Sometimes a size 2

have worn approximately the same size in clothing since I was a freshman in high school. That should mean that I should always buy the same size clothes, right? Wrong.

I currently own six formal gowns that I wore for various proms and pageants when I was in high school. No two dresses are the same size, but they all still fit me perfectly. As my dresses range in size from size 00 to size 8, it has proven extremely difficult to sell my dresses simply because I can’t just tell someone what the size is. What one person thinks of as a size 2 may be someone else’s size 6.

Normally, I wear a size 4 in dresses. In the next month or so, I need two light-colored dresses for different occasions. I have looked at so many stores trying to find dresses that are appropriate for the events and have come up short every time. Last week I decided to look on Amazon as a last resort. I found two dresses that I thought would be absolutely perfect. The only downside was deciding what size to order. For one dress, I guessed a small and settled for a size 6 in the other, hoping that it wouldn’t be too big since the company didn’t offer the dress in a smaller size. I was very wrong. When the dresses came in, both were way too small and had to be returned.

So why does one person who hasn’t changed sizes in more than six years have to buy such a variety of sizes?

It’s not possible for the average woman to look like the models and celebrities the clothes are designed for without drastically altering her body.

The desire to have the perfect, thin body has completely altered the way women’s sizing works. Desiring to be a smaller size has pushed women all across the country to alter their bodies to fit the unrealistic expectations clothing companies have placed on us.

According to The Washington Post in “The absurdity of women’s clothing sizes,” the U.S. government actually attempted to create standard sizes for women’s fashion in the 1950s and ‘60s. However, the government dropped the project by 1983 when it was clear that the sample measurements taken from various women weren’t actually representative of women in the U.S. at all.

After that failed attempt, “manufacturers were left to define sizes as they saw fit,” the article said. This is all well and good until you shop at companies such as Gap, which owns three different brands: Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. All three brands have different sizing standards, according to “The New York Times.” That’s a little ridiculous.

According to “Cosmopolitan,” the smaller the size, the larger the profits because if women feel good in the sizes they try on, they’re more likely to buy the product. The same article, “Vanity Sizing: The Insanity of Size 0,” asks “How can we rely on size as a way to measure up when sizes themselves have become so inconsistent?”

Well, I don’t feel good. I don’t like getting to a store and having to pull the same piece of clothing in four different sizes because the size that fits at one store likely won’t fit at the next. Having to remember what size I am at countless stores takes way more effort than I want to put in.