Turns out, size 14 is no longer the average size for an American woman.

American women have long been told the average size is a 14. Hopefully, all that will change because a new study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education reveals that the average size of American women is now 16 to 18.

The study sampled the waist sizes of more than 5,500 women and found that over the past 21 years, the average woman gained 2.6 inches around the waist, from 34.9 inches to 37.5 inches.

Deborah A. Christel


Researchers hope that upon learning about the new measurements, "women may be relieved in knowing the average clothing size worn is larger than [they] thought,” and the public can reevaluate just what "average" really means.

The new information may also change the way retailers design and sell clothing.

"We hope that this information can get out and be used by industry and consumers alike. Just knowing where the average is can help a lot of women with their self image," Susan Dunn, one of the study's lead experts, told TODAY.

"And we hope that the apparel industry can see the numbers and know that these women aren't going away, they aren't going to disappear, and they deserve to have clothing," she said.

"That the clothing should fit well, both in style and measurements, and be available elsewhere than back corners or solely online is still a controversial topic," she added. "Why?

lop
More

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended