A Facebook post by a man named Benjamin Ashton Cooper has gone viral with over 300,000 shares. In the post, he talks about helping his girlfriend clean out her closet, and well, I’ll let you read the rest from him:
“So I’m helping my girlfriend clean out her closet (literally, shut up), and I noticed that a lot of what she was getting rid of was of the XL size. That didn’t look right to me, and here’s why: They fit me. I don’t say that to be silly or ironic. It pisses me off.
F*** body shaming. #EndBodyShaming. One Million Vaginas.”
He included images in the post:
Mic.com published a piece on Cooper’s viral Facebook post, and praised him, citing studies about self-esteem, etc:
“But to many, clothing sizes aren’t meaningless. A 2014 study found that the size a woman wore could have a direct effect on her self-esteem. ‘Smaller sizes were found to have a positive effect on body image, particularly for younger women,’ Tammy R. Kinley, an associate professor at the University of North Texas, wrote. ‘Larger subjects felt more positive about their bodies when they achieved fit in a smaller size.
The numbers all seem to back Cooper’s callout of wack clothing sizes for perpetuating unrealistic body image standards on women.”
So…I have a problem with this. Ok, I have more than one problem with this. First, it’s difficult for me to pin down the answer Cooper is seeking for his girlfriend’s clothing woes. He harshly criticizes the systems by which clothes are labeled, then offers no solution. He just calls it “body shaming.”
Disclaimer: I’m fully aware of the fact that we live in a cruel world, and that people can be shockingly mean to others. I detest the term “body shaming” because it was created by leftist activists in a bid to make everything an issue of maximum importance. However, people (men and women) are often held to a physical standard that is unrealistic. Additionally, people are bullied regarding various physical traits.
That being said, what is Cooper’s solution? That’s what I want to know. If he doesn’t like that clothing is labeled S, M, L, and XL, what label would he prefer? There has to be a label of some kind in order to distinguish between sizes. Otherwise, people will have no idea what to try on. They’ll be lost in the women’s department of Target for all eternity. Tribes will form, cultures will develop–it’ll be madness.
Should the labels be numbers? That doesn’t work. Larger numbers will still make people feel fat. Oh, you’re a ten? I’m a six. How about letters? Sizes A, B, C, and D. But D is further along in the alphabet, so it means I’m fatter than an A. Oh, let’s invert them! The smallest size is a D, and the largest is an A. Whew! Disaster averted.
It doesn’t matter!
Unless all labels are removed from clothing, there will always be a size that is larger than another size because some people are bigger than others. Some people have a larger physical build, and others are just fat. Yes, people are fat. That’s a thing. I don’t think it’s such a big deal to kindly point out that a two-liter of Fanta and a bag of Cheetos isn’t a well-balanced meal.
I have a solution.
How about we tackle the situation from the beginning, and start educating people on both ends? First, teach your kids how to eat so they aren’t featured in an episode of “My 600 Lb Life.” Then, make sure they know that the composition of their body isn’t what defines their self-worth.
We cry about the unrealistic physical standards we see in movies, TV, modeling–even cartoons, and dolls–and then we try to make these fictional characters fatter so that we feel better. The people on “Grey’s Anatomy” are actors who likely have personal trainers, and dietitians. Models are airbrushed. Dolls are…plastic. Can we just come to terms with the fact that we’re not all going to look like people who spend three hours a day at the gym, eat specialized diets, and are altered in a computer?
Should we trick people by under-labeling, like that study suggested? Size 10 is now size 8! Or maybe we should do what movie theaters do with their drinks. Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Extra Medium!
While we’re at it, let’s just change everything to fit our warped reality. I weigh 10 blorfs. That’s a new unit of weight in which the number doesn’t matter. Everyone is 10 blorfs!
That was easy.