Sue’s Morning Stretch: Zeroing in on the J.Crew controversy

SHARE Sue’s Morning Stretch: Zeroing in on the J.Crew controversy

Some things from childhood never go away.

As soon as I saw that J.Crew now had created a new size that has not one, not two, but THREE zeroes, and its reason why that size was created (the company says shoppers in Asia need smaller sizes), I just had to say, “liar, liar, pants on fire.”

But I am not alone in not believing the company’s claim. The social media response to J. Crew’s new size was fast, furious and often funny:

Although really, the issue is no laughing matter, as this tweet points out:

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray told the New York Daily News on Sunday that the 000 size is ” the most silly, asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”

It does make you wonder, why this constant pressure to make females feel that being as tiny as possible is best? Yes, there are people who are naturally small. But this Size 000 doesn’t convince me it was done for their shopping needs alone. Instead, it’s really vanity sizing, sending females the message that they are better if they are a zero. (Calling a person a zero used to mean a loser. Now it’s a status symbol. Sheesh.)

If being super tiny and having a body like a 12-year-old boy was best for females I’d be all for it. But it is not. This tremendous pressure put on females, particularly young girls, to be unnaturally thin creates all sorts of health problems.

Some 20 million U.S. females face an eating disorder at some time in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, which wasn’t down with J.Crew’s new sizing. “A new low in marketing which promotes poor self-esteem and dangerous weight-loss behaviors” is how the association president and CEO Lynn Grefe described it, according to a Yahoo Shine story.

It’s no good for females on the other end of the spectrum, either. They see these little sizes and tiny women and know they can never get to that. So they give up before even trying to lose weight and get themselves to a healthier size.

Really, if this company needed smaller sizes for smaller females, it could just up all the other sizes. Can you imagine the outcry over that? Never gonna happen, because we’ve been sold this notion that littler is better.

Here’s what’s better. Being fit is better. Eating healthfully is better.

Starving yourself so the tag on your clothes is nothing more than zeros is not healthy, and J.Crew deserves the negative publicity it is drawing for encouraging that notion.

— Sue Ontiveros

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