My Pants Are Giving Me An Existential Crisis

This weekend, I headed out to the store for a second pair of jeans, since I was down to one that wasn’t past the point of no return.

Up until this past year, I was a size 1 at the store I went to. That was something of an accomplishment for me. Neat! I exist! ZOUNDS! Does this mean I’m a real person, now?

This weekend, the new sizing scheme put me at a 00. I hadn’t lost any weight, by the way.

Size 1. Evidence I’m way too lazy to hem anything so long as the hips, seat and thighs are comfortable. These are also a few years old, so they’ve stretched out a bit.
Size 00. They fit almost exactly the same way as the 1s did when they were new, but with shorter hemlines.

00? Seriously? Do I no longer exist? If I suck my stomach in, will I form a black hole? Better not. I’d hate to be responsible for the apocalypse.

What about women who are smaller than I am? They do exist. I used to be smaller than I am, now. I’ve met others like me! Are they relegated to the kid’s section?

What’s next? Negative numbers?

I don’t understand why women’s pants in particular, and clothing in general, can’t be based off of measurements, like men’s clothing is. Wouldn’t that give consumers a better idea of which sizes to try on than arbitrary numbers or letters?

For that matter, why not apply that principle to older kids? I can understand why toddlers and babies have their own sizing language, but are little boys and little girls so different in how their bodies are built to warrant two separate fitting systems?

I don’t know. I don’t have kids, but apparently, that’s an issue when creating spaces to sell clothing. Target, for example, has decided to stop dividing their toy and children’s bedding sections by gender, which is pure awesome, but they’re not doing the same with clothing.

Can parents clue me in on this? Do little boys’ clothing fit differently on little girls’? For that matter, does girl’s clothing fit differently on little boys?

It doesn’t make sense to me. Body shapes change with puberty, but as far as I can tell, girls and boys have similar body shapes before those hormones kick in. The only reason I can see for different clothing sections are strictly culture and gender-role based.

I think my biggest problem with gendered marketing to children is how pushy it is. If you’d like your little girls to believe in the pricess ideal and your little boys to go for the fighter ideal, that’s your choice. Why should all parents be pressured into the same thing by every store they walk into, commercial they view or gift their kid receives?

What about transgender or genderfluid people? Are they not allowed to determine their own identity?

What about those of us who are fine with our assigned gender at birth, but just can’t stand the traditional roles we’re pressured into? Are we still somehow criminal in our culture’s eyes?

I don’t know. I just know I’m frustrated with the fashion industry, but I still feel trapped by it. I feel guilty for supporting companies that rely on sweat shops to operate because I just can’t afford higher prices, and I’m spread too thin to build my sewing skill while working around the challenges my neurology gives me.

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