Several years ago, I believe it was around the time our son was still a baby, I learned that a new size had been created for women: Size O. That’s amazing for two reasons. One, I’m pretty sure zero isn’t a size. In fact, zero is nothing. Two, I’ve been living among Americans all my life; I’ve seen how we eat. Who the heck is in need of Size O? I admit I may be incorrect about the date of invention of this stupidity. It may have occurred when I regained some weight when our son was eight, but whenever it took place, I remember it stood out to me because anything having to do with extra weight was a sore point for me.
I changed my initial impression when I realized that this was a brilliant piece of marketing, genius even. A little shifting of the numbers by clothes manufacturers and clothing designers could make a small percentage of women on the planet feel like the goddesses they believed themselves to be. Can you imagine the thrill of discovering you were now a Size O? The trickledown effect would be priceless as women sporting bigger sizes discovered they could wear a smaller size. Thank You God and Jenny Craig.
But wait, what about the plus-sized gal? Her clothing sizes didn’t seem to benefit from Size O. She was still segregated to the other side of the store, barred from the cute and darling world of Size O by a wall of clothing and mirrors. Oh sure, there were breaks in the wall where she could wander over to scan the jewelry, scarves, sunglasses, and shoes, but even her lingerie was kept in check by a plus-sized prejudice.
Our full-figured gal didn’t have to wait very long for the fashion gurus to re-emerge from their drawing boards with an even bigger piece of stupidity. Their intentions were good. So good that Satan was able to re-pave major portions of the Highway to Hell that receives much foot traffic from politicians. But I digress.
Picture this: I’m shopping in the plus-sized department, excited that I’m reaching the lower numbers as I shed weight, when I encountered a brand new clothing size.
“What is this?” I asked the young, thin, chipper sales clerk. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the tag in the shirt I held.
“Oh, that’s our new size.”
“What is it? It looks like a word.”
“Oh, that’s OX.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
I stared for a few incredulous seconds before I held the tag up and showed her. I spoke slowly to make sure she understood.
“Do you see that word right there?”
“Do you really think I’m going to feel better about myself having the word ox in my clothing?”
“Well, it’s a new size. Really. It’s smaller than X.”
“That’s funny, because X used to fit me just fine. You do realize the only thing that has occurred is a shifting of sizes?”
The poor child looked at me blankly. And truly, I didn’t mean to take it out on her. I guess I just wanted a little respect and better selections for full-figured women everywhere. Not insults to my intelligence in the form of OX.