Get ready for yet another reason you will not feel like walking into a J. Crew store this year: the retailer is now offering a size 000. According to the J. Crew sizing chart, a triple 000 is equivalent to a 23-inch waist. Fashion blogger Capitol Hill Style observes that it may not be quite as small as it sounds; in fact, it could be another deep dive into the absurd realm of vanity sizing:
Vanity sizing is based on the misguided notion that you need to lie to women in order to sell clothing. It promulgates the damaging concept that self-worth is directly proportional to clothing-tag size. And negatively effects girls’ feelings about their bodies before they’re mature enough to know that they’re defined by more than a number assigned to them by a clothing company.
Now, J.Crew has jumped the shark on a rocketship and launched a size 000/XXXS. Defenders argue that this is a great thing for petite women, but J.Crew already has a petites line that offers a size 00.
I am by no means saying that J. Crew, nor any other brand, should simply not offer smaller sizes. There are millions of naturally thin and petite women who have difficulty finding sizes; I have at least three friends who regularly shop at children’s stores because adult ones never carry sizing that is small enough for them. (If you’re rolling your eyes and mumbling about first world problems, just imagine having to walk into Limited Too every time you want jeans.) But the sizing label of “000” is unnecessary.
There’s an idealization of the size 0 in pro-eating disorder communities. (I would link to a couple sites that exemplify this obsession, but I imagine I would have potentially found that triggering in the past to accidentally click as a reader, and I am presumably not the only one.) It signifies the desire to be so small, you can simply disappear, be nothing, fade into zero-ness. This idea may sound ludicrous to those who have never had an eating disorder, but for many people with severe body image issues, it is the ultimate goal. J. Crew itself is already guilty of photoshopping an already-thin model into being thinner, literally subtracting from her body so she has a wider thigh gap; they don’t need to create a size that is as close to negative sizing as one can get to that list.
And besides the aforementioned implications of a size 000, vanity sizing is idiotic in and of itself. Not only does it imply that being thinner is better–a notion that leads to negative self image issues and ill-fitting clothing choices–it also screws up the whole purpose of standardized sizing systems. It is exhausting to be unable to determine what size you are because at J. Crew, you’re a 6 while at the Gap, you’re a 4 and at H&M, you’re a 12 or 2 depending on how the factory was feeling that day. Do not flatter us. We do not need flattering in that way. Just give us easy, standardized sizing and be done with it, please.
On the bright side, this is just more fuel for the argument of why you should not buy a $400 pair of “Pixie pants.”