Buying new clothes for your kids as they outgrow the old ones can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to school uniforms, which many school systems use for grades K-8 here in Northeast Ohio. Restricted by style and color choices, as well as which stores sell them, the selection is limited.
Recently, my now nine year old needed new pants for school, not so much for length but for width. Her size 8 pants, which are allegedly made to fit a child her age, were so narrow in the waist they were cutting into her middle when fastened, making her belly red.
Just A Bit Of Background
What was so confounding is that according to our family doctor and the anti-fat medical propaganda, my daughter is the ‘perfect’ height and weight for a child her age, so it stands to reason that a ‘standard’ child should be able to wear a ‘standard’ size garment made for someone her age.
Suck In, Honey
Yet my daughter cannot wear size 8 pants because the waist is too small. This got me to thinking about the subliminal message that is being sent to children and parents alike: kids must be even thinner than what they already are, even thinner than what even the medical industry deems as ‘healthy.’
This manufactured construct made of fabric that in turn is a social construct enrages, saddens, and frightens me. Free, built-in body shame with every purchase – not a shopping reward I want, now or ever.
A Measured Message
If my daughter and children her size are being constructed as larger than ‘normal,’ what about the kids who do have larger bodies? Where are the clothes for them? What type of body shame is being foisted on them when clothing manufactures are not providing them with easy to find off-the-rack-options that actually fit them?
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio with her BA and MA from the University of Akron, Mary has 20 years experience in the corporate sector working for local companies and Fortune 500s in customer service, PR, sales, advertising, and broadcast media. She currently teaches English Composition at Stark State College and UA. Her passion is living and teaching tolerance while pushing for Size Acceptance. She hopes to inform as many everyday Americans that the issue of Size is not an issue at all but merely a distraction from the real issues, such as the decline in public education, our infrastructure, economy and healthcare system. Mary loves irritating people by speaking her mind and presenting them with annoying facts, contrary opinions, and life's little ironies; when not doing that, she loves being with her family.