There has been a recent surge in the spread of international activism around women and body image, thanks in much part to the Endangered Species Women summit that took place in New York City a couple of weeks ago. It is extremely important for different women of varying countries to get together and discuss all of their perspectives because we are constantly learning new things about body image. For example, it wasn’t until now that I was aware of the the size law issues going on in Argentina, and the activism taking place in order to make this important change.
The law states that retailers of clothing for teens must stock sizes 38 to 48 (UK 10-20/US 8-18) of all items available for purchase. It also mandates that sizes small, medium, and large, and sizes 1 through 4 be abolished. Furthermore, every size must be accompanied by a ticket that specifies bust, waist, and hip measurements that adhere to standards set by the National Institute for Normalisation and Certification, otherwise known as IRAM.
Women who’s bodies encompass particular sizes experience a plethora of discrimination from retail stores that refuse to carry larger sizes. There’s little to no government mandated control surrounding this issue, allowing store clerks to adjust sizes as they see fit. Sharon Haywood is an associate of the Endangered Species campaign in Buenos Aires and has been a strong advocate against this continuing discrimination, claiming that it infiltrates almost every aspect of Argentine culture. She points out how retailers are notorious for saying “We don’t carry your size,” and that shopping for clothes can arguably be dangerous breeding grounds for problematic size discrimination.
So, my fellow American females, we’re not alone in this fight against the hatred of our own bodies. The difference is, it’s not exactly reinforced through government standards. Please watch the above video and become aware of this serious issue, and let’s figure out a way to work together as different women of different culture. International body lovers, unite!