Deep Thought of the Week: How Skinny Jeans Are Ruining The Self-Esteem of (some) American Girls

I attempted to go back-to-school-clothes shopping this Friday.  When I got home, the first, furious sentences I scribbled down in my journal were “Just got back from jeans shopping.  What better way to make me feel like crap and cast a huge dark shadow over the rest of the day?”.

Has anyone else besides me noticed the fact that girl jean sizes have slowly but surely been decreasing over the years?  Where once you could find “regular fit” jeans, now when you look on a sale rack you see skinny jeans, super-skinny jeans, perfectly skinny jeans, and, of course, jeggings.  There’s even skinny-plus, which I’m still trying to figure out.  (When you think about it, skinny is really a disgusting word.  It doesn’t even sound like something you would want to be.  It literally means…skin-y.  And a skeleton covered with skin doesn’t sound really healthy.)

I am extremely fed up with the amount of crap teen girls are bombarded with every day telling us that America is getting fatter and fatter and if we’re a skeleton, then we’re just that much more attractive.  Yes, some girls are naturally slender, and that’s good too!  As long as they’re healthy and confident in themselves.  And  I understand that superficiality definitely isn’t everything, or even really important, but, as a big-time perfectionist, it sucks to see a picture of a model or see a girl rocking those jeans you could barely squeeze into and feel that they’re somehow better than you.  I’m tired of those phrases that have been tossed around so often we don’t really think about them anymore–the pressure to be perfect, seeing a size rather than a person–blah blah blah blah blah.  I’m just going to be upfront and say the whole thing sucks.  Every girl deserves to be able to find clothes that make her feel confident and happy with who she is.  When I’ve been wearing highwater boy’s Levi’s for the past three years…this is frustrating.  I am not even remotely overweight–but what happened to “normal” jean sizes, huh?  I have a typical runner’s build, which means muscular thighs and calves and very little waist or butt.  This is healthy, mmkay?  It is healthy to be muscular, physically fit, and strong.  I’m willing to bet that there isn’t a single Olympic athlete, not even the most well-conditioned gymnasts, who can fit into skinny jeans.  But they’re not giving up their gold medal for that!  So why can’t I find girls’ jeans that fit me well and make me feel good about myself?  Um, excuse me, big-brand jean companies, this means no skinny jeans.  Even I don’t want to go everywhere in running shorts.

What I would really like to see is girls’ clothing manufacturers broadening their lines to include more diversity in sizes–not just “skinny” and “plus”.  Come on, let’s see some jeans for athletic legs, less frumpy pairs for petite and tall girls!  I don’t think we realize that usually what happens is not that the jean industry is making skinny jeans for skinny girls–but the other way around.  We are forcibly creating skinny girls so they can fit into the socially accepted skinny jeans.  We are fueling the flames of eating disorders, intense “diets” at outrageously young ages, self-harm and low self-esteem, and more.  If you can naturally fit into skinny jeans, then good for you!  Keep rocking whatever you wear.  I just want some more options when it comes to dressing, that aren’t as harsh as either stopping running and letting my legs turn into sticks, or wearing yoga pants everywhere.

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2 thoughts on “Deep Thought of the Week: How Skinny Jeans Are Ruining The Self-Esteem of (some) American Girls

  1. Pingback: On Sprites and Body Image | The Girl In The Orange

  2. Pingback: On Skinny Characters | The Girl In The Orange

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