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  1. #1
    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    As a Hispanic Woman, it was quite a shock when I moved to the USA five years ago and soon discovered that having some meat on your bones was not attractive. I remember when I was 14 and I was so skinny that I'd cry every day because those f*** bullies at my school used to make fun of me for being skinny and tall; and them I moved here and being skinny seem to almost be a necessity if you wanted to find beautiful and affordable clothing.

    I am 5'10’’ and fluctuate between a size 6 and a size 8 so I always find clothes off the rack without any problems. However, I do not consider myself to be skinny, but rather a normal girl. My problem is when I am shopping with some of my girlfriends who are a size 10 or 12 (normal girls) and they have a VERY difficult time finding form-fitting, nice looking, affordable clothing. I feel really bad when they are so drawn to a particular top or dress and go into the store just to find out they only have “up to size 6.” They can't afford to buy all of their clothes at Lane Bryan, and most of the stores' associates seem to have not shame to tell average size women that they only carry clothes to model-body-like women.

    Sure Wal-Mart has a plus size line called "Just my Size,” but we all know that Wal-Mart is not famous for its quality and most of those clothes “design” seem to be boring and plain. What that hell is the problem? Why can't more designers/tailors create clothes for normal women? Why is America so obsessed with being skinny when most of our women are sizes 10, 12 and beyond?

    What worries me the most if the future of our younger girls becoming bulimics, anorexics, and bulling others who do not look like them. The media is feeding our younger girls and us with this whole idea that beauty means being skinny and with big breast, even they were made of silicone. Every time I go home (DR) to visit, my family worries because I may be “too skinny,” for those in this forum that either are Hispanic or are familiar with the Hispanic culture, in our community being skinny is not attractive, but then again, those American young girls who are been raised here but are from Hispanic descendent, are caught up between a rock and a hard place: Society tells them that if they want to be/look beautiful they must be skinny, but then they go home and their whole families expect them to look a different way to be considered beautiful and even normal.

    Our society prides itself on protecting people against discrimination (age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, etc.); but when it comes to most clothing stores only carrying clothes to a certain demographic, the word discrimination is not even on the loop. I am not saying by any means that women should be overweight, I am all for healthy living, I am a frigging vegetarian for Pete’s sake, so healthy eating has always been on the top of my priority list. But why does being any size over a size 0, 2, 4 or 6 seems to read “fat” in America?

  2. #2
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    It's called assimilation. People new to the US want to fit in with American culture. It's totally normal. As far as why smaller sizes are the norm, fashion designers think their clothes show better on a size 0 versus a size 10.

    As far as places to shop for size 10's and size 12's, which by the way are not considered "plus size" here's a few:

    1. old navy, gap, banana republic.

    2. I went into 5-7-9 yesterday because I needed a pair of cheap shorts..guess what? As I looked through the racks I saw size 13, size 11, tons of those sizes bc I guess those sizes never walk through the door! $4.99 for my shorts by the way!

    3. H & M

    4. Bloomingdales-not cheap but if you have a Bloomie's card there are some really good deals.

    5. BCBG, full size range.

    6. Macy's

    7. Urban Outfitters

    8. If Bebe goes up to an XL then that should work.

    Basically they should stay out the the tiny boutiques...vintage stores are a great place to find unique pieces, and they seem to have a lot more larger sizes, reflecting the change in the ideal body size. The standard of beauty changes with the times, and like you mentioned varies around the world.
    Last edited by sungal; 09-18-2010 at 03:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Skinny is overrated!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    There might be a lot of thin people in Miami / South Beach, but that is not true of the U.S. population, in general. Obesity, and more importantly, childhood obesity and Type II diabetes are more and more common these days. Europeans actually consider the U.S. to be an overweight country.

    U.S. hospitals have many oatients who are affected by things like cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, and other diseases that can be attributed to being overweight. The number of people who get ill from being underweight in the U.S. is very small compared to the number of illnesses related to being overweight.

