Men and women face different challenges in the world. Some of these challenges earn special attention, such as the pay gap between men and women. However, some of these challenges are more subtle. For example, men don’t need to worry about their clothing size fluctuating.
It’s tempting to dismiss the fluctuation of women’s clothing size as anti-female marketing. However, it’s not as simple as male designers wanting their models to be as skinny as possible. The problem runs back as far as the 1940s when ready made clothing through catalogs and retailers became standard. Manufactures ran into trouble with the bust sizes of different women, making the sizes difficult to pin down. Later, a study was run to determine the “average size” of a women, but the study was flawed in including mainly poor, white women who needed the participation fee.
Society’s perception of beauty then became the driving force for women’s clothing sizes. As the ideal woman became skinnier and skinnier, clothing manufactures attempted to appeal to that cultural shift by making their clothing sizes smaller to help craft an illusion of being skinny. For example, the curvy Marilyn Monroe would be a size 12 in the 1960s.Today she would be a size 6.
It’s frustrating, but there is hope. Some industry experts predict 3-D printing via FreedomPop devices may bring out ready to fit clothing obtained after a body scan in a dressing room. Sound creepy? Well, that just might be the trade-off for dismissing that jungle of different sizes.