Women’s Waist Size

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17543266.2016.1214291?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=tfdt20

This study shows that the average clothing size of American women now hovers between 16 and 18, up from the 14 it was most recently measured at. The study shows that in the past 21 years, women’s waist size has grown by 2.6 inches, and concedes that actual sizes are more difficult to pin down, as there is no standard size chart, and various clothing lines classify the same measurements as different sizes. The media reaction to this study has been mixed, with various websites calling for more public visibility of “plus-size” women. Refinery29 has launched the 67 Percent Project (http://www.refinery29.com/67-percent-project-plus-size-body-image/) claiming that although 67% of women in the United States today wear a size 14 or larger, but they make up less than 2% of the images publically available. Their goal is to increase the visibility of larger women in the media and make it more socially acceptable for women to be whatever size they are. The reaction to this study is interesting because it has given voice to a segment of society that’s most often ignored by the mainstream media, as overweight women claim the positivity of their bodies at any size.

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4 thoughts on “Women’s Waist Size

  1. I feel like I experience that all the time! Sizes really aren’t standard, which is so frustrating. My husband asked me what size I am while doing Christmas shopping, and I told him it depended on the article of clothing, the store, the brand, and if he was in junior’s or women’s. We’ll see if what he bought fits or not come Christmas day! Standardizing sizes would be so helpful, not only to make shopping easier (I’d even risk online!) but also to assist in changing the way we think about our clothing sizes as well. I think the idea behind the 67 Percent Project is awesome! Mainstream media’s representation of women is totally inaccurate, and changing this would definitely help many girls and women improve their body image.

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  2. I think the Refinery 29 project is so important in our society today, because the women who are portrayed in the media are not at all representative of American women today, and this distorted vision of women has terrible effects on our society that are hard to repair within both men and women.

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  3. It’s interesting that men’s pant sizes are by inches and/or centimeters. Your body is shaped how it is shaped. It isn’t a size in comparison with other men’s sizes, as we see in women’s sizes of 0, 2, 4, 6, etc. This morning at work I heard my female coworker talking about how impressed she was by her colleague’s “2 body.” I thought it was lame that women’s sizing has become, in some minds, a ranking system. Hopefully things will get better and women’s bodies can be accepted for what they are.

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  4. I am a huge fan of Refine29’s project. I also like that the amount of press this issue is getting these days– like with Lily James’ corset in Cinderella vs. Emma Watson’s refusal to wear one for BATB. I see change happening.

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