Woman explains why pants size doesn't matter in viral Facebook post
When Deena Shoemaker’s friend posted on Facebook that a neighbor had lost her home in a fire and asked for pants to be donated, Shoemaker went to her closet on a mission.
Little did she know that what resulted from a “closet cleanse” would influence thousands of girls and women when she wrote her own Facebook post that’s garnered more than 85,000 shares.
It’s also caused readers to have an “aha” moment and hopefully cut themselves some slack in the often-unforgiving body image department.
When Shoemaker, a 27-year-old mentor coach at a nonprofit in Wichita, Kansas, that helps at-risk youth, initiated her pants inventory, she couldn’t help but notice that — whoa! — even though she’d been the same size for years, she had accumulated pants sizes from 6 through 12. The thing was, they didn’t fit her any differently, even though the sewn-in label indicated they should.
It got her thinking about the preteen and teenage girls she’d talked to in her role as a mentor and counselor during her career. Not surprisingly, diet and body image had been frequent, emotional topics — as they have been historically for females of all ages.
In her now-viral Facebook post Shoemaker wrote, “I've [had] girls sob in my arms and ask me, ‘If I were skinnier, would he have stayed?’ I've counseled girls who were skipping meals. I've caught some throwing up everything they've just eaten.”
Shoemaker is "not happy" because, she wrote, the fashion industry Photoshops women’s bodies and resizes a pair of pants on a whim from a size 9 to a size 16, then labels it a “plus size.” She stated that such random sizing “is subjective to the fashion industry's personal taste and it fluctuates rapidly.”
The post had a much deeper meaning than a simple fashion statement, she indicated. “What I wrote wasn’t really about pants size,” Shoemaker told TODAY. “Good health is more important than anything. Smaller sizes don’t always mean a healthier person, and bigger doesn’t mean unhealthy.”
She’s not frivolously seeking to revolutionize the fashion industry, either. “If sizes were true across the board, it might make shopping easier, but really, l hope women realize that sizes aren’t as important as we have made them out to be.”
Shoemaker is dedicated to sending positive messages. As a mentor coach at the nonprofit Youth Horizons, she screens and trains mentors who give their time and provide support to children from single-parent homes — usually fatherless homes. The Christian organization empowers kids and their families to become healthy, productive members of the community, while creating nationwide awareness of the needs of at-risk youth.
Credits: Deena Shoemaker
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