For two years, I played each soccer game with the same pair of cleats. These cleats stayed with me 6 different seasons, 5 different teams, and almost 100 games. The cleats were dark blue (once light blue), and had neon yellow laces. They weren’t the finest cleats, but I had grown a bond to them over the years. The coloring on the sides had fully altered from the color that I once bought it as, and the ends of the laces were fraying. It’s not that I never had the opportunity to let them go, in fact each season, I considered getting a new pair, but my cleats and I were inseparable.
Though one day, tragedy struck, the side of my shoe had completely torn apart, leaving a gaping hole in the cleat. As much as I loved these shoes, it made me realize that it was time to finally let them go. So at the beginning of this spring season, I went again to the nearby soccer store to find myself the newest pair. The walls of the store were lined up with cleats and looked like a rainbow array of colors. I was starstruck at my many options, and I couldn’t decide. I soon had forgotten all about my old washed out cleats, and couldn’t take my eyes off a specific pair I had found.
It was on the top corner of the wall, sitting on a white display. It caught my eye and I immediately knew I needed those. I pointed out which ones I wanted to the man who worked at the store, and he walked to the back to go retrieve them for me. I couldn’t wait to try them on, to slide my food into the brand new sole of the shoe. I hadn’t experienced that it so long. The man took a while to come back out, and I was getting anxious. I was so excited to finally put them on but minutes had passed before he finally came out of the back. The man had an orange box in his hand, and firmly placed it n the bench in front of me.
I quickly thanked him and grabbed the shoe out of the box. It looked even better in my own hands. I began to slide the left one onto my foot, but then I realized something was wrong. The shoe was too small. I tried to jam my foot into it but it felt uncomfortable. But when I looked at the side of the box to see the size, I realized it said a 6. 5. “Excuse me” | called out to the man. He made his way over quickly. “I’m sorry, but I think you may have gotten mixed up. I’m an 8, not a 6. 5”. He apologized and ran to the back of the store once again.
This time, he returned quickly. “I’m sorry” He began, “The only size we have left in the shoe you wanted is a 6. 5” I was astonished. This shoe store was massive, though the one shoe I wanted came only in a 6. 5. A 6. 5 is pretty small for a women’s shoe size, and I wondered how one could possibly fit into that small size. Though I realized that this phenomenon sounded familiar. In fact, I realized exactly why I felt this way. There are 38 different sizes of girl’s shoes, though this specific shoe only contained one. This is so similar to so many clothing brands nowadays.
In a world so keen on trying to preserve body image, so many clothing companies around the world are selling “one size fits all” clothing “One size fits all” stores are becoming more and more popular. This may seem nice, like we can all wear the clothes they carry, in reality, so many of us don’t fit, which is one more reason to feel bad about our bodies. So as my research topic, I wanted to discover how not only the “one size fits all” labels are effecting our society, but how clothing companies are causing people to compare themselves to idealistic and unrealistic images that they have created as standards.
This can be shown in many ads, campaigns, etc. of the 21st century. One example of this is the popular chain of women’s stores, Brandy Melville. All clothing found on their racks, instead of saying specific sizes, are labeled “one size fits all”. For those who may not fit the average measurements of a teenage girl, the Brandy clothing may not fit properly. All of a sudden, these women are no longer considered part of the category “all”. Similarly, the models of Brandy Melville are very specific looking. Each model is caucasian, tall, and thin. The models have big, light eyes, small noses, long arms and legs, and a thigh gap.
Through their advertising, Brandy Melville promotes a very specific idea of what a teenage girl should look like. All their clothing is precisely catered for a specific group of girls- tall, thin, and “beautiful”. This perfectly captures humans looking for perfection everywhere they go. Brandy Melville only wants their clothes modeled on girls with the “perfect” dimensions and features. They have very obviously defined what beauty and perfection means the them, and has translated those ideas on to their customers. Continuing this trend is the paparazzi and media of the current world.
Through a new phenomenon called photoshop; magazines, broadcasting, etc. are now able to make each person displayed in advertising contain the perfect proportions. When we flip through magazines, page after page, we find beautiful women, one after another, though each giving us another image of what our body is not. On BBC. com, Tulip Mazumdar wrote an article on the significance of photoshop on today’s society. When she asked a magazine editor to airbrush a photo of her, the results were astounding, “Every blemish vanished from my skin, as did the scar on my forehead.
She whitened my face, lengthened my neck. Changed the shape of my nose, widened my eyes, elongated my legs, sliced off parts of my arms and thighs and narrowed my hips. ” The unrecognizable version of herself that was produced left her feeling selfconscious and awkward. The author even states that the original picture, that she first thought was an attractive picture, suddenly looked tired and chubby compared to the edited version. The sensation of photoshopping, driven from the need for perfection, is greatly used in the model industry.
Georgina Wilkin, a former model who developed an eating disorder because of the pressures of the job, recognizes the phenomenon. I’ve had a few times where I’ve worked for a magazine and the magazine’s come out and I hardly even recognize myself. My legs have been skimmed off, my pores have been eliminated, my nose has been straightened. ” This ridiculous editing has even translated into the daily life of children and adults through social media. The article also discussed this and states “(Jemma, 14 years old) edits the ‘selfies’ that she puts on social media… She says,) ‘most of the pictures I put on Instagram or Facebook will be edited. I’ll lighten them, hide spots, things like that. ‘”
The idea of editing pictures in order to give people the right features is an idea that has sprung from humans seeking perfection. The only explanation for this need to alter what real people look like in order to make them more visually pleasing is that humans are continuously striving for perfection, and are desperate to do whatever they can in order to achieve it. Growing up as a teenager in the 21st century, we so often xperience parts growing up in which those before us never were able to. Whether the ability to use our cellphones wherever we choose, or even to google a fact whenever we have a wondering, it’s impossible to deny that the world has changed. So, I decided to interview not only some of my peers, who experience this pressure first hand, but my those who were able to know what it’s like to be a part of both generations. Almost immediately following the beginning of this piece, I decided to ask my peers a few questions on their view on society.
Though each time, I began with the same question: “What do you consider to be an ideal body type? ” I was aware this was a broad question, and I was ready for many different answers. Though the part that intrigued me was that I asked 20 different girls this question, and each different answer included the word “skinny”. In the United States, the average 16-year-old girl is approximately 5 feet 3 inches tall, weights about 138 pounds and has around a 31-inch waist, according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.