• Tue, Nov 1 2011

BREAKING: Many Rich & Fashionable Women Tiny, Proud Of Being Tiny

We already know that fashion people think it’s cool to dress little girls up like grown women, but did you know they also think it’s cool for grown women to dress themselves in children’s clothing? We know this is true, because there’s a freaking New York Times style piece about it.

In what almost reads like something from The Onion, the author speaks with several fashionable ladies who have discovered yet one more benefit to being extremely skinny: in addition to all the other kinds of privilege this heaps upon you, you can also fit into lots of nifty children’s clothing!

The article quotes a “slender” interior designer named Athena Calderone about her Gap Kids jean jacket: “If people compliment you on the look, it implies you’re slim and cool and crafty,” she says. (This is good because, as previously discussed, “you look slim” is a compliment, not a neutral descriptor.) It doesn’t get much better from there.

I’m not annoyed that some people are small enough to fit into children’s clothing, while I will have to go to a grown-up store and pay regular prices if I want sequined “party shorts.” (Why Gap Kids is selling sequined hot pants to children is a question for another day.) I’m annoyed that the article uses the topic of children’s clothing to create a thinly veiled “trend” piece about how being tiny and cute will make people think you are cool and attractive. (Do not mistake this for a trend piece about how kids’ clothes are getting so well designed that fashionable grown-ups who can fit into them are buying them. This is not that.) Way to get the scoop, New York Times.

Or, as my esteemed colleague Jenna Sauers at Jezebel put it:

Just in case you were under the impression that adult women like to shop at Gap Kids for any other reason than that they really want to broadcast the fact that they’re really, really skinny, here are all of the physical adjectives used in this Times story, by the reporter and her sources, in order: tiny, slender frame, shrunken, slim, lithe-framed, child-size, matchstick-slender.

Sigh.

(Via Jezebel)

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  • Robyn

    I don’t think being tiny makes you cool. But if you can fit into something that you like, buy it!

  • porkchop

    LAAAAAME.

    My rich study-abroad roommate was wearing Gap Kids in 1998, and I have a shirt from the boys department at Brooks Brothers from 2005. So, no matter how matchstick-like these NY women are, they’re hopelessly out of date.

  • matbo

    Damn, and I was just feeling good about myself today. But since my thighs are so big that I can never be trendy enough to fit into children’s clothing I’ll just be over here in the corner eating cake and sobbing silently.

  • Lu

    Not entirely fair.

    I’ve never really gotten -out- of the children’s department, despite turning 30 this year. I’ve always had to struggle to look like my outfit DIDN’T come from Gap Kids, but everything (EVERYTHING) in grown ass people land is too big for me. I am not the only one of my friends who has this problem, but I swear it’s NOT because we want to broadcast that we’re ridiculously skinny. Some of us are actually kind of chunky. We’re just tragically short Asian chicks! I’m 5’1″, and among my cousins I am the tall one.

    In case creepy basement-dwelling otaku weren’t infantilizing me enough, now other women think I’m showing off by wearing sweaters whose sleeves I don’t have to roll???

    • Lu

      Though, ok, I admit that the thought of a ‘normal’ 5’7″ish lady flipping through the Boys L cargo shorts with me would be a bit weird…

    • Jamie Peck

      This article is not about people who shop in the kids’ department because they have to. This article is about people who think it’s really super awesome to be tiny enough to shop in the kids’ department.

    • Lu

      No, I can tell that this article (in The Gloss) is about the total weirdness of the trend happening, but the blurb from Jezebel is a bit…over the top:

      “Just in case you were under the impression that adult women like to shop at Gap Kids for any other reason than that they really want to broadcast the fact that they’re really, really skinny, ”

      There is another reason. Some adult women like to shop there because they have relatively neutral clothes that are less ugly than the “Petites” stores, and have been going to really, really silly lengths for years to AVOID broadcasting it.

      Really, imagine how hard it is to feel sexy when your boyfriend notices the Gap Kids label in your adorable, perfectly fitted sweater. If he’s not some kind of weirdo, he’s going to be the opposite of turned on. And it completely turns my brain inside out to think that some grown women think it’s awesome to be able to fit into little girl clothes. My erstwhile psych major cringes.

  • L

    uhh i don’t consider myself particularly “tiny”…i’m a size 4/6 and just over 5′ tall and i’ve been wearing shit from the children’s department forever….however, i figured it was because children were just getting increasingly fatter. good to know, NY Times, horray for me -_____________________-

  • CW

    It’s not about being anorexic-looking or “extremely” skinny. I have a BMI of 20.1, which is well within the healthy range. I’m the same size as I was in high school in the early ’90′s and back then was considered “normal” (though short) rather than “skinny”. It’s only because of the obesity epidemic that everybody’s perceptions about weight has shifted upwards. I used to wear an 8P, but now with vanity-sizing it’s labeled a 4P (if I can even find one in stores) or a girls’ size 16 (which didn’t use to exist).

  • Chickalupe

    This actually doesn’t bother me at all. My mother and I have been saying for years every time we go shopping, that in some stores, so many cute clothes are only available in children’s sizes– with no equivalent for an adult. I have always been aware that some women wear them, but I have no chance of fitting into them in this lifetime. I long ago came to terms with that.

    My question is this: when can I buy light-up sneakers for adults in stores? They make them for kids! You can get them custom-made in adult sizes somewhere on the Internet, for a fee of course, but it’s just not the same.

  • Eileen

    A girls’ 14 is about a two or four, or at least it was ten years ago (they’re both probably way bigger by now), so a perfectly healthy, albeit slim, adult woman can certainly fit into kids’ clothing. And kids’ clothing tends to be cheaper. But broadcasting the fact that you’re wearing kids’ clothes is dumb. Just buy whatever looks nice and is a good price and enjoy it.