I’ve never been good at fitting into boxes. I’ve always found ways to stand out, and according to the media, my body is just one of many. For reference I’m only 5’1, I wear a size 6-8 in clothing and I’m “hourglass shaped”, whatever that actually means. In the media, a size 2-4 (sometimes a 6 if you’re tall enough) is considered standard and anything above a size 8 is considered “plus” size. Which is absolutely ridiculous because in reality, “standard” sizing is 0-12 (or 14 in some cases) and “plus” sizing is a 14 or 16 or higher. What’s even more ridiculous is that we even divided up sizes by “standard” and “plus.” And if you’re petite and curvy? Good luck finding a model who actually looks like you.
I’ve always been aware of this, but I’ve never been able to put my feelings into conscious thoughts until I saw Helen Anderson’s YouTube video “DONT JUDGE MY BODY.” In the video she talks about how because she’s bigger than a U.S. size 4, she unintentionally became a role model for body positivity. She touches upon the idea that if you are in fact above a U.K. size 6 or 8 (a U.S. 2 or 4), that every time you wear something you’re “brave” and “inspirational” instead of just a human wearing clothing. Anderson also mentioned that while it’s nice that diversity is celebrated, it’s sad that having models of different shapes and sizes isn’t a normalized thing.
Since Anderson is not a “standard” 2 or 4, she’s had “plus size” brands offer partnership deals, which she respectfully turns down because she knows she is not a representative of that group. Anderson makes a good point. Most women that the media claim to be “plus size”, like Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, and even Kate Upton, are not “plus size” at all. This is detrimental to young women and totally warps our perception of our bodies. A few years back, clothing brand Marisota had a feature on their website where you could compare what you thought your body looked like to your measurements. It turns out I am one-third smaller than I thought I was.
It’s easy to get caught up in sizes thanks to the media, but don’t forget that there are no standards when it comes to sizing and each store’s version of a size can vary. What matters the most is that you are comfortable and feel great in your clothes!