Hot Topic Tuesday is an opportunity to take controversial, attention-grabbing, or 'hot' topics that have recently garnered attention across the social media stage and open them up for discussion.
Today's Hot Topic comes courtesy of The Today Show which reported last week that clothing retailer J.Crew introduced a Size 000, the equivalent of a XXXS, to their clothing sizes. Check out the full news story here:
Critics of J.Crew are accusing the retailer of vanity sizing - which is when a company intentionally sizes items which are usually larger in size to smaller sizes so that women are more apt to buy them. For example, a shirt that is usually a size 8 would be sized to a 4.
J.Crew defended their decision by stating that the Size 000 is coming out of a demand for smaller sizes in Asia, and maintains that they carry sizes for every woman Size 000 to Size 16.
What are your thoughts on this? What are the implications, if any, of stores carrying a Size 000? What are the implications of vanity sizing?
For another perspective on the topic, check out Jessica Allen's post for The Social CTV here:
My Opinion, In Case You Are Curious
There are a few issues at hand here. In regards to vanity sizing, although I abhor the concept, I am 100% guilty of doing a happy dance in the change room if I fit into a smaller size than usual. Not only that, I'm more likely to buy the clothing item if I fit into a smaller size than if I fit into a larger size. I am not proud of this fact, but it's the truth, so I can see why clothing stores use vanity sizing to entice women to buy their clothing.
In regards to a Size 000 coming into existence, I worry about the message that this sends to women both young and old. I wonder if having sizes below zero creates more pressure for women to fit such sizes, and further perpetuates the image of the emaciated body type being an ideal. I certainly don't want my daughter growing up thinking that she needs to fit into a certain size, or that a certain size is more idealistic than the size she is born with.
In the end, I think it all comes down to our society's obsession with numbers, and the association between certain numbers and body image ideals. Whether it's clothing size, body weight, or calories in and out, we are a society obsessed. If our society didn't perpetuate this obsession, there would be no need for a Size 000.
What are your thoughts on this?