Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

CLOTHING RETAILERS BE DAMNED!
The good news is I’m not dying. The bad news is I spent a good portion of the day wondering if I was, or if I was just going crazy.
Since I was diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago, I have come to take my weight very seriously. Weight and exercise play a huge role in controlling diabetes. The smaller I am, the less insulin I have to take. The more muscle I have the less insulin I have to take. I jog faithfully in the summer, but in the winter months, when its cold and icy, I don’t adhere to such a strict schedule, thus I lose a few pounds in the winter, mainly because my muscle turns into fat from not as much exercise. Losing weight is also a sign of high blood sugar, so for ten years I’ve maintained a weight between 120 and 128. When I drop below 120 I begin to worry a little.
My boss left two pairs of slacks for me at the office. “They’re tiny, so I think they’ll fit you.” She said. I still have a hard time when people refer to me as “tiny,” since I spent so many years of my adult life being overweight. I took the pants home to try on. They’re both really nice slacks, Banana Republic brand, and when I tried them on they were a little long, but both fit perfectly around the waist and buttocks. I hung them neatly on a hanger, and anticipated future events when I might have the occasion to dress up a little.
As I was hanging them up, I was alarmed when I realized that the tag on the slacks declared they were a size 2. I haven’t worn a size two since I was a young girl, transitioning between girls and ladies’ sizes. This couldn’t be right. Granted, since I moved to Denver and walk everywhere I go I have lost a few pounds, and the last time I checked was hovering right around 118. I’d had comments from friend who hadn’t seen me for a little while saying I looked “skinny,” but there’s no way I could have gone from a size six or seven to a size two.
Was there?
Maybe I had that disease that anorexics get, where they can’t really see how much weight they’ve lost. Maybe I had body dysmorphic disorder or something like that. And my mirror is a Walmart special. It only cost five dollars and has ripples in it, so unless I’m standing in just the right spot it makes me look as if I’m looking in a funhouse mirror, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller.
I put the pants on again and looked in the mirror. Then I took the pants off and looked at the size again. Then I looked at the tag on all of my other pants. They all ranged from size 4 to size 9.
Which was I to believe? Was I indeed a size 6 or a size 2? Could I have lost four sizes and nobody noticed? Or told me? Could I indeed be wasting away and not know it?
After trying on every item of clothing I own, I was still concerned, so I took to the Google machine for answers.
And I found the term “vanity sizing.”
There were several explanations as to why the sizes vary so greatly, and a declaration that original sizing has pretty much been thrown out the window. According to new industry standards, I could indeed wear anywhere from a size 2 to a size 9. Apparently there is no rhyme or reason to sizing anymore, whatever the company believes will make their clients happiest is the new standard.
So, while I feel immensely better knowing I’m not wasting away, I’m very disconcerted that we have no official way of gauging what size we are. No more going directly to the rack with size sixes. Apparently clothing shopping has become even more tedious, now forcing me to search through the racks and randomly try clothes on based on looking at them, and disregarding the sizes.
Vanity sizing is right up there with the whole television situation. It’s ridiculous. Something we’ve accepted as a standard and a right has been taken away from us, under the excuse that the new and improved will be better for us. Now I’m left watching Spanish channels (they, oddly enough, come over the airwaves loud and clear) that I don’t understand, wearing clothes that make me feel like I could waste away and disappear and nobody would ever know.

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February 3, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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