    Sure, there might be a few pockets of skinny people such as in South Beach, but most areas of thr U.S. have many many overweight people.

    Can I ask if you travel the U.S. much outside of the Miami area? Just take a trip up to north Florida and into Georgia, and you will no longer think that the U.S. is a skinny country.

    Glenn

  5. #5
    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by GandJ View Post
    Can I ask if you travel the U.S. much outside of the Miami area? Just take a trip up to north Florida and into Georgia, and you will no longer think that the U.S. is a skinny country. Glenn
    Hi Glenn,

    I kow that the US is not a skinny country, I see that everyday and everywhere. My point is that it makes not sense for so many stores not to have clothes for the average size woman when they are the mayority of customers. Also, while the US is overweight, society is still obsessed with being skinny. Sounds contradictory, but that's the way I see it.

    Unfurtunately, I, too see a lot of teenagers being overweight and developing all of those deseases you mentioned. But I must say that I also see many teenagers obssessed with being a size 0. Both ends of the stick are very extreme. I hope our society one day finds a happy medium.

  6. #6
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Coming from the UK, they are just as obsessed, if not more so. But I will say the pressure is on in South Beach. Gorgeous skinny models everywhere, and what with the weather making it a bikini day everyday, maintaining your figure is 365, not just for the summer here.

  7. #7
    Senior Member FredTheCatTravels's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by lafemme View Post
    I am 5'10’’ and fluctuate between a size 6 and a size 8 so I always find clothes off the rack without any problems. However, I do not consider myself to be skinny, but rather a normal girl. My problem is when I am shopping with some of my girlfriends who are a size 10 or 12 (normal girls) and they have a VERY difficult time finding form-fitting, nice looking, affordable clothing. I feel really bad when they are so drawn to a particular top or dress and go into the store just to find out they only have “up to size 6.” They can't afford to buy all of their clothes at Lane Bryan, and most of the stores' associates seem to have not shame to tell average size women that they only carry clothes to model-body-like women.

    Sure Wal-Mart has a plus size line called "Just my Size,” but we all know that Wal-Mart is not famous for its quality and most of those clothes “design” seem to be boring and plain. What that hell is the problem? Why can't more designers/tailors create clothes for normal women? Why is America so obsessed with being skinny when most of our women are sizes 10, 12 and beyond?


    ?
    You do realize that you are insinuating that a size 10 or 12 is a plus size which is untrue so you yourself are perpetuating this stereotype. Lane Bryant does not carry size 10 or 12 but starts at a size 14.

    The only store I have ever been in that did not carry a size 10 or 12 was Lane Bryant.

    I can assure you that I am a size 6 at 5'8 and I am skinny so that if you are 5'10 and a size six or eight, you are skinny.

  8. #8
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    There's also a lot of vanity sizing in the US, shop European designers and suddenly you're a size up! I also know Theory does a 00 (double zero), smaller than a zero.

  9. #9
    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by FredTheCatTravels View Post
    You do realize that you are insinuating that a size 10 or 12 is a plus size which is untrue so you yourself are perpetuating this stereotype. Lane Bryant does not carry size 10 or 12 but starts at a size 14.

    The only store I have ever been in that did not carry a size 10 or 12 was Lane Bryant.

    I can assure you that I am a size 6 at 5'8 and I am skinny so that if you are 5'10 and a size six or eight, you are skinny.
    Hi FredTheCatTravels,

    I do know that a size 10 or 12 is not plus size, and I do not consider myself skinny, just a regular woman. So far I have not had any problem finding clothes, but I have noticed that a lot of friends have. I don't think is fair for them to have to pay a lot more money for the same clothes just because so many stores refuse to carry normal sizes, meaning 10,12.

    Many of my friends sometimes get the feeling that if most of the stores they like don't carry thier sizes, then the ones with problems are them, and I think that's bullshit. If a woman wants to loose way to feel better about herself, or to be healthy, then go for it. But I just don't think that a woman should not be loosing way to meet tome f-ed criteria put up by a whole bunch of designers/clothes stores, and the like.

