Size double zero

by Rob Horning

15 February 2006


As if size zero wasn’t stupid enough, Banana Republic is reportedly rolling out size 00, which is apparently twice as null as size 0. If you are a size zero, does that mean you don’t exist? that your waist is non-existent? BusinessWeek does its best to keep a straight face, explaining that 00 is the equivelant of 31 inch bust, 20 inch waist, 32 inch hips. (The aim here is to make clothes for little girls without sullying the adult cache of the brand.) Hmm. I have an idea—why not make size 00 into “31 inch bust, 20 inch waist, 32 inch hips”? When I go to a men’s store (okay, if I ever went to a men’s store), the tailors don’t try to designate my shape with a single random number plucked from thin air with the intent of making me feel anxious and self-conscious. Instead, they take out a tape measure and get relevant precise data. Why aren’t women demanding the same treatment? Why the occulting of the basic significant information necessary to have clothes that actually fit (which, by the way, is a fairly good indicator of social class). Are they afraid to face the facts about their real measurements? That seems a somewhat insulting conclusion to draw and a bit absurd—but I guess the “retail experience” is all about absurd, useless pretend play. So I guess that means women will continue to pretend to be zeros.

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