0

Bottom’s up!

We didn’t need to see it. I didn’t want to see it. But it was everywhere.

Kim Kardashian’s naked behind was splashed across all forms of digital media last week sparking a range of comments. As usual, Kim appears to need the spotlight like the rest of us need oxygen.

I’m not a fan of the Kardashians. Personally, I don’t understand how they got to be so famous, or why there seems to be an endless fascination with everything they do; Kim in particular.

But I am heartened by the ensuing conversations that resulted from her photo about body types and image. Certainly, Kim’s derriere is noteworthy. It’s not a typical skinny size 0, and she is genuinely proud of its size and shape. Good for her.

The dialogue about body types and the growing acceptance for diversity may actually be signaling a shift in the ways we think about shape and size. About 60 years ago, curvy women were all the rage. The hourglass figure was most sought after and celebs like Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield were adored for their shape. In the 60s, model like Twiggy heralded in the current era where stick figures reign. An era where size 10 is considered ‘plus size’ by the fashion industry.

dalbesio-poses-new-perfectly-fit-calvin-klein-adIn fact, the inclusion of gorgeous model Myla Dalbesio (size 10, pictured at right) in Calvin Klein’s recent “Perfectly Fit” ad campaign stirred controversy of its own. Myla’s own surprise at being treated just like all the size 0 girls during the photo shoot speaks volumes about the fashion industry.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s truly time for change. After decades of lip service given to ‘accepting’ a range of body types and sizes (but not really meaning it), here’s hoping society can finally take a healthy step forward.

1

Does size matter?

Image

It’s the age-old question, and I’m not talking about what you think. Clothing size is intimately linked to most women’s self esteem. Clothing manufacturers figured this out years ago with the invention of sizes 0-6, which didn’t exist in the 70s when I was in high school. What this did was allow sizes 8-12 to become larger without the number going along for the ride.

Consider this. A 1960s size 14 would be a size 8 today. Anyone today who tries to purchase a wedding dress or vintage clothing takes a huge hit to the ego, has to swallow her pride, and slide into a dress that is numerically several sizes larger than she’s used to.

Chico’s clothing store in the US has tried to combat the size-self esteem issue by creating its own sizing system: 0, 1, 2, 3. However, if you’re in store and don’t know what to do, the sales associates often have to relate Chico’s sizes to common sizes found in other clothing stores. I do have to give them props for their valiant attempt to save our delicate psyches.

In my life, I was a size 10 in high school (1970s), a size 0-2 in my mid thirties (1990s) and I have been as high as a size 12…. 14 in some designers like Burberry. I have been an XS, S, M, and L. And, these days, I’m often a combination of several sizes depending on the lines of clothing.

Image

This confusion – combined with our aversion to buying larger sizes – results in many women walking around in ill-fitting, too-tight clothing. And nothing looks worse. So here’s some advice: try everything on and only purchase clothes in the best size for your body. Find a tailor and have clothes adjusted to fit your figure.

Remember – you don’t wear the size number on the outside, so steel yourself to buy the right size…. then cut the tag off.