Do you ever find yourself fixated on the size on clothing labels, even though you know it shouldn't be so important? There are certain stores where I know I can wear smaller sizes than others. Even though the clothes from two different stores might be exactly the same size, I'm more likely to wear the ones with the smaller number on them. Logic tells me it's ridiculous and size shouldn't matter, but for some silly reason, it does.
As more Americans become overweight and obese, retailers know that the size on their clothing matters. That's why many of them have started scaling down the size labels on clothing. This means that even though you are really a size 10, some stores will label your size a 6 to make you feel better. Deceptive? Maybe. Effective? Yes.
Why does the size on a label matter so much? I know I'm not really a size 4. But if I found a pair of size 6 jeans that fit comfortably, I'd probably end up buying them even if I didn't really like them. The fact that the number on a label is somehow tied to my self-esteem is frustrating to me. For some reason, I think it makes me feel more "normal" to wear an average size. I should be better than that. What's really important is that I'm healthy and fit, right? Who cares if I wear a size 4 or a size 14? But the truth is, I do care.
Some studies suggest that as American's waistlines have expanded, so has the perception of a "normal" size. Over the past 10 to 15 years, the average American's BMI has increased, while the number of people who would consider themselves to be overweight has decreased. Is this the result of publicity campaigns promoting self-acceptance (such as Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty)? Maybe, but not likely. More likely it's that as overweight people are surrounded by more overweight people, overweight becomes the new "normal."
Whether it's the size on a clothing label or the size of the people around you, have you ever found it easier to convince yourself that you're a size you're really not? Do you let the size on clothing labels bother you the way I do?
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