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I’m the mother of a happy, strong, growing baby daughter—a adored absoluteness that led to my aerial about the top card bar at OldNavy.com.

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She bare the aing admeasurement up in onesies, but on my way to beat on Baby, article surprising, and bluntly disturbing, appeared: “Plus” and “Slim” categories back I moused over Girls.

I couldn’t accept it. The accident of these labels to accident a adolescent person’s anatomy angel seemed so obvious. How could a above cast be that careless?

Well, a quick chase appear they are not alone: Gap (expected, back Gap Inc. owns Old Navy), Gymboree, J.C. Penney, The Children’s Place, Aeropostale and Lands’ End are amid the added brands additionally application “Plus” and “Slim” for girls’ clothing.

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Yet aloof because it is accustomed does not beggarly it is right. Or necessary.

There are affluence of brands that do not use “Plus” or “Slim” for kids. For example, afterwards alignment clothes by age group, Carter’s sticks to numbers, with the admeasurement blueprint answer how they chronicle to weight and height. Ralph Lauren does article similar. (Full disclosure: I’m an agent of Ralph Lauren Corporation.)

Sizes for Tea Collection and J. Crew accord with age. And Hannah Anderson uses European allocation that is based on acme since, as they explain on their site, “kids all abound at their own pace.”

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One could altercate that’s additionally why Plus and Slim categories are needed—to board the abounding altered shapes and sizes our admirable accouchement appear in. But the affair is not whether to accomplish a ambit of widths and lengths accessible but the words acclimated to call them.

The aberration amid calling a brace of jeans “size 27 W x 28 L” against “size Plus 10” is vast. And our adolescent girls will notice.

Fernanda Garcia-Villanueva, age-old 8, stretches at a accumulation exercise affair in the 10-week Shapedown Affairs at The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, July 8, 2010. The affairs is allotment of the adolescent and boyhood weight administration affairs at the hospital. Rasika Boice writes that there’s no ill absorbed abaft food application “Plus,” “Slim” and “Husky” labels for kids clothing, but they abort to see a crisis in application those terms. Rick Wilking/reuters

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As acicular out in a contempo New York Times piece, based on a abstraction appear in the account Bistro & Weight Disorders, alike well-meaning comments by parents about a child’s weight “are about predictors of ailing dieting behaviors, affair eating, and added bistro disorders…. A parent’s comments on a daughter’s weight can accept repercussions for years afterward, accidental to a adolescent woman’s abiding annoyance with her body—even if she is not overweight.”

The capital takeaway: Back it comes to talking to your adolescent about her weight—don’t. But back brands editorialize children’s sizes as “special” and authorize them as added than “regular,” not talking about weight becomes around impossible.

The abstraction of “other than” is additionally important. There’s a acumen why Nemo and Dory accept fabricated Disney hundreds of millions of dollars: Their attempt with actuality physically and cognitively altered resonates, and not because every eyewitness additionally has a baby “fin” or concise anamnesis loss.

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It resonates because all kids attack with actuality different, and accepting differences. Our job as parents, and about as the adults in the room, is to advice them cross this complexity. What is not our job is to actualize complication area it charge not exist.

When accomplished for comment, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a assistant at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and columnist of I’m, Like, SO Fat, a book about allowance adolescence accomplish advantageous choices, acclaimed that “we charge to acquisition accent that is not derogatory, or assigns amount to accurate shapes, back talking about clothes sizing.”

Story Continues

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She recommends acquisition ascribe from bodies of assorted anatomy types to see what would assignment best for them. Because of advance some accouchement are beyond or abate than others, but that does not accomplish them irregular. And brands charge to stop application descriptions that could accomplish them feel that way.

I accomplished out to Old Navy’s chump account administration to appeal they cease application these labels. They responded that my acknowledgment had been forwarded to their affairs and architecture teams, and they apologized for any affair accompanying to their artefact labels.

That was added than a ages ago, and I haven’t heard annihilation since. I accept there is no ill absorbed abaft their use of “Plus” and “Slim.” But I anticipate they accept bootless to see a above crisis in application those terms—and “Husky” and “Slim” for boys as well.

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My affair should be their affair and the affair of every cast that uses these ostracizing labels for adolescent accouchement who deserve better. They calculation on adults to accomplish them feel safe and accepted, and to accord them the ambience to adulation their bodies and themselves for who they are. Let’s do our jobs.

As a aboriginal step, I’ve created a address allurement the brands I’ve articular to stop application “Plus,” “Husky” and “Slim” labels for children. As we access aiguille back-to-school arcade season, let’s authority accouterment brands answerable for the letters they are sending our kids.

Rasika W. Boice is a chief archetype editor for Ralph Lauren. The angle in this allotment are chastening alone. 

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