  10. #10
    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by sungal View Post
    There's also a lot of vanity sizing in the US, shop European designers and suddenly you're a size up! I also know Theory does a 00 (double zero), smaller than a zero.
    Sungal, you are right. In the DR, most of the clothes/shoe sizes are european. I sent my mom some clothes a few months ago, and everything was too big on her. Can't take the number on the tag too seriously.

  11. #11
    Senior Member FredTheCatTravels's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by lafemme View Post
    Hi FredTheCatTravels,

    I do know that a size 10 or 12 is not plus size, and I do not consider myself skinny, just a regular woman. So far I have not had any problem finding clothes, but I have noticed that a lot of friends have. I don't think is fair for them to have to pay a lot more money for the same clothes just because so many stores refuse to carry normal sizes, meaning 10,12.

    Many of my friends sometimes get the feeling that if most of the stores they like don't carry thier sizes, then the ones with problems are them, and I think that's bullshit. If a woman wants to loose way to feel better about herself, or to be healthy, then go for it. But I just don't think that a woman should not be loosing way to meet tome f-ed criteria put up by a whole bunch of designers/clothes stores, and the like.
    I've shopped in some of the nicest stores in the country (Bergdorf, Barneys, Saks, etc) and their designer sizes do indeed go up to a size 14. I'm wondering what stores do not carry a size 10?

    Fit models are a perfect size six. A fit model is what the designer builds the design on and adds or subtracts inches for the sizes.

    I think the size 00 is a way to feed the ego of anorexic Hollywood. Unless you are 4'11 and weigh 80 pounds (see Nicole Richie, Rachel Zoe), no way will you fit in a 00.

  12. #12
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Fredthe Cat, I beg to differ. I actually know quite a few size 00s, and many weigh over 100 pounds. Not much over 100, but the point is there are a lot of normal girls who are thin like that. I think 6 is about the max acceptable size for a girl under 5'8".

    My issue with Miami is actually that it seems to be the one American city where being thicker is a good thing. Drives me nuts. I hate hearing white girls here say shit like "It's great. A girl can carry a few extra pounds here and you're hot. Guys here don't like super skinny." This, of course, is because Miami is 2/3 Hispanic and we all know Latin guys love curves. Miami is an ass town. I friggin hate it, but whatever.

    South Beach is whatever. Definitely thinner that the City (named America's fattest last year) but not exactly a hotspot for size 0s. I've said many times the quality of girls' appearance in SoBe is highly overrated. I was in LA for 2 days and saw better looking girls at the gas station.

  13. #13
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    The irony of that, Matt, is that guys can't really get away with being a few pounds overweight down here, even though the girls can.

    In other cities in the country, it is usually the other way around.

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    Haha @ Matt's comment about butts. There are two kinds of men in this world: booty lovers and boob lovers. Sure, most of us love them both (and a pretty face trumps all, IMO) but there's always that one part that any guy is a tad (or a lot) more attracted to. I always found this to be interesting and a fun discussion to have when on a long drive with friends. There's never any resolution to the discussion of course, but it's a fun discussion.

    ETA:
    On the topic of this thread title, I don't think America is obsessed ENOUGH with being skinny, at least not to the point of doing something about it. Travelling to cities in other countries (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan in this case) really opens your eyes to how damn unfit we are as a population in this country. The stores the OP is describing sound like specific designer stores... if their clothes are designed for certain body types so be it. I wear size 13 tennis shoes and can't just walk into a Foot Locker and buy whatever I see on the shelf, just have to deal with it and go to places that carry the right size. Not a big deal. Designers really don't have an obligation to cater to anyone but who they choose to, to make them the most money.
    Last edited by Widmore; 09-22-2010 at 11:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Nadia Hojzak's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    ETA:
    On the topic of this thread title, I don't think America is obsessed ENOUGH with being skinny, at least not to the point of doing something about it.
    Widmore, you are reading my mind, this is what I was thinking when reading through the discussion.... it may well be that the society as a whole is obsessed with skinny looks, but reality looks different.

