What are we telling our girls with clothing sizes?

So much for vanity sizing and helping us gals just enjoy the skin were in.  Now we’ve got stores that are doing the opposite by making their clothes smaller but upping the size on the tag. Yes! lookin’ at you American Eagle. And shocker, this really hurts the self-esteem of young girls who shop there!

Studies show that people like buying clothes that are labeled with small sizes because it boosts their confidence.  Why else would size 00 ever have been created? When teens and tweens can’t fit into the tiniest of sizes in the store, many become disheartened and even more critical of themselves in today’s already “perfection” saturated world of social media.

A few of these teen girls have even taken to the Internet with photos of their recent purchases from American Eagle. One girl showed that a size 0 she bought a few years ago is now considered a size 4 by the store, and another displayed proof that a size 4 is now a size 10! Um, what the heck?!

So now that we know brands are doing this, what’s the positive takeaway? That size literally is just a number. And a totally arbitrary one at that! Stores can slap whatever size they want onto clothes (or even no size at all!) we aren’t falling for it. We are fighting back by buying clothes that actually fit and flatter our odies!

Sure, some of this self-consciousness comes with the territory of being a teen girl today, but exposing the truth behind how sizing works (ie, that it’s honestly meaningless and can change from year to year) should help make our girls (and us) feel better about ourselves and our bodies!

Repeat after me, size does not matter. Size does not matter.

Spark the Conversation: Talk to your girl about clothing sizes and show her articles that explain the “real world” behind the unjustifiable labeling that brands do. Have her look around at beautiful people in the real world and notice that they come in all shapes and sizes. Beyoncé certainly isn’t a size 0! (Oh and PS, she’s calling for more high fashion brands to make options for curvy girls). But hey parents, actions speak louder than words, so start paying attention to your own comments and struggles with body image and keep them in check! She notices when you say “I can’t wear that, I’m too fat  / too short / big-hipped!” or “That’s for someone with great legs, not me!” Stay positive about yourself, even if you do have to fake it a little…

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