BUENOS AIRES – Loving clothing but not being able to find the proper size is an ongoing problem that affects the self-image of a significant portion of society, and one non-governmental organization is focusing on “guaranteeing the right to dress oneself” to avoid fostering “hatred” of one’s body in Argentina.
AnyBody was founded in the United Kingdom and has been working for six years in Argentina to combat the negative body image “epidemic” there, along with trying to ensure compliance with the law in assorted campaigns in all areas against women being treated as “objects.”
The NGO’s mission is to “stir people’s awareness” and exert pressure on those who have social influence regarding the idea of beauty and health so that they confront the damage the industry is causing by promoting a negative view of body shapes that don’t conform to “ideal” standards.
“The lack of sizes attacks society,” emphasized Camila Ocampo, an activist with AnyBody Argentina and a size Extra-Large, in a conversation with EFE.
“There’s a cultural view that they’ve imposed on us, and Argentina, right now, is the country with the highest plastic surgery rate in the region, and so the obligation is very strong to have a certain (body) image,” said Ocampo, adding that “clothing is a right” that must adapt itself to the bodies of each individual and not the reverse.
She also said that the “phenomenon of the single size” prevails, although that is an “illogical” concept and “constitutes a form of very strong discrimination,” and it is a problem that affects not only women, but also men, throughout Latin America.
Meanwhile, the organization is working closely with members of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies and the National Industrial Technology Institute to define the appearance of Argentines, given that currently all textile firms in the country are governed by European clothing sizes, which differ from those of the men and women of the Southern Cone.
“We want a national, coherent and inclusive law,” said Ocampo.
In 2015, about 2,000 people completed the survey AnyBody distributes each year on the Internet to find out what situations people run into when they are buying clothing.
The study found that 68 percent of those interviewed had problems finding their size “especially in jeans or pants,” something that translates into the fact that people feel “unsatisfied” with their body image.