Listen up, Ladies. Just in case you’ve started feeling good about fitting in to a size 6 or 8, retailer J. Crew has come up with the whopperist of all buzz kills. Now available: size triple 0!
My first reaction upon hearing the news that size 000 has been added to J. Crew’s clothing line-up was pure annoyance. I mean, size 000? Really? Issues with women and body image go deep and cut hard, and they start when we’re just impressionable young girls. I cringe when I remember how, as a kid, my friend and I would giggle over the class fat girl. It’s a tough memory to stomach now. We were so damn cruel. We didn’t laugh right in her face, but it makes it no more forgiveable that behind her back we were snickering over her supposed fondness for “butter sandwiches.” I don’t know whatever happened to that girl, but if she remained heavy I’m sure not everyone was mocking her quite so privately. J. Crew, it seems, is like the class mean girl, flaunting the tiny size in our faces and daring us to see if we can fit in.
J. Crew, in response, says their sizes run large and the 000 is merely an effort to serve the needs in the Asian market. Indeed, size 000 is only available in the U.S. online. So … hmmm. Is this supposed to make me feel better? The tiny size is just for slender Asian women! No need for us hefty American gals to feel like human Hindenbergs just because fitting in to size 000 is as realistic as skin without pores. Except … well, ah, here’s the thing. I’d love to have my skin look pore-less. When I examine my face in a magnified mirror and see pores the size of volcanoes dotting my cheeks, I confess that if it were possible not to have that you could count me in. And, well, I can’t fit into a size triple 0, but if I could, and if it wouldn’t mean endless days of forced starvation to get there, well then …
When we read romances, we insert ourselves in the role of heroine. We’re young and pretty with the world’s hottest guys turning to mush at our perfectly pedicured feet. For me, part of the fantasy includes being slender. Not “as a reed,” but nonetheless, if I could pick my perfect fantasy body it would be a slim one. So if I’m honest with myself, do I secretly wish I were J. Crew’s target audience, happily victorious that they’re finally putting out a size for me? (gulp). I guess I do.
Nevertheless, I don’t think a woman fantasizing about her perfect body while she’s a romance heroine negates being frustrated about size triple 0. The message is still out there: thin – really thin – is in. Size 000, by the way, fits a 23-inch waist. The biggest irony of all is that other retailers, like the Gap, offer clothes with that same measurement. They just call it either 0 or at best 00. J. Crew’s addition of the third zero seems to me like vanity sizing on steroids. And what keeps it here to stay is women respond to it and retailers know it. Have a female shopper try on two pairs of jeans with identical measurements except one pair’s label says size 8 and the other says size 10. Which one is she gonna buy? Exactly. Therein lies the problem. Coveting the ability to wear that tiny size veers many women either toward extreme measures to make it fit, or spirals them into self-loathing because they know it’s never gonna happen.
How do you respond? Tell J. Crew to get a grip on reality, or wish you could try on a pair of the super skinnies? Sound off in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow us at Lady Smut. Insightful and sexy posts seven days a week!