Real Talk: More than a Number

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was pretty busy as I spent the weekend helping my mom find the perfect dress for my brother’s wedding. We’re still on the hunt but made some definite progress. It’s funny how shopping with an event in mind is so much more stressful than just browsing but with the two of us, we can make anything fun. We’ve been shopping together for as long as I can remember and are so in tune with each other that we make quick decisions and know what one other will like and dislike without even asking. Although the perfect dress is still out there, I know that my Mommy will look gorgeous in whatever she chooses!

I was however, troubled with something I witnessed that I had to share.  Many of the stores we went to were bridal stores and most of them also have a prom dress store within. The prom counterparts were swarming with excited girls trying to find the perfect dress with their moms and their friends. It was fun thinking of all those years ago when I too went with my mom to find the perfect dress. I think in high school my friends and I talked about prom dresses for the months leading up to the prom.

Serious flashback... me before Sr. Ball circa '06

Serious flashback… me before Sr. Ball circa ’06

Part of me loved looking at these girls searching for their dream dresses for what they’ve heard will be the most magical night of their night. (And hey, it was really fun, but life only gets more magical.) But then I noticed something that I found really troubling. This particular store had all the dresses separated by their size and were in different areas around the circumference of the room. In the sizes 4, 6, and 8 sections there were about 15 dresses each. In the size 10 section, there were about 8 dresses and the sizes 12 and 14 there were less than 5 per size. I immediately thought that it was unfair that those girls wouldn’t be able to have more of a selection. And then I saw the walls of 0 and 00 sectionsThere were no less than 75 dresses in that section. I am so deeply troubled by this and what this is teaching our young girls today. The situation only got worse when I heard a conversation next to me. One girl was wearing a beautiful sparkly green gown and looked amazing in it. The sales person looked at her and said “it looked good for someone with a fuller figure.” I don’t think she was intentionally trying to hurt the girl (after all, she was trying to get her to buy it) but it was such a backhanded compliment that it hurt my heart for this girl. Not only is she in a store that truly only carries options in one size, but then the salespeople are further enforcing it.

Fast forward then to a different store in a different city today. I was chatting with a saleswoman who also worked at the prom store who was telling me how young girls will come in there and buy dresses that are way too small for them and vow to lose 50 pounds before prom. She told me how these girls will starve themselves to no end just so they can wear these dresses. Something is wrong with this type of behavior. It is one thing if a girl is naturally thin or is healthy in her food choices and working out to achieve that figure. But we are not all supposed to be the same size. Each of us is beautiful in our own ways and despite the fact that being a 0 or 00 is the “popular” size now, it doesn’t mean that is what everyone should strive for. These girls are developing such an unhealthy relationship with their weight at such an early age and I just wish there was something I could do to help. I wish they could know that their dates will think they look beautiful in whatever dress they choose, regardless of the size on the tag. That they have so much more to offer. They can be smart and funny and sweet and all of those things are ambitions to strive for, rather than fitting in a dress.

I get too that this is not just something that young girls struggle with but that most of us have struggled with at one time or another. But I also know that if you are healthy that is so much more important than any of the other stuff. I think all of you are beautiful out there just the way you are and being defined by a number is no way to live.


-I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and what you think about society’s emphasis on clothing sizes.

4 thoughts on “Real Talk: More than a Number

  1. Wow that is really sad. I think it’s pretty common for young girls to feel that way but the fact that the stores are making it worse is just awful. There’s such a big problem in our culture right now where on the one hand, childhood obesity is the highest it’s ever been, but we still have plenty of girls with eating disorders and skewed images of themselves. It’s a really difficult situation and I’m not sure the best approach to solving it. I’m sure each time someone like you writes about it / brings it up it’s helpful! I also want to look in to volunteering locally on the issue. I bet there are some great organizations out there I just would need to do a little research…

  2. This is such an important topic you brought up. The concept of self worth and image is extremely critical to the way a girl grows up. I remember shopping for dresses when I was younger and the concern was the type of dress. Sure, the worries of weight was there…but I just don’t remember it being as prevalent as it is now for girls. Perhaps it’s the whole social media part and how EVERYTHING is posted and constantly judged? Either way, it’s depressing how things are becoming and how much more effort we all need to put in to make sure girls grow up feeling good about themselves

  3. I am so glad that you wrote about this. I could go on and on, but to sum it up, thank you. More people need to be sharing their thoughts on this topic. We all know how much I love the fashion industry, but that is not real life. Real life is real people in real bodies – without airbrushing or insane genes – and our culture needs to stop this whole body shaming business.

  4. Pingback: What to Wear Wednesday: Joie SF Opening – Glitz Glam Granola

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