Sunday, April 17, 2005

Vanity, my ass

vanity sizing (VAN.uh.tee SYE.zing) n. The practice of placing a smaller size label on a larger size garment.—vanity size v.
Definition from Word Spy

This all reminds me about a scene from a movie, a period piece set in the 18th century. I'm making up this dialogue right now, but I'm sure that this scene has played out somewhere either in reality or fiction and the time period or players are not fixed. A rather rotund but very rich countess or baroness or some other titled woman goes to see a snively little tailor who seems more lizard-like in his mannerisms and movements than human. Madame is viewing the selection of fashions which have just arrived and the lizard tailor fans the woman's vanity while encouraging her to favor his product.

"Oh I'd love to take this, but you can't possibly make this for someone like myself."
"Why madame, Of course not, your figure is so demurely porcine... I- I mean petite."
"Monsieur, you flatter me..."
"Why of course, Madame."

It's no secret that today many designers are dropping sizes despite the actual girth of one's figure. This really irks me because before I actually had a way of telling if I was getting fat or gaining weight. I suppose now I will just have to keep that old pair of Guess jeans from the late 80's and use it as a gauge. "Nope, can't get one leg into those pants, I guess you need to loose some weight."

Here's how I really feel about this:


The nasty one in me talks to herself (in her head of course) as I try to put on a pair of pants in the Meier and Frank dressing room. "You can't fit into a size four anymore than I could fly a goddamn balloon around the planet." In all actuality, I am a nice round eight. On the other hand, I realize that I still need to work out in order to stay happy body-wise. I may not be rail thin, but at least I've got muscle tone and good bone density.

I read an article this morning that brought up the point that we are cheating ourselves and our own self images if we fall into the trap of this "Vanity" sizing. We are only reinforcing the idea that there's one way to look... extremely thin. On the otherhand, I think it's also propelling us into the notion that we don't have to do anything to stay healthy.

If they really wanted us to buy those damn clothes they'd put up funhouse mirrors (with skinny reflections) and softer lighting, maybe some plants and some wicker furntiure in their fitting rooms.



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