There was a time when women aspired to be a perfect size 10? Well, forget that notion because these days a size 10 is seen as positively obese... at least in Fashion world.
For girls that means fitting into a pair of jeans with a 22-inch waist - that of an average eight-year-old.
Yet spurred on by a growing legion of super-skinny celebs including reality show star Nicole Richie, Superman actress Kate Bosworth and skinny icon Victoria Beckham, size 0 is now touted not only as an attainable, but a must-get goal by dedicated followers of fashion.
What is size zero?
Bust size: 31.5 inches (80 cm); Waist size: 23 inches (59 cm); Hip size: 32 inches (82 cm). It is often mistaken for a petite size because it is so small. While many petite women do wear size 0, the true definition of petite sizes in the fashion world has more to do with height than with thinness; in the United States, it generally refers to a woