I just read this, and it makes my heart break for girls all over the country:
Forever21 Store Now Calling Size 12 and Up "Plus Size"
Is this what our society has come to? The average American woman is a size 14. Granted, a size 14 can vary between clothing lines and designers. But according to Wikipedia, the average measurements for an American woman are:
-41 1/2 hip
According to the original standardized size charts created in the 1950's, this is roughly between a size 12 and 14. However, because American clothing lines have strayed so drastically from this standardized sizing, these measurements now fit a size 14/16. However, the fact still remains that the Average American Woman (AAW) can classify herself as a size 14 by traditional American catalog sizing standards. (Info from Wikipedia)
According to Forever21 size charts, these measurements are the equivalent of an XL or a size 16. Most clothing retailers would consider a size 16 to be the smallest in the plus size section. However, at Forever21, it's now a size 12 (this is a "large" in their clothing line) that is considered to be the smallest size in their "plus size" section. In fact, if you walk into a Forever21 and ask for a size 12, you will be directed to their plus size section (or as they refer to it, the "expanded sizes" section).
So now, young girls who are still smaller than the AAW and are by NO MEANS overweight are going to be told that they need to start shopping in the "plus" section---oops, excuse me. The expanded sizes section (as if calling it something different will make these girls' self-esteem any better).
I don't want to sit here and blame the media or clothing lines or designers for the increase in eating disorders and self-mutilation among teenager girls over the past 2 decades. Because pointing fingers at this point will not take back any of the damage that has been done to their self-esteem or body image. But at this point, we need to be focusing on stopping this disgusting trend and fixing the damage that has been done. Forever21 is not only perpetuating this horrible trend, but is taking a huge step towards creating an all-new generation of girls who think that being smaller than the AAW is still too large. My heart is breaking for the girls who will be effected by Forever21's awful decision.
I'm making a personal choice not to purchase clothing from Forever21 because of this. I will not support a company who will perpetuate the negativity that society portrays for teenage girls and their body image. I hope that you will consider doing the same.