Monday, June 15, 2009

The Average Woman

I don't know why this got in my head to blog about, but I was wondering, what is actually the average size of women? At my job, even though we were having a weight loss competition, none of us really were extremely over weight. Sure, some could stand to lose a few, but in reality, they all were of average size. No bigger than a 12 here at my office (though we did have a co-worker who was well over 300 pounds, but she's no longer here--also, not counting the one that was pregnant before the competition started).

So I did some research. The average female height (this is for USA) is 5'3.8". Let's just say 5"4", and the weight ranged from 140-160. So when I was at my highest, my weight was about what the average was, though I'm 2 inches short of the height. Also, the average dress size is a 14. That was shocking to me. I thought it was a 10 or 12.

Now here are a little tidbits:
*The average Miss America winner is 5'6.5"
*"Ideal" women portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls and actresses is 5'7" and 100 pounds and wears a size 8. (Though I'm sure models' sizes are at about 0-4)
*1/3 of American women wear 16 or larger.*75% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
*50% are on a diet at any one time.
*Compared to the plus-sized industry, promotion of petite sizes in magazines and the fashion world is less prominent even though well-known celebs are short.
*Some celebs 5'4" and under are:-Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen 5'0"-Shakira 4'11"-Eva Longoria 5'2"-Janet Jackson 5'4"

Over the past 20 years, the American fashion industry manipulated clothing sizes to accommodate its widening public, especially women. To show how sizing has changed over time, size eight dresses for 1980s, 1990s and today were compared. The waist circumference on a 1984 dress was 25 inches. On the 1995 dress, it was 26 inches. And on a 2004 dress, it was 27-1/2 inches. A two-and-a-half inch difference from 1984 to 2004. Sizing standard in other parts of the world remained constant. Europeans, for example, had developed an entirely different view of fashion and their sizing standards had not changed.

And if this is not enough, knowing were you fall in all the various categories can cause more mass confusion!! Categories I found were Misses (5'5"-5'6" tall, average bust, average back), Miss Petite (5'2"-5'3" tall, average bust, shorter back), Junior sizes (5'4"-5'5" tall, higher bust, shorter back), Junior Petite (5'1" tall, average bust, shorter back), Young Junior Sizes (5'1"-5'3" tall, higher bust, shorter back), Women's sizes (5'5"-5'6" tall, average bust, average back). Most commonly, the Misses sizes are the 4-6-8-10-12 you see. Junior sizes are the odd numbers, 3-5-7-9-11 and so on. Young Junior has the two-digit sizing 5/6-7/8-9/10 type of deal.

Since technically a petite size is under 5'4" what makes me mad is why the fashion industry does not cater to us shorties!! I mean, finding a pair of pants that fit me is crazy! It doesn't matter when I was bigger or now smaller, I still cannot find the perfect fit. It's like, I have to be 5'5"-5'6" to fit them. It's rare that stores even carry petite sizes.

So why do top fashion models need to be so tall? I know, I know, since I'm obsessed with America's Next Top Model, I know the answer. Clothes just look better on a 5"7" model or taller. More canvass to show off the product I guess. I'm sure on some commercial advertisements and magazines, smaller models may be used, but can they strut on the runway? Hmmm, it will be interesting to see next season on ANTM what they tell the hopefuls.

I am TOTALLY PSYCHED that they are doing models under 5'6"! Woohoo to us!! What are the designers going to say? What will the photographers think? How will the judges respond? Most importantly, will they get booked? Is this going to change the industry? Remember, this is America's Next TOP Model--a distinct difference from commercial models who don't do runway and high fashion magazines. Give it up to Tyra for actually stepping out and doing this, like her or not, it takes a lot of guts for her to go against industry type.

So now it's time for the average woman to strut her stuff!!

1 comment:

  1. It used to be a cut off of 5"4" for swim and nightwares when I modeling. As far as the average woman I am not sure what will happen in that industry as a whole, keep me posted. For me, I would just rather see a reality size in print ads and displays.

    Nice article thanks for the share.