    On the side note, I was intrigued by the mentioned size 0 and consulted the wikipedia to find out what the european equivalent of it (more specifically the german size chart, by which we go in Austria). The thing is, I am considered skinny myself over here..... I have the german size 34, but sometimes I fit into a 32 too..... and sometimes I need 36. It really depends on the shop, but if we agree on the averige size of 34, then thats US size 6 according to wikipedia....... and size 0 wasnt even on the charts..... so, was that joke when you talked about 0?? How could anybody be anything less than a 4, which is size 32 here in Europe? In fact, I have never seen smaller clothing size than 32 and even that is just plain old 34 labeled 32 for some mysterious reason. Size 34 is extra small and like I said, people keep teling me to put on some weight, because supposedly I am so skinny. Frankly, I feel very fine the way I am, this is the body weight my body wishes to maintain and I don know whats wrong with a youthfull slim look. Ok, enough ranting :P

  16. #16
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I would disagree that there are only ass and tit men. Because there's guys who like skinny girls who have neither. Like being toned and slim is way more important to me than cup size or hip size. Just saying, perhaps that statement is a little oversimplified.

    But yeah, Carlos, you make an interesting point. Lets chalk that up as reason 123,689 that Miami is different than everywhere else.....

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    Senior Member FredTheCatTravels's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Fredthe Cat, I beg to differ. I actually know quite a few size 00s, and many weigh over 100 pounds. Not much over 100, but the point is there are a lot of normal girls who are thin like that. I think 6 is about the max acceptable size for a girl under 5'8".

    .
    Matt, my issue is with a designer size 00 which is quite different from a size 0 at Express. On a good dehydrated day after a week of the flu, I can fit into a zero. The only across the line standard is with the very high end lines who again use a fit model. Look at a Chanel, Chloe, or Zack Posen 0 and compare it to a mall chain line. They look like Barbie clothes.

    FWIW, just because a dress is expensive doesn't make it high end.

  18. #18
    Member croatbob's Avatar
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    well i guess its betta than americas obsession with obesity! fashion dictates tiny models so if ur not a model dont worry bout it. has to be a healthy happy median

  19. #19
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Ahhh, I see what you mean. Yeah. I am not privvy to how designers do their sizes, probably only mall chain sizes. But, as they say, you learn something new every day!

  20. #20
    Member rtoledo71's Avatar
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    Default Re: America's Obsession with Being Skinny

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Fredthe Cat, I beg to differ. I actually know quite a few size 00s, and many weigh over 100 pounds. Not much over 100, but the point is there are a lot of normal girls who are thin like that. I think 6 is about the max acceptable size for a girl under 5'8".

    My issue with Miami is actually that it seems to be the one American city where being thicker is a good thing. Drives me nuts. I hate hearing white girls here say shit like "It's great. A girl can carry a few extra pounds here and you're hot. Guys here don't like super skinny." This, of course, is because Miami is 2/3 Hispanic and we all know Latin guys love curves. Miami is an ass town. I friggin hate it, but whatever.

    South Beach is whatever. Definitely thinner that the City (named America's fattest last year) but not exactly a hotspot for size 0s. I've said many times the quality of girls' appearance in SoBe is highly overrated. I was in LA for 2 days and saw better looking girls at the gas station.
    I think overall there's a good mix of figures here. Even the "thin" women look healthier than the thin women I've seen in Boston.

    I think I've only seen one women on South Beach that I felt was too skinny. Here knees where the thickest part of her leg. A little grotesque to be honest. However, I had to give her the benefit of the doubt because it's possible she had an extremely high metabolism.

    From my general observations, I feel that women on South Beach tend to be fit and healthy. Then again, I've only been here a little over a month so I could be totally wrong.

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