Finding the perfect pair of jeans is no easy task. You walk into a clothing store only to come face to face with a wall of options—from jeggings and skinnies, to slim straight, real straight, girlfriend, boyfriend, boot leg and flared. On top of all that, you have to choose a wash. Dark? Light? Something in the middle? Oh, and there’s texture, too. Thick and heavy or thin and stretchy? Choosing the perfect pair of jeans can be a dizzying process!
What’s even worse is the size situation. As most women know, sizes tend to vary drastically. And that fact was proven recently by South African body-positivity activist Mira Hirsch, who took side-by-side photos of herself wearing the same style (and size!) jeans in two different colors.
On the left, she can barely get the maroon pants up, let alone buttoned. But on the right, the mint pants hug her in all the right places. What gives?
“DO NOT DEFINE YOURSELF BY A NUMBER!” she writes in her Instagram caption. “[I] was looking for a pair of pants and found both of these in the same size in different sections of the store. The maroon pair had a label saying ‘New Fit’ and the mint pair had nothing. Both were my size yet one pair couldn’t even close and the other pair was a little loose?”
The 18-year-old blogger goes on to explain how similar experiences in the past made her “dread” shopping and that she would leave stores feeling bad about her body.
“Stop trying to fit into the ‘ideal size’!” Hirsch continues in the caption to her over 100,000 followers. “Wear clothes that you feel funky in!…who the hell cares if it’s a few sizes bigger or smaller than what you normally wear…take back your power and wear whatever size and style you desire…love the skin you’re in!”
Popular fashion brands, including H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch and Zara, have been called out in recent years for their unrealistic—and extremely inconsistent—sizing, making it even more frustrating for women to live in world where they are constantly judged based on physical appearance. It’s no wonder the response to Hirsch’s Instagram post has been overwhelmingly positive and received almost 6,000 likes.
Commenters are even actively participating in the conversation: “I’m sick of companies that do this,” wrote one. “A size 8 should UNIVERSALLY be an 8. And a 10 a 10. There should be a universal “law” that gives measurements to an 8 and that’s what all companies and brands etc have to make. You can go from one store to another and be three or four different sizes and it sucks. I hope your post brings more light to this.”
It seems women everywhere agree that sizing needs to be more consistent. So when are brands going to listen?