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Does Clothing Size Impact Our Self-Esteem?

Does size matter?

Every item of clothing has its own label with the sizing of the garment, there are a number of standard sizing systems around the world for various garments such as tops, dresses and trousers. Clothing size should not be an issue to anyone, size does not matter but in the fashion industry size and body image is an issue. I must admit I was one for trying to fit into size 8 and 10 clothes and refusing to go into a size 12 as it affected my self-esteem.

Body image

Body image plays a major role in the fashion industry such as on catwalks, fashion weeks and shop windows. Today most brands have “plus size” models but plus size models such as Ashley Graham still get hate on social media. Body image can also have an impact on mental health, I believe that social media has a huge impact on the fashion industry as it can make young women feel pressured to look a certain way.

On social media celebrities, models, and people in general all portray this wonderful life and perfect bodies but in reality some might be very unhappy with their body image, how they look in the mirror and in photos. Therefore they use filters or edit photos to look good.

I believe that influencers and models have an impact on how young women look at their bodies, we have an image in our minds of the “perfect body” and young women desire to achieve this image (Social Media and Body Image Concerns, by Jasmine Fardouly & Lenny R Vartanian. 2016).

My own body

Are you happy with your size? For me clothing size had an impact on my self-esteem as I got very conscious of what size I was. My body shape is like an apple shape I have a bigger bust but small at the hips. I also find it difficult to find clothes as I am only 5 foot. In trousers I can fit into petite size but in tops I’m a regular size as I am heavier on the top half of my body. I refused to fit into a size 12 as it impacted my self-esteem.

Size should not matter, every shape and size are all the same but I got conscious of my size as I am short. If I gain weight it takes a long time for me to lose that weight. I used to work in a clothes shop therefore I know not every size 10 will fit me as all pieces of garments are made differently depending on the material, the stretch in the material, the shape of the top and if the clothing brand manufacture smaller sizes.

I know some brands don’t consider bigger bust when manufacturing the garments therefore some high street brands I never buy clothes from as it lowers my self-esteem and would put me in a bad mood if they didn’t fit.

What should be done

The fashion industry has been around for many years and is well aware of the issues regarding size, shape, transgender and other body image issues. The fashion industry has a negative effect on young people’s minds some feel that they have to look a certain way to fit into society. Fashion should be inclusive to everybody, beauty comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and no one should feel like they have to be a certain shape or size.

The fashion industry changes every month, the trends change and brands have to keep up with the fast pace of the industry. But I believe there are more changes to be done by brands, every size should be showcased by brands on websites and catwalks and not label them as ‘plus size’ as I believe labeling bigger sizes also affects someone’s self-esteem.

Learning that size does not matter

Only in the last 6 months I have accepted to try bigger sizes if I don’t fit into my usual size. I still have bad days where I will refuse to go up a size I am still a bit harsh on myself if I don’t fit into a size 10. I believe it’s all to do with psychology and what I imagine my body to look like.

Since working at First Light Boutique it has become easier for me to accept bigger sizes as I know some brands manufacture smaller sizes. Not every size 10 garment are the same measurements, for example in Denmark they manufacture tops with longer sleeves as the Danish population tend to have longer arms than the UK size.

Many women might have the same mindset as myself, regarding clothing size and body image. I believe clothing size has an impact on our self-esteem and is a problem in all age groups. I need to look beyond clothes sizing as no one else will look at the size of your clothes only you. I see girls editing photos so that they have a smaller nose, no blemishes or a skinnier figure and this issue with body image has an impact on self-esteem and mental health. I go on Instagram and see photos of girls with perfect figures and I envy them I wish I had a perfect body and perfect make-up applied.

So, 2020 should be the year were everyone should embrace their body shape and size as size doesn’t not matter.


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