Note: I am, of course, American. Korean-American, that is.
There’s a few threads going on right now concerning obesity and other weight issues, but that’s not really what I’m here about. My fellow slight-framed folk, do you ever find yourself in a clothing store only to realize that the fantastic shirt you spotted in the window would only fit you if they released a tweenie version? That’s what I’m here about: fashion discrimination against the willowy, lanky, or otherwise famished-looking.
I understand, of course, that this is probably not as much a problem for slender gals as it is for guys. For me, I was weighing in at 120 to 124lbs since my junior year of high school. When shopping in Arkansas, my only choices were among belts three to four slots too big; giant, tent-like dress shirts; and maybe 2 styles of jeans that would be available (in the entire state) in my waist size. Why, yes, I did shop for belts in the kids section at JC Penny
All my life, I grew up just accepting the fact that I was too small. I needed to get bigger in order to look fashionable. But then, during one hot summer, I discovered the truth! Americans are just, on average, too big!
How did I discover this? By traveling, of course! I set off for Korea for the first time during college, and you cannot imagine my surprise at the shopping options suddenly made available. Abruptly, shirts that fit! Pants that emphasize what little buns I have! A whole deluge of clothes tailored for men of slight-frame. By the time I came back, I knew that I’d return again if only just to buy more shirts. And a suit, perhaps. Because the people at Men’s Wearhouse in Arkansas tailor-made my suit gigantic on me, for whatever reason.
But now, as I inch closer to the date of my return to America, I dread those clothing stores. I know I’ll want to find some new looks eventually, and what then? It’ll be like repeating high school mall shopping all over again.
I pit you, average giant American. You and your 6’1" hulkishly shouldered frame!