Dear Fashion Industry…

By: Sarah Brill  |  April 28, 2021

By Sarah Brill Science & Technology Editor 

Why do we aspire to look like someone we are not? Is it because of the constant reinforcement of unreachable goals or aspirations set onto us by society? The fashion industry has made millions by promoting unrealistic expectations and then selling them like it is no big deal. 

One of the most difficult times of the year is rapidly approaching; summer. 

Where bikini tops, crop tops, and tight dresses wander through the streets of many beach towns leaving those who do not fit the mold to stay at home. For me, summer is always challenging because that means I need to go swimsuit shopping, or dress shopping, or shirt shopping, which is often difficult for me as my body is a combination of sizes. 

Most recently, I went shopping at a store on the West Coast. That was a bad decision. I bought the cutest swimsuit thinking it would fit, as it was my size… I was wrong. While it was my size in some areas, in one very crucial area, it hardly fit. Sadly, I am not the only one who has problems with this industry. Every day, women across the United States go shopping at stores, only to find that their size was only circumstantial. They find that if you get a size small with a larger chest you either need to go another size higher and risk a baggier shirt, or keep the small but feel uncomfortable. 

When a store goes about making shirt sizes, they make their sizes based on the average weight and height of a certain group of people. The problem with that is not everyone fits into that “average.” This inability to fit into clothes gives women a lack of confidence in their bodies. 

No matter what size you are, we as women can relate to one thing: at one point in our lives we aspired to be as skinny, as fit, as lean as the models we saw in the stores we bought our clothes, in magazines that flooded every waiting room, and on every billboard screaming down on us in  Times Square telling us “we do not fit the mold.”

Thankfully, society is changing. More stores are showcasing women with more body types, not just the ones with the stereotypical model body. Stores like Aerie, in association with American Eagle, have promoted models not only with different body types, but with disabilities as well. With this movement towards a “real” vision of what women look like, even more women will be confident with their bodies.