The growing popularity of subzeros
Could subzero become the next status symbol for size-conscious women?
The ideal women's size has been shrinking for years, and now more designers and retailers are introducing a less-than-zero size, sometimes called "subzero" or 00. Designer Nicole Miller plans to introduce the size in next fall's line, and last spring Banana Republic started selling size 00 online.
But some experts worry that the proliferation of such a tiny size could cause eating disorders as some women aspire to shrink to subzero.
"They love the size zero," Tony Paulson, clinical director for
If this decade's ideal body type is superskinny, a glance down the fashion timeline is a reminder that it wasn't always this way.
In the 1950s, a size 12 Marilyn Monroe wrote the body-type rules....And in the 1990s, Pamela Anderson summed up the ideal: impossibly slender with impossibly large breasts.
"What happens is that the beauty ideal keeps on changing, and you have a lot of adolescent girls who are striving for that," Mr. Paulson said. "Unfortunately, for most of the girls, it's completely unrealistic."
Most women just aren't built that way. The average American woman is 5-foot-4, weighs about 155 pounds and wears size 14.
The average model? She stands at 5-foot-9, weighs 110 pounds and wears a 0 or a 2, according to the Social Issues Research Centre in