I took my beautiful, size 4-6, 5'4" daughter shopping today for fall school clothes. She wanted to go into American Eagle, which is to be expected for a teenager. How the heck does a store like this do business? The small shirts looked like they would fit an really tall toddler, the extra larges were about the size of a woman's small/medium (if she has a small bust). I'm not talking about styling here (low cut, tight), but about body imaging. This store markets themselves to teens, but size themselves for girls that would have to be extremely underweight to fit the clothes (or squeeze themselves into sizes that don't fit just so they can wear the "right" clothes). My daughter was visibly upset. Although we found some things, I left them on the counter, refusing to spend our money in a store that is doing all it can to undermine girls self esteem during such formative years (btw: daughter was fine with that, she just wanted to get out of there).
Even more disturbing is that after a little internet research tonight, American Eagle is considered the "larger" of the "in" stores; Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister and Aeropostale being reserved for the rich and ultra thin among us. Since when is a someone who wears size 6 extra large? Ok, ok, let's say that I were to buy into the argument that once upon a time, several years ago, a size 8 was actually a size 6, and a size 6, a size 4 and so on, but come on! Even with that logic a size 8 isn't extra large! It never was! It almost feels like this falls under the anti-bullying "Save our Daughters" campaign. People talk in large gestures about bullying, but this is bullying at its core. This is the fashion industry telling our daughters that they aren't thin enough. And they do it in the most bitter place, the dressing room mirror.
I think what really gets to me is that not only are these companies making my daughter feel bad about her body, but that I'm paying them while they do it.
Have any of you all had this experience?