Size is a matter of opinion pt.2

Eons ago I wrote Size is a matter of opinion? because it certainly seems to be that way. More recently I wrote a continuation of these themes in What are the measurements of a size 10? (and part two) but today I find more research from official sources on the subject. My summary conclusion being, how can consumers rationally expect manufacturers to size garments in keeping with their expectations if so many are delusional? In all fairness, designers can be delusional too. I watched a video interview of a designer from Chicago who said she’d never cut anything smaller than a size six because “nobody needs to be wearing anything smaller than that” and as an aside mentioned she wore a six. She couldn’t have weighed an ounce under 180lbs but was probably closer to 200.

But I digress. In next month’s issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers Rahman and Berenson share their most recent findings: “many women identify overweight as normal, not based on the scale but on how they view themselves.” Nearly 25% of overweight women think their weight is normal. I don’t think it’s any surprise do you? Earlier research shows it depends on who your friends are; you normalize to the weight of your crowd. Can’t speak for you but I eat less when I eat with Sally who has the figure of a prima ballerina. In the new year, maybe we should all resolve to make friends with skinny people.

And guys, don’t feel smug; men are worse. Research from 2009 shows men feel much the same. Specifically, almost half of overweight (including obese) men reported their weight as underweight or normal. Perhaps worse, men and women minimize weight problems in their kids too.
How uncharitable of me to mention this just before the biggest pig-out of the year, eh? I’m just jealous. The picture off to the right shows we’ll be burning plenty of calories this holiday weekend. According to Uhaul, this is one of the biggest moving weekends of the year. Who knew? Uhaul called us twice to confirm, they have ten people who want our truck if we don’t.

Hope your holiday is warm and happy!

Get New Posts by Email


  1. LizPf says:

    I hope you get the chance to eat some better than usual food, during the move.

    I know what you mean with weight and friends. I’m nowhere near thin, and still have more than a few pounds to go before I hit normal weight, but I have one group of friends who all outweigh me by 30 pounds or more (except the token thin woman). I do feel slender among them, but more so, I worry for their health.

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    Well, I think we should interpret this to mean that finally women are reaching equality with men in one essential component :-). And also that being friends who people who think you’re normal is a happy experience for everyone.

    I’m with Therese, hope the move goes well, enjoy the pizza.

  3. Seth M-G says:

    It would be nice to see ASTM standards enforced for clothing, but then how would manufacturers’ tune their sizing? Most people aren’t perfect sizes, so an ASTM size 8 probably doesn’t conform to very many real people. The only real option I see would be to require lists of measurements on size tags instead of an aggregate number (i.e., instead of a ‘size 34/32’ jeans, list waist, rise, inseam, crotch length, thigh girth, blah blah blah).

Leave a Reply to LizPf Cancel reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.