Let’s get to know it.
A new study reveals that the average size of an American women is now between a 16 to 18, according to Revelist. That’s an increase from 10-year-old data that indicated most women in the U.S. were a size 14.
The study used the measurements of more than 5,500 American women over the age of 20, as well as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Using this information, scientists determined that the average waist circumference has increased 2.6 inches over the past 21 years.
Researchers explained that this updated information is crucial for the fashion industry and for women in general. Women across the country have compared themselves to this inaccurate and misleading information for years, the authors said, which could be problematic in many ways. The researchers hope “that women may be relieved in knowing the average clothing size worn is larger than [they] thought.” They also expect this news to change the public’s expectations of what is “average.”
“I am hoping this will help nudge the fashion industry to seriously consider expanding their sizes,” said study author Deborah Christel, Ph.D.
This new information also sheds light on the typical woman’s shopping experience. “In light of this overlap in sizing classification, frequent reports of female customers being frustrated about the general fit and sizing of clothing is understandable,” the authors wrote. So if you find yourself feeling frustrated in the fitting room, know that you’re not alone.