Female Students On The Lack Of Size Diversity


An American Eagle top sized in a large from Sara Kieser’s closet. Although Kieser fits a large usually, this top is the exception.

Ni'yah-Marie Preacely , Opinion Editor

Society has made substantial progress on many prominent issues. However, it’s safe to assume the issue of size diversity has not had the same result. Female students feel that clothing stores are lacking inclusivity. 


Although clothing stores like LaneBryant, OldNavy, and Rainbow Shops have a good range of sizes for all women and have somewhat affordable prices. However, those stores are the exception, not the rule. According to a study from the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, the standard that was set at size 14 should be no longer. Because of the beauty standards that were set for women in the 20th century, the clothing industry is reluctant to change. 


“I think that the lack of diversity in clothing stores is at best frustrating to shop for, and at worst extremely damaging to women’s mental health and body perception,” says Sara Kieser, an 18-year-old psychology major. The harmful idea of having the “perfect body” is only perpetuated by clothing stores’ lack of options for women. “It is obvious that the clothing industry, like most industries in today’s society, favor a very specific body type that not many women have.”


Kieser’s clothing size is large in some shirts however in others the size varies. The frustrating situation where women have to keep going on a “long journey” to just feel comfortable in clothes has gone on long enough. Many self-esteem issues rise because there are not enough of more sizes. It makes women feel “less than” or “not good enough.”


With many stores, it seems like women have limited choices. Often women have to go to a handful of different stores for what they need in clothing. However, what comes along with the need to go to many stores is a feeling of embarrassment. It’s almost like there’s such a shame around the thought of not fitting into one type of clothing. Sometimes women don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. 


“There are plenty of women in the world that can’t comfortably go out in public because of the clothes they’re wearing,” says Kimberlee Sokolowski,18, liberal arts major. “I find myself going into many different stores, trying to find something cute, comfortable, and something I feel confident in, and in the end, I usually end up with nothing.” 


Sokolowski’s clothing size is medium. In society’s eyes, she seems “lucky” to be that size and it’s assumed that she has a lot of options. However, that assumption is wrong, and it’s an irritating situation. 


The absence of inclusivity in the clothing industry is a form of discrimination. It seems unjust that women have to either keep comparing themselves and their worth because of the size of their clothes. 


“Everyone should be able to express themselves and show off their style without being limited or shamed because of their size,” Sokolowski continued.