A Jumbo Mistake

Numbers are the bane of many women. Often, this negativity involves the numbers found on a scale, but also extends to the sizes of clothes. How many girls and women have I seen in treatment who would literally starve themselves to death if only they could be a size 00?

Therefore, I generally applaud attempts by manufacturers to defuse the size issue, but not here.

Recently, a Japanese clothing company (interestingly called FATYO) unveiled a new wardrobe line with not a single number; however, the “new” approach was obviously not designed to promote anyone’s self-esteem. A shopper might ask for a shirt or pair of pants in a “titch, skinny, fat, or jumbo.” I suppose it is possible that whoever was hired for translation purposes may have had it in for the company!


It remains to be seen how well FATYO will fare in the marketplace, but I’m thinking the outcome will be poor in the U.S. It is regrettable that in their noble effort to get away from numbers, this company went the wrong way altogether with their language.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came out with a line of clothing — jeans or otherwise — whose sizes were: gorgeous, awesome, beautiful, and extra beautiful? Now that would be a store I would shop at!

An interesting side note to this story is what lawmakers in Japan have implemented regarding size. In 2009, the government set maximum waistline sizes for citizens over 40, they were: 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women. In order to receive Japanese health coverage, employees must get their waistlines checked annually; if deemed overweight, they are sent to health counseling.

This brings weight stigma to a whole new level. What about the concept of size diversity? What about the concept of health at every size? What about using more accurate markers of health than waist size, such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels? All of which are much better predictors of health risk than waist size.  And, what about the relevance of exercise to health?