The news that apparel company J Crew is now making a size 000 (that’s two sizes smaller than a 0!) created a stir among some feminists who say the new size idealizes the desire to be too thin. While the company says it is trying to appeal to a petite Asian market, critics say that the move is just another example of the “vanity sizing” trend in fashion – downsizing label sizing so customers, both women and men, feel better about the clothes they try on and buy. Today on Radio Times we’ll talk about how size influences shoppers, how manufacturers make sizing decisions and why the size you wear doesn’t say much about the size you are. Our guests are MARIE-EVE FAUST, program director of the Fashion Merchandising Program at Philadelphia University and ED GRIBBIN whose company Alvanon consults with clothing manufacturers about fit and sizing. We’ll also hear from psychotherapist JANE SHURE about the negative influence of vanity sizing. – See more at: whyy.org
In an interview in the April Harvard Business Review, Sheryl Sandberg said, “Women face huge institutional barriers. But we also face barriers that exist within ourselves, sometimes as the result of our socialization. For most of my professional life, no one ever talked to me about the ways I held myself back.” (Harvard Business Review April 2013 “Now Is Our Time”).
I’m glad the business world is now buzzing with commentary about Sandberg’s book “Lean In.” The book has not only triggered some readers to wonder if she is blaming women for not getting into the Board room, not only brought the ‘f’ word, feminism, into the picture, but has also introduced an honest conversation about the internal barriers that inhibit women from asserting themselves.
Far from blaming women for not showing up in greater leadership positions, Sandberg names both external and internal factors that make it hard for women to assert themselves, to sustain high self-confidence, to maintain resilience in the face of work place adversity, and to keep up the emotional support that it takes to overcome the multiple barriers to success.
Late Thursday afternoon I was driving home and did the usual… I clicked on NPR for whatever program was on the air. I listened intently as the reporter told the story of a Notre Dame football star, Manti Te’o, who was fooled into believing that a virtual romance with a woman was actually real.
After discovering that he had been the victim of a hoax, Te’o, a Heisman Trophy runner-up, perpetuated the story by telling tales of the woman’s early death from leukemia in September. Living as though the virtual is actually the real has become so widespread and, in this case, we get to see how deep into our world the virus has traveled.
I’ve been very earth-bound this year. I’ve been growing a new wing of my consulting business, The Resilience Group, with my work partner Dr. Jane Shure, marketing leadership coaching, formulating what words of wisdom I can deliver in speaking engagements, hoping to be of practical use to my clients, building our new website and creating our new brochure — all solid work for my professional passions and the realities of managing a business.
As the new year approaches, I ponder at what cost I have attended to this solid ground.