And I have a real problem with the fact that my size 5 pants fit me THE EXACT SAME WAY that my size 12 pants do. Let me explain why I’m not happy, America.”
The problem, according to Shoemaker, is that these varying sizes can throw off the body image of a young girl, who has likely been told that it’s best to be the smallest size possible, and then goes into different stores and finds herself varying widely size to size, completely randomly. Really, of course, it’s the store’s sizes that are changing, not the girl.
It’s all a lie, but all girls don’t know that yet.
“When you resize a girl’s pants from a 9 to a 16 and label it ‘plus size,’ how am I supposed to fight that?” Shoemaker wrote. “Photo manipulation is one thing but how do you expect me to convince her that the number printed inside her clothes is a lie too? How do you expect me to convince her that she doesn’t need to skip dinner for the next month because her pant size didn’t *actually* go up by seven digits?”
“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” famously had pants all women could fit into.
Because of how widely sizes differ across stores, for women’s pants sizes in particular, it can trigger certain women to be unhappy with their bodies.
“Stop telling my girls that a size 4 is the ‘ideal body size’ and the ‘epitome of beauty’ if you’re going to change a size 4 into an 8 or a 12 or whatever number you feel like on any given day,” Shoemaker wrote.
At the end of her post, Shoemaker issues a call to the young women who, like her, have a range of sizes in their closets, and may feel insecure about that.
“My size 2 girls or my size 18 girls, your size doesn’t determine your beauty; your life does,” Shoemaker wrote. “The size printed inside your clothes is subjective to the fashion industry’s personal taste and it fluctuates rapidly. Stop believing the social normatives about who and what you should be.”
“My daughters currently range as well depending who makes it. My oldest hates it. She ranges from a 5 to 12,” one woman wrote. Another: “I have size 4 to 12 in my closet and extra small to extra large. It all fits.”
Shoemaker’s is just the latest post about people being fed up with women’s sizes that’s gone viral. In May, a man put on his girlfriend’s clothing and went on a rant about how wrong it is that a size XL was so small. The problem was less about the clothes themselves, and more about how women view themselves as a result.
So obviously, Shoemaker isn’t alone in her fury here.
Now, if only clothing stores and brands could be just as mad too.
Blog by Julez for Styles Rebel Radio