In response to Urban Outfitters’ “Eat Less” shirt, actress Sophia Bush created her own top which stated “zero is not a size” in September 2013. Though I admire her taking a stand against a shirt promoting eating disorders, judging women for being “too thin” will not create body acceptance, according to xojane.com.
According to National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives in the United States alone.
As the world has become more familiar with eating disorders in the past several years, some tend to associate a size zero with anorexic or bulimic women. However, what many people fail to realize is that different shapes and sizes fit into a size zero pant – this is not a size specifically designed for those who may or may not “eat less.”
By endorsing the new motto of “zero is not a size,” Bush has simply encouraged today’s society to maintain its impossibly high standards for women and what it means to be beautiful.
Bush has made it clear that she is (most likely) not a size zero. But if she were, how would she feel if someone else created a T-shirt saying that her pant or dress size is invalid?
Throughout my middle school and high school years, I wore a size zero myself. As a naturally thin and short person, I was grateful that stores like American Eagle Outfitters acknowledged that zero is a size so I would not have to wear pants from children’s clothing stores.
Courtesy of the “freshman 15,” I do not wear a size zero anymore. However, a campaign like Bush’s will always hit a nerve in me.
What Bush needs to realize is that women who wear a size zero may come from many different situations. Some may have trouble gaining weight, while others may have a small frame and a fast metabolism. One woman wearing size zero pants could be 5-feet tall and 98 pounds, while another could be wearing the same pants at 5-foot-9 and 120 pounds.
Though Bush’s goal appears to be stopping Urban Outfitters from promoting eating disorders through their clothing, it is careless of her to assume that women who may struggle from something as serious as anorexia or bulimia are a size zero.
During high school, I knew multiple people who had suffered from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Usually these people did not tell me about their disorders until they had recovered, and I would have never known they had been starving themselves based off of their appearances.
Much like people come in all shapes and sizes, so do eating disorders. Just because a woman is very tall and thin, it does not mean she is anorexic. Likewise, just because someone fits society’s standards of “fat,” it does not mean she is eating constantly or even at all.
Although Bush thought she did the right thing by standing up to Urban Outfitters, she should have thought twice before creating a motto which shames a pant size. Beauty is not one-size-fits-all, and it is especially not anything above a size zero.