By Sharon Haywood, Director of AnyBody Argentina
In Argentina, I’m a size 44 (UK 16/US 14). I feel branded by this number. Last year when I was searching for a wedding dress, all I had to do was observe the saleswoman’s reaction when she looked my way and I knew that I wasn’t going to find anything. Almost always, I heard the same worn-out phrase, “We don’t carry your size.” In the majority of shops I’m lucky if I fit into the largest size. In other stores, they only offer “one size fits all”: sometimes it fits; a lot of the time it doesn’t. In spite of all this madness, I don’t have a problem saying that I use a size 44. I am one of the majority, I am part of the average female population. Even though I’m Canadian, I’m also of Italian descent and short in stature, so as long as I don’t speak, people think I’m Argentine. But many Argentine women have bodies similar to mine and they’ve said they would like to lose weight to be able to fit into a size 42 or even a 40. Others say that 38 is their ideal size.
This is what AnyBody Argentina’s ongoing investigation has revealed after surveying hundreds of women between sizes 36 and 54. Through our research we discovered that more than 50% of women would like to drop a dress size. As well, approximately 65% have trouble finding fashionable clothes that fit. If we combine this information with the extreme lack of size law compliance, and the fact that eating disorders for Argentine girls and women are at epidemic levels, what we have is a profound health crisis.
When considering how to attack the issue of retailers not respecting the size law, we were guided by the quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In this spirit, we decided to take a different route. Instead of punishing the brands with fines, we choose to congratulate those that are making a sincere attempt at complying. In July of 2011 we launched our campaign with the objective of positively contributing to the health of girls and women by singling out the brands that respect body diversity. Consumers can identify these retailers via the AnyBody sticker featuring the internationally recognized female symbol in shop windows. When we launched the campaign, we congratulated two Argentine brands, VER and Portsaid, and now we are extremely proud to add another national retailer, Yagmour, which now offers various items that range between sizes 38 and 54. Furthermore, Yagmour is committed to work with AnyBody Argentina until it achieves 100% size law compliance.
On a personal note, I am thrilled that these brands provide me with a wide variety of the latest fashions so I can now avoid the trauma of being rejected. It’s important to underscore that our campaign is designed for all women who fall within the average, in other words, women who wear up to a size 52 or 54. They only need to come across our pink sticker and they can be sure to hear, “Yes, we carry your size.”
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Página 12, a leading national Argentine daily newspaper, published the original article on January 13, 2012 in Spanish titled “65% of Women Have Problems Finding Clothes in Their Size”.
 The current law in the province of Buenos Aires mandates that stores offer most clothing items in standardized sizes of 38 to 48.