The change of sizes will be led by Spain's National Consumer Institute, which will measure more than 8,000 Spanish females between the ages of 12 and 70.It's one thing to standardize the sizes. I can't see objecting to that. The standardization of weights and measures is central to free trade. A pound of sugar from one manufacturer should weigh the same as a pound of sugar from another. Clothes sizes are much the same. I suppose you could say that the proportions should be variable. If the average woman is pear-shaped, will it be illegal to design for the apple-shaped woman? But basically, it doesn't bother me that manufacturers won't be allowed to manipulate the numbers to get the jump on their competitors.
Spanish fashion houses will then try to fit clothes to them, rather than the other way round.
Last year Spain's main fashion show banned designers from using so-called "size zero" women to model their collections.
Now designers aiming for commercial markets should be encouraged to "promote a healthy physical image that conforms with the reality of the Spanish population," the ministry said in a statement.
But weren't they putting smaller numbers on larger clothes? I don't know about Spain, but here in the United States, they didn't use to have size 0 or even size 2 in ordinary women's departments. I should think reality-based sizing would have women shocked to learn what their real size is. But at least it won't vary from shop to shop. Some women might get upset not to fit into a size they were used to fitting into. Whether that sends them into crash dieting is another matter.
The bigger issue is whether government should demand that clothing manufacturers participate in the promotion of healthy bodily images. I don't much like government efforts to improve people's thought processes. It puts me in a bad mood.
Hey, why not ban black clothes? They're depressing and worn by people who are depressed. Let's mandate pastels and snappy prints!
The reason I'm blogging about this is that I got a phone call this morning asking me if I could go on the radio to talk about this story -- which I hadn't yet read. Wanna talk about it for 5 minutes, like 8 minutes from now? Okay.... Anyway, so I did that. This blog post is just a byproduct.