Deena Shoemaker was cleaning out her closet one day when something clicked.
She realized that her pants came in a dramatically different range of sizes, but all fit the same way — even a size 5 and a size 12.
Working as a mentor coach at a nonprofit organization for at-risk kids, the 27-year-old Kansas native thought back on all the times young girls have confided to her about low self-esteem or body image.
"I remembered all the times I’ve heard girls say they’re 'fat' because they went up a pant size, or talked about all the diets they’ve been on," Shoemaker told The Huffington Post. "I’ve tried telling them it’s not true but they never really seemed to believe me. All the pieces fell into place for me when I saw my own pants. The lies they were believing were coming from something so commonplace that they didn’t even recognize it as the source of their hurt."
So Shoemaker shared her thoughts in a Facebook post that has since received almost 30,000 reactions and almost 60,000 shares.
She wrote in the post, "But when you resize a girl's pants from a 9 to a 16 and label it 'plus size,' how am I supposed to fight that? Photo manipulation is one thing but how do you expect me to convince her that the number printed inside her clothes is a lie too? How do you expect me to convince her that she doesn't need to skip dinner for the next month because her pant size didn't *actually* go up by seven digits? "
"STOP telling my girls that a size 4 is the 'ideal body size' and the 'epitome of beauty' if you're going to change a size 4 into an 8 or a 12 or whatever number you feel like on any given day," Shoemaker continued.
Shoemaker finished the post with a positive message to all young girls: "And to you; my dear beautiful girls, my size 2 girls or my size 18 girls, your size doesn't determine your beauty; your life does. The size printed inside your clothes is subjective to the fashion industry's personal taste and it fluctuates rapidly. Stop believing the social normatives about who and what you should be. You are lovely and you are loved. Just exactly the way you are."
Do you have the same issues with your clothes sizes as Shoemaker? Share your thoughts in the comments below.