Leslie enters a Victoria’s Secret, intent on redeeming her “Free Panty” card. Upon learning they only have white hipsters, size XS (Note: I’m referring to underwear, not people), Leslie saunters over to the fragrance wall and sprays herself with Rapture, her signature scent since 1998. A sale sign then lures her over to the lace thong section, where she discovers Hanky Panky knockoffs are on crazy sale – seven for $25. That’s cheaper than Tar-jay! Filled with cheapster’s glee, she begins sorting through the pretty colors. Sensing an easy commission, a salesgirl approaches…
VS Saleswoman: “Can I help you with anything?”
Leslie: “Oh, no, I’m OK, thanks. Just searching for the right size.”
VS Saleswoman: “I can help you with that. What size?”
VS Saleswoman: “(Scanning my body up and down) “Are these for a friend?”
Leslie: “Um, no, for myself.”
VS Saleswoman: (Face wrinkling up like she just sucked a lemon) “Oh, no, you’re not a Large. Maybe a Small or Medium.”
Leslie: “No, I’m pretty sure I wear a Large. I’m wearing a pair from here as we speak and that’s what size they are.”
VS Saleswoman: (Again scanning my body vertically) “Wow, I would never have guessed that. You’re so skinny!”
Leslie: (grinning like a fool, realizing I now have something to blog about) “Well, I guess I’m a Skinny Large!”
Allow me to introduce you to the Skinny Large. Much like a teeny little bottle of fat-free butter spray can pack 900 calories, a Skinny Large is someone who wears a size that is, apparently, exponentially bigger than what she actually appears to be. I thought of this exchange when I read the recent New York Times article on vanity sizing, which revealed that a woman with a 27-inch waist wears an 8 or 10 at Marc Jacobs, but a 000 at Chico’s.
If that statement were a dress, it would be available in sizes “OMG,” “ROFL” and “WTF?”
Indeed, in my closet, I currently have a pair of size 13/14 army green cargo pants from H&M and a pair of size 4 black work trousers (oy, I’m so old) from New York & Co. Also: Size 6 and 8 pants from Express, Small sweaters from Anne Taylor Loft and XL sweaters from Nordstroms.
And while I’m loathe to admit it…guess which ones make me feel better about myself? When I go into a store and try on a medium, only to realize it’s too big, I feel a sick tinge of merriment when asingk the saleswoman, “This medium is too big. Can you grab me a small?” And when I struggle to shove my hips and ass into a size 12 pair of pants? I just want to flee like Christina Aguilera after
her stage fall national anthem flub public drunkenness arrest I just want to leave.
That said, I’ve emotionally matured to a point where I don’t flee. If I really like the pants, I go up a size and purchase them anyways. My self-esteem no longer hinges on a clothing tag number; it’s just mildly influenced by it.
But would I want to step inside a mybestfit body scanning booth? Fully-clothed customers are scanned by hundreds of small antennas that quickly record 200,000+ points of measurement, emerging with a list of suggestions for brands and styles that would best suit their shape.
Personally, if I’m going to undergo a full-body scan, I’d like to know there’s a male TSA agent somewhere, gawking over and memorizing my every curve. Or I’d at least expect an MRI out of the deal. Some more suggestions on how mybestfit can improve its technology:
*Incorporate spray tan nozzles so you emerge both bronzed and size-enlightened.
*Wire the booth for surround sound and offer users the option to listen to body-positive affirmations recorded by Beyonce (“You’re body’s too bootylicious”), Brad Pitt, (“You’re so incredibly sexy. Come to Indonesia with me,”) or Tyra banks (“All the haters can kiss my fat ass!”)
*Pipe in the smell of money so customers feel richer and, therefore, more likely to drop $269 on a pair of J Brand jeans.