What's In A Number? What Never Being A Size 0 Taught Me About Self-Love

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I’ve always wondered why men’s clothing sizes are so different from women’s clothing sizes.

After going shopping with my father and boyfriend a couple of times, I learned that men have sizes based upon their measurements.

When they want to buy a pair of jeans, they simply go to the shelf that is labeled with their measurements, and they select the cut that they would like.

Women have sizes that increase by even numbers, starting with 00.

Women’s clothing sizes have become smaller over time, and marketers like to sell the idea of being thin to women.

Calling a pair of pants a “00” is supposed to make us feel good.

We are supposed to be proud of the fact we aren’t taking up any space.

Let’s think about what 0 means.

Zero means nothing.

What is 00, then?

Double nothing? Extra nothing?

Many women have developed eating disorders due to this unhealthy obsession with being thin.

I do believe we should exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

However, there is a difference between honoring your body and obsessing over your body.

Eating disorders stem from the idea of maladaptive perfectionism.

Individuals who struggle with maladaptive perfectionism are obsessed with being “perfect.”

This idea consumes them to the point that their obsessions manifest into mental or physical health problems.

Due to society’s beauty standards for women, many women associate the idea of being extremely thin with perfection.

As women struggle to live up to these beauty standards, our mental and physical health is negatively affected.

Maladaptive perfectionism can manifest itself in many different ways.

I have not struggled with an eating disorder, but I know individuals who have.

My maladaptive perfectionism developed into a different problem.

When I was younger, I became obsessed with getting straight As. I would not allow myself to get a B.

If I ever got a grade less than an A, I was extremely hard on myself.

I spent endless amounts of time studying, to ensure that I met that standard of perfection.

I had to learn that sometimes a B is an acceptable grade.

The truth is, in some classes, an A is too difficult to achieve.

Some professors do not teach the material properly.

Some subjects are more difficult than others.

As long as you are doing your best, you should accept whichever grade you produce.

This same concept applies to weight.

I am 5 feet 2 inches tall. If I were 100 pounds, that would not be extremely unhealthy.

However, if you are a woman who is 6 feet tall, then you should not be 100 pounds.

Other factors such as genetics also contribute to an individual’s weight.

In the 1950s, women were expected to look pretty and find husbands to take care of them.

The husband was the provider, and the wife was the homemaker.

Fortunately, society has progressed since then.

Women are also encouraged to pursue many different professions. However, women are still judged very heavily by their looks.

As a society, we spend a great amount of time talking about which woman is prettier and skinnier than another.

However, the men are not held up to those same beauty standards.

Why is a woman’s worth still determined so much by her beauty?

We are in the year 2016. It's time we abandon these old-fashioned ideas.

I'm not thrilled by the idea of taking up no space. I do not want to waste away into nothing.

I am proud of being here, and I want to show everyone who I am, curves and all.

Women should have clothing sizes based upon our measurements, just like men do.

This way, we will be able to quickly find clothes tailored to our bodies, instead of trying to find the smallest size that fits us.

This way, we will make the clothes. The clothes will not make us.

I’m tired of hearing women talk about how they think that they’re fat, and how they wish that they could fit into a 0.

Just do your best to be the healthiest version of yourself that you can be.

Don’t worry about your size.

Flaunt your body, girl. You look just fine.

This article was originally published on the author's personal blog.