Recently I purchased a blouse online and upon receiving the blouse and trying it on, it looked nothing like the original photograph. Through my laughter I said “how come it doesn’t look like it did on the supermodel?” This blouse fell much differently on a size 4 than it did on my “Marilyn” frame.
I’ve always been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe. Her innocence, her honesty and of course her beauty. I love that she is a symbol of old Hollywood glamour and a sex symbol. My question, along with many others is why the standard has changed so dramatically through the years.
Is it pleasing to the everyday population to see a size 6 (likely less — a 0 or 2) versus a size 10? Who decided this and when did this change occur? The Kate Moss I remember wasn’t a size 6, hopefully she is now healthier than she used to appear.
According to wellness expert Pamela Peeke, MD, who writes the Everyday Fitness blog on WebMD the average American woman is 5’4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14. Models are now typically a size 0 when they used to be an 8. With so many women wearing a 12 to 14 you would think designers would want someone with that frame modeling their clothing. It certainly would’ve helped me in deciding to purchase my blouse.
I don’t know about you, but I have a variety of sizes in my closet depending upon the designer. I know what range I fall in, but am unable to buy clothing by brand like I did in the past. Not that long ago I bought a pair of pants at a mainstream retailer and loved them so much I went back to buy another pair in a different color. I had to return that second pair because they didn’t fit. They were the same size and cut, just tan instead of black. How is it that a designer cannot recreate the same size? Are there sizing standards anymore?
Many years ago I dated a man who said the sexiest women are the ones who take care of themselves. He said it didn’t matter what size she was, but if she made efforts to take care of herself by exercising and eating well, that was enough for him. He said at one time he was involved with a woman who was obsessed with working out and that she thought it was what he wanted, but he wished she had a few more pounds on her. I was so surprised. With the images I saw on a regular basis and “miracle diets” of the stars, I assumed all men wanted a Kate Moss. What he shared gave me a peek into what an Average Joe thought about today’s standards.
Honestly, it wasn’t a great relationship, but I’ll never forget that conversation. I felt a bit insecure at my size yet he thought I was sexy; what?!? The jiggle I’m always trying to get rid of was sexy to someone?!? Get out of town!!! After his comment, I relaxed and felt better about my appearance.
There are so many faces we see on magazines, on screens big and small that it’s hard to separate the fantasy from the reality. When I wish I looked liked a certain starlet, I have to remind myself what team she has helping her. I don’t have the priviledge of having someone do my hair and make up every morning, make my meal to exact nutrition specifications so I can fit into my gown for a special event and I certainly don’t have fabulous lighting follow me around. Wouldn’t you love that? There would never be another bad hair day.
We need to have enough confidence at whatever size we are and avoid the extremes. I know I’ll never be a Kristen Stewart or Kate Moss; I can only work on maintaining my Marilyn frame. Healthy is damn sexy and so is self-respect!!