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American stores debut the new "triple zero" clothing size

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

And of course people are trying to fit into it

"Skinny" is a loaded word in our society. You'd have to be locked in a tower to not know that thin is in and has been for several decades. The toll this has taken on women who don't naturally fit the ideal has been well documented, so much so that in a recent survey 80 percent of women said they were unhappy with their bodies.

Woman shopping for clothes

Photo credit: angelhell/iStock/360/Getty Images

Is it terrible that my first thought was, "Who are the other 20 percent? And how can I learn their secret??" So of course the recent announcement of some American brands adding the size "000" is as relevant to our self-esteem as it is to our pocketbooks.

An anonymous Los Angeles sourcetold Grazia that "although there are thankfully curvier role models out there, from Kim Kardashian to Beyoncé, it's a cut-throat industry and it's no secret that stars can make headlines out of being scarily skinny. It's not about size zero anymore. These days, double-zero sizes don't cut it either. Size triple zero is the number-one goal here."

For the vast majority of women, this would mean becoming dangerously unhealthy. A size triple zero has a waist measurement that growth charts consider normal for a 5- to 6-year-old child. One personal trainer quoted in the article describes the no-such-thing-as-too-skinny trend, saying, "Their weight struggles become their story.[...] When you lose weight too quickly or too severely, it just doesn't work. The public may look at these women and see thinness, but they don't see the injury, pain and hunger."

And it's hard to ignore the gold stars people are awarded for weight loss, no matter how skinny they get. With celebs posting ultra-thin pics on social media and magazines showing the most minor flaws with a zoom lens, I can see how women get the idea that we're only the sum of our body parts and everyone is scrutinizing us at all times.

Then there is the matter of how atrociously we treat overweight people in our society. So many times people have sadly noted how much better they are treated after losing weight, even though they're the exact same person inside.

Everyone loses when we play the skinny game. When our weight becomes the thing that defines us we lose our self-esteem, we lose money, we lose friends and lovers, we lose hobbies and even sometimes our lives.

A "size zero" has become such an emotionally charged term that it hardly feels like a descriptor of clothing anymore but rather a woman's worth. And now a "triple zero?" When do we draw the line and say "enough?" I vote now.

More on body image

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The body image video that will bring you to tears
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