One Size Does NOT Fit All


Art by Eva Smedeby

Kate Meyers, Opinion Editor

Young women everywhere feel ashamed of their bodies no matter their shapes and sizes, and it’s an internal struggle caused by standards that society puts on people.

Girls as early as elementary or middle school begin to wonder if their bodies will ever be considered beautiful by another person, rather than being taught that there is no specific definition of what beauty is.

Too often, popular companies treat unrealistic body types as “better” than others, and promote an idea of what a specific type of “attractive” should look like. Brands like Brandy Melville, Victoria’s Secret, and Lululemon have a history of being exclusive to girls that have plus-sized or curvy figures.

Brandy Melville, for example, has a label on all of their clothes that says “one size fits all,” and that could not be further from the truth. Their clothes are designed to fit roughly a size small, not including larger sizes or even smaller sizes than that.

This sends a message to their consumers, which mostly consists of middle school girls, that the “normal” body type they’re supposed to have is thin, without any curves or fat. The fact of the matter is, one size doesn’t fit all, and it’s exclusive to girls who don’t fit into the image that Brandy is trying to create.

“I strongly oppose ‘one size fits all’ type brands because it is most definitely not true that every body is the same,” says sophomore, Aileen Pham.

“I strongly oppose ‘one size fits all’ type brands because it is most definitely not true that every body is the same,”

— Aileen Pham

Victoria’s Secret has promoted the same idea that the body females should attain, is one that’s tall and slim. Their “Perfect Body” campaign consists of fair skinned, skinny women posing in lingerie, which indirectly shows to consumers that the way to be “sexy” or “desirable” in their bras and underwear is to have a certain body type, which is completely toxic to people trying to find confidence in their bodies.

Not everyone will have a 20 inch waist or DD breasts, and it’s not something to be ashamed of. Beauty is not a definite thing where one has to fit into a certain bra or a certain shirt to fit the standard that companies make, and inflicts on women.

Another issue lies with Lululemon, where it’s rare to find anything above a size 8 in their stores, and they don’t even make anything above a size 12. Their founder, Chip Wilson, has blatantly shamed women for not being incredibly thin, and fitting his idea of what an athlete should look like.

Complaints have come in for the company, with people saying how the pants wear out too quickly, Wilson responded by telling them their bodies aren’t right for the brand because their thighs rub together. He even went as far as to say, “some women’s bodies just don’t work,” insulting every athlete who doesn’t have the “image” that he’s trying to create with his brand.

Thigh gaps have become a goal for many women, especially teenage girls, in past few years more than ever. While it’s possible to have a thigh gap and be athletic, it’s also entirely possible to not have one and be just as athletic.

Associating thinness with health is completely unrealistic, and it’s done too often. Successful female athletes of all shapes and sizes, such as Serena Williams, Olympic tennis player; Michelle Carter, Olympic shot-putter; Carli Lloyd, Olympic soccer player and World Cup Champion, and many more beautiful and powerful women have worked hard to achieve their goals in sports, they don’t need to justify themselves to an exclusive, pretentious brand that thinks a thigh gap defines athleticism.

Rather than putting all kinds of stereotypes and boundaries on the way a woman should look to have praise or recognition, people need to begin understanding that they’re closing their minds to so many people who deserve their respect.