My friend Michelle posted a stumper on Twitter the other day. She said, “I don’t get the double zero size. There is no such thing as double zero. Your zero can’t have extra zero in it. You can’t add zero to zero and increase the zeroness of zero.”
It was one of those moments where the truth punches you in the teeth. I was truth punched. #TruthPunch – can we make that a thing?
Now, I know body shaming goes both ways. You shouldn’t make fun of someone for being fat, but you also shouldn’t make fun of someone for being skinny. People come in all shapes and sizes and the human body can be celebrated in all its forms. But this #TruthPunch got me to thinking. Isn’t the way we size clothes in and of itself body shaming?
My first thought/response to Michelle’s Tweet was “It shouldn’t be 00. It should be -1. If I’m a plus size, they should be negative sizes.” After some thought, I decided “minus sizes” would be more accurate, since they were me, subtracted by the raw mass of a third grader.
Then I thought that Plus or Minus or even the numbered sizes smack of body shaming and rank. It’s like golf – society tells us we want the lowest score possible. Vanity sizing, where high end manufacturers call what would normally be a 14 a 10 just so people feel better about themselves, are like golf handicaps. Golf handicaps, in case you don’t know, are a way to level the playing field: they phrase it better, but it’s basically where you can say, “I suck compared to you, so I get to subtract 20 points off my game.”
My third thought was that we should do away with numerical sizing altogether. If we are really going to go with celebrating body diversity, we should take our cues from the restaurant industry. I mean, a Venti Mochaccino isn’t called, “20 ounces of sugar, caffeine, and dairy fat in a cup.” Venti Mochaccino sounds luxurious and Italian, like a Ferrari or a Maserati. An indulgence. Like true self care. Likewise, the sweatshirt needed to cover my linebacker-esque shoulders should not be described as an XXL – extra extra large — but rather a Venti.
Honestly, I’d rather be Super Size than extra extra anything. At least that smacks of altruistic heroes saving the day. Super Size wears a cape and knee-high boots. XXL wears a muumuu and house slippers.
I’m not likely to change the world with this idea, because changing size names would take a sea change. I’m too small to change the entire fashion industry.
It’s nice to think about, though. And small people can have a big influence. After all, the only Supreme Court Justice most folks can name is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and she was only 5’1”. Good things come in small packages. And big ones.
How’s that for a #TruthPunch?
 Or is it fourth? Or fifth? I’ve completely lost track of this train.
 The subtext being, this chick isn’t just extra large, she’s twice that.
 For once! I’m too small!
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.