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Categories are great for some things: biology, herbs, and spices, for example.

Image via

But bodies? Well, putting bodies into categories just gets weird. There are around 300 million people in America, but only 12 or so standard sizes for clothing: extra-extra-small through 5x.


That's why designer Mallorie Dunn is onto something with her belief — people have different bodies and sizing isn't catching up.

Dunn has found that the majority of clothing sizes stop at an extra-large, yet the majority of women in America are over that. "And that just doesn't make sense," she says.

All images via Smart Glamor, used with permission.

Human spice rack, only, a LOT more variations of flava. ;)



That's why she started a project around her clothing label, Smart Glamour, to document the bodies of models according to their sizes — and to show how one size can look very different on different bodies.

In pursuit of creating a fashion environment that's kinder to all bodies, Dunn has dedicated herself to educating consumers about sizing.

First, she found 60 people of 12 different sizes and took their pictures.

Then, she put five women at a time in the same size of skirt and shirt to show how diversely beautiful human bodies are and to prove that everyone looks different in clothes no matter what size they have on.

She hoped to show people that 12 sizes don't even come close to capturing the beauty of the human form.

All these models are wearing the same size ... but do they look the same?

"No matter what size you are that's not what dictates your worth or your beauty."

"I had a convo with a friend of mine who was like 'Yeah, if I went from a medium to a large, I'd be fine with it, but if I went from a large to an extra-large, that wouldn't be OK' and I was like, 'Why???' And she had no rational reason behind that," Dunn said, describing a conversation we've all either had, started, or heard. "We've been taught forever that the bigger something sounds, the worse that it is."

Dunn's project also shows just how arbitrary and narrow-minded clothing sizes are.

Sizes really are just numbers.

Unlike the images we are presented both in clothing ads and in entertainment and media, human beings aren't, as Dunn remarked, "robots who come out on a conveyor belt ... we're all shaped differently."

The pressure to look one way is obnoxious. And kinda dangerous.

"We've been taught forever that the bigger something sounds, the worse that it is."

There's so much weight — no pun intended — on being the "right" size.

"You put an 'extra' on top of a 'large,' and suddenly it's the end of the world," Dunn said of her experience in fashion sizing. "... And it really doesn't mean anything, it really only means that there's an extra inch of fabric."

One extra inch of fabric.

3 in 4 girls report feeling depressed, guilty, or shameful after just three minutes of leafing through a fashion mag.

But I'd like to imagine a world where everyone can try on clothes and leave the emotional burden of worrying about fit to the clothes.

Instead, let's focus on what looks good on our bodies. Let the clothes handle the emotional roller coaster of not fitting, and you just live your life in the body you've been given.

Dunn, who has worked for fashion houses for her whole career, puts it bluntly: "Clothes are not made for all bodies. ... We shouldn't then think when something doesn't fit us that it's somehow our fault."

Dunn's models also have a group on Facebook where they support each other, compliment each other, and generally lift each other up. Model Stephanie describes it this way: "We see the beauty in one another and help each other to recognize our own beauty at the same time." Fashion leading to body optimism and confidence? Yes, please.

And Dunn herself drives a hard line when it comes to feeling good in the skin you've been given. Her philosophy is this: No matter what size you are, that's not what dictates your worth or your beauty.

Self-worth not based on appearances. That's a category we can all aspire to "fit" into!


This article originally appeared on 07.27.16

The Inuit people have been living in the frozen tundra of northern Canada for thousands of years, so they clearly are the experts on creating warm outdoor wear. Canada Goose, a company that makes highly-rated outerwear, knows something about marketing warm jackets to people in cold climates.

What if you combined the best of both worlds to create a whole new kind of coat?

Project Atigi has set out to do just that. Established in 2019, Project Atigi is a social entrepreneurship program that "celebrates the expertise and the rich heritage of craftsmanship that has enabled Inuit to live in some of the most formidable climates and conditions," according to a press release.


This year's collection features 90 bespoke pieces, created by 18 Inuit designers. Each designer created a collection of five jackets "which reflect their heritage, communities, and artisanship."

"Project Atigi is a great example of cultural appreciation, not appropriation," said Mishael Gordon, an Inuit designer from Iqaluit, Nunavut who participated in the project's launch. "It's bringing together a world-renowned company and Inuit culture that is represented through our clothing and traditions. This is an opportunity for a piece of our heritage to reach a global audience, especially while owning our own designs."

RELATED: What is modern living like for people in the Arctic Circle? These native artists will show you.

"The talent that Inuit designers possess extends across Inuit Nunangat and the art of making parkas has been part of our culture for thousands of years," Natan Obed, President of ITK, said in a statement.. "By partnering with Canada Goose and expanding this initiative, it raises awareness of the incredible talent of our designers and allows us to share more of our culture and craftsmanship to the world in a way that protects and respects Inuit intellectual property and designs."

Proceeds from each Project Atigi parka sale will go back to Inuit communities across Canada via ITK.

"Project Atigi was born in the North, created by the North and for the North," said Dani Reiss, President & CEO, Canada Goose. "We're leveraging our global platform to share Inuit craftsmanship with the world and to create social entrepreneurship opportunities in the communities that inspire us. When you purchase a Project Atigi parka, you're making an investment in the place and people that shape them."

