Zero is nothing. Zero is worthless. Zero is defined as “no quantity or number” and it’s synonyms include,”nothing, nothing at all, nil and none.” Yet despite this many women desire to fit into a size 0 and idealize the size as an ultimate achievement. How does this make any sense? Why does our culture encourage women to strive to wear a size that literally has no worth attached to it? The whole concept of equating women to nothing is one I learned a lot about in my college courses yet it still shocks me to see it play out in society today. Many women, based on today’s societal values end up defining their own self worth based off of a warped and antiquated size chart that tells women that the smaller size they wear, the better they should feel about themselves.
I truly believe that women are crippled by the contemporary size guides and those with any sort of history of disordered eating are especially triggered by the charts. I know that personally I struggled greatly with sizes and constantly equated my own worth with whatever size I fit into. The smaller I got the better I felt about myself. So, now that I am in recovery and grappling directly with the effects this societal problem has on me, when I heard that J.Crew, one of my favorite retailers, is now offering a size 000 I couldn’t help, but be dismayed. What are they thinking? Isn’t there more demand for larger sizes than smaller ones? The average size of a woman has increased over the years, not shrunk. I really think they are making a mistake by attempting to appeal to a market that is exponentially smaller than that of the average women. As Mary Elizabeth Williams in her article “Are You Ready for Size 000 Jeans” argues, “Rolling out a triple zero size doesn’t tell consumers, hey, we’re just trying to please the Asian market. It instead immediately makes the triple zero aspirational for the slim-hipped fans of J. Crew’s Ivy League look, and opens the gates for other brands to do the same. It doesn’t just reduce women to a number, it reduces them to nothingness — and then assigns ever shrinking degrees of that nothingness.”
Although I don’t have an answer to this problem I can only encourage you all out there to really think strongly about how the size charts affect you. Once you’ve done that than you must remember that it does not define your beauty, you do. So, whether you are a size 000 or a size 24 it doesn’t matter as long as you can see just how amazing and gorgeous you are, inside and out because at the end of the day why should we care what anyone else thinks? All that truly matters is how you see yourself, I promise 🙂