Popular clothing brand American Eagle made headlines in 2014 when it ditched Photoshop as part of its “Aerie Real” campaign, intended to promote more realistic body standards for teen girls.
The company is in the spotlight again after a young customer called out the brand for inconsistent sizing in a viral Facebook post.
Missy Rogers, a 20-year-old woman from Trenton, New Jersey, went shopping for shorts last week at American Eagle, where she usually wears a size 4. Rogers was dismayed to discover that she couldn’t get the store’s latest style of that size to fit over her knees. She ended up purchasing a size 10.
“Having to go up to a size 10 made me question just how much weight I gained,” she wrote in the post that has been shared over 73,000 times.
Rogers brought the size 10 shorts home and held them up to another American Eagle pair, size 4, that she had purchased two years prior. The two pairs of shorts were slightly different lengths, different styles, and purchased in different years. However, the waist dimensions of the shorts were exactly the same.
“Once I brought the shorts home and compared, I realised that size is literally just a number,” she wrote, commenting on problems with the media, young girls, and body positivity.
In response to Rogers’ post, American Eagle stressed its commitment to positive body image:
“We agree fully with Missy that women are so much more than numbers, which is why we are so strongly committed to body positivity,” said Chad Kessler, the company’s Global Brand President, in a statement sent to INSIDER. “Like every retailer, we strive for consistency and clarity to help our customers make decisions. We’ve reached out to Missy to get her feedback on her shopping experience and look forward to engaging in a discussion around this important issue.”
Rogers recently followed up with another Facebook post, clarifying that she did not intend to specifically target one brand — she just wanted to show an example of the sizing troubles women face while shopping.
“Let it be known again that I am calling attention to the issues of sizing and inconsistency across all of the clothing industry…not just American Eagle,” she wrote.
Moral of the story? Rogers said it best: “Love yourself and don’t let the number [on a tag] define you.”
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