Beautiful. If you want to try out one of these extra-warm coats made with Inuit creativity and ingenuity, they will be available on canadagoose.com starting January 23.

Facebook / Cierra Brittany Forney

Children in middle school can be super shallow when it comes to fashion. To be part of the in-crowd, you have to wear the right shoes and brand-name clothing, and listen to the right music.

The sad thing is that kids that age can be so creative, but they're forced into conformity by their peers.

Some people never escape this developmental phase and spend their entire lives wasting their money on material goods and judging those who do not or can not.


Cierra Brittany Forney, a mother from Braselton, Georgia, couldn't stand the fact that her kid was acting entitled and making fun of kids who don't wear name-brand clothing, so she gave him an attitude adjustment he'll never forget.

So lately, my 13 year old son had been acting a little... entitled. Acting like he's too good to shop at Wal-Mart or making snarky comments about kids at school who shop at the goodwill and quite a few other things. I don't tolerate that. Today, he took his own 20.00 to the goodwill to buy clothes to wear the entire week to school. Whatever he found is what he would have to wear. He isn't happy and shed a few tears but I firmly believe in 15 years he will look back and laugh at the day his Mom made him shop at goodwill. I want to teach my kids that money isn't everything and if you have to degrade other people because of where they shop, then you too will shop there. Side note, I love the goodwill!!

RELATED: Feminist blogger has tough advice for mothers with lazy husbands: 'Divorce his ass'

via Marc Moss / Flickr

Forney's punishment was perfect because it made her son realize what other kids whose parents can't afford the name-brand clothes have to go through. Hopefully, it made him realize that people are so much more than what they wear and where they shop.

RELATED: Mother posts raw photos of her C-section scar to prove it's not the 'easy way out'

"I did this to teach him that money and name brands don't change who we are as people," Forney wrote in a subsequent post. "He can still be the amazing, adorable, loved kid that he is WITHOUT the expensive stores!"

She also said that she might be partly responsible for his attitude.

"I do realize that we are partly to blame for his expectancy of always having name brands," she wrote. "My husband and myself had our son when we were VERY young. We always strived to give him all the things we never had and because of that, he has grown to expect these things."

But the important thing is that her son learned an important lesson about materialism. One that that far too many adults never do

"All that matters is my son is completely 100 percent okay with what happened," Forney wrote. "My son has learned a valuable lesson from this AND my son is rockin' his button up shirt he bought from the Goodwill with PRIDE today!!!"

Over the past several years, artist Benjamin Von Wong has been on an amazing journey inspiring people to reconsider what they throw away.

It started with a trip to Guatemala and an up-close photoshoot of a massive trash heap there, and quickly morphed into a series of projects designed to confront people with various aspects of the world's waste problem.

As an artist, however, he wanted to do it in a way that would get people to look first before he unloaded harrowing facts about waste on them. There's so much alarmist news out there about what we're doing to our planet that, frankly, after a while, many of us end up turning off to the problem. Von Wong's method of turning trash into something beautiful to get our attention is a different, perhaps more productive approach.


"As human beings, we go through so much sh*t," noted the artist in a blog post on Bored Panda. "Every day, we make dozens of small decisions to buy more stuff – at the supermarket, malls, online… For most of my life, I didn’t think it mattered. After all, I was just one person, making a couple of small decisions."

"But one day, I found myself in a landfill surrounded by an endless mountain of other people’s small decisions and realized that maybe those small decisions did matter."

So, with a veritable army of like-minded volunteers, he created a series of waste-based art installations to help wake others up and see the problem that's all around them.

He put a mermaid in a plastic sea of 10,000 bottles — the same amount the average person uses and throws away in a lifetime.

He created "Toxic Laundry Monsters" to bring the chemicals and micro-plastics that are released every time we do a wash to life.

His latest piece, "Strawpocalypse" is meant to showcase the enormity of the plastic straw problem. It took him and his crew 6 months to collect 168,000 straws recovered off the streets of Vietnam to complete the waves.

In partnership with Laura François and her nonprofit, clothingtheloop.org, Von Wong took thousands of garments that were left in an abandoned factory in Cambodia and made several installations to accent how wasteful the fashion industry has become. You can check out how they made them here.

[rebelmouse-image 19480428 dam="1" original_size="700x316" caption="Photo via VonWong/YouTube." expand=1]Photo via VonWong/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19480429 dam="1" original_size="700x353" caption="Photo via VonWong/YouTube." expand=1]Photo via VonWong/YouTube.

And this plastic cave was made from 18,000 cups that were collected from a food court in just one and a half days. It really puts that "by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean" statistic into perspective.

The point of all of this, Von Wong hopes, is that more people will start to change their consumption and waste habits. If nothing else, his art shows that one person can make a difference. A big difference.

We're up against a mounting problem, and that can feel overwhelming, but if you pick one thing today — whether it's plastic straws, bags, bottles or how you buy clothes — and make a decision to be more mindful about it, you'll be taking a significant step in the right direction.