“Although it may just be a number, we grow up under the perspective that anyone who fits in the smaller sizes is more beautiful and closer to being ‘perfect’ than those in the larger sizes,” Rogers told Today. She poses the question: “Isn’t it more important to look after the physical and mental health of the population rather than printing a random number on a tag?” This isn’t the first time popular retailer is questioned for its sizing practices: J.Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic were called out by FitBay last year for this very reason, StyleCaster reported.
Chad Kessler, American Eagle’s global brand president, echoed Rogers’ concern in a statement obtained by Refinery29. “We agree fully with Missy that women are so much more than numbers, which is why we are so strongly committed to body positivity,” he wrote. “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.”
Sizing aside, the brand has put a lot of focus on body positivity and it’s not going unnoticed. Its Photoshop-free #AerieReal lingerie campaigns have been widely praised and have proven to be quite profitable for the company. (Its most recent quarterly report was strong, which is notable, considering other fashion retail companies appear to be struggling.) The retailer hit a snag in its inclusive messaging with its criticized April Fool’s hoax, but has since reiterated its commitment to zero retouching. American Eagle has been at the forefront of size inclusivity as far as mass market retailers go, and inconsistent sizing remains an issue that a number of retailers deal with (and perhaps, should focus on a bit more).