Clothing retailers have given teen girls a rough year. First Abercrombie & Fitch told us that only skinny girls are cool enough to shop at A&F. Now Lululemon says that if their clothes don't fit, it's our bodies that are the problem. This kind of body shaming is wrong, and we're asking you to help.
When teen girls shops for clothes they should feel excited and special, not anxious or ashamed. After all, fashion helps us express ourselves to the world. Yet, when young women like us go to our favorite clothing stores, we often feel anxiety and shame about our bodies. Figuring out our clothing size and finding clothes that fit is like solving a mystery, and asking for help can be embarrassing and intimidating (especially since different stores each have their own sizing standards!). Sometimes we leave a store empty handed without even trying on clothes because it’s so overwhelming. This shouldn’t be so complicated.
A few weeks ago we visited The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta stores in San Francisco, CA. We gave sales associates a basic request: could they help us learn our clothing size? We asked if a size chart was available, whether they had a measuring tape on hand, and if they could help measure us. Sadly, NONE of the stores we visited had size charts available, and only one had a measuring tape (which was useless without a sizing chart!). As one of the Old Navy sales associates said, “It’s really weird that we don’t have that stuff!” We think so too!
We want other girls to feel confident when they shop for clothes, and finding clothes that fit is a big part of this. That’s why we’re asking Gap Inc. to commit to taking the most basic first steps in solving the problem by:
(1) making sure that size charts and measuring tapes are available in all stores
(2) training sales staff to assist teens in ways that support healthy body image
Girls' experiences shopping impact how they feel about their bodies, and we deserve to feel good about themselves. We are Emma, Julia, Selina and Sophia, and we are working with About-Face, a nonprofit organization that equips girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image. We represent a wide range of body sizes and shapes, and we all love to express our personalities through fashion. Our motto is, “No numbers, no labels, just style!” Will you join us?
Emma, Julia, Selina, Sophia and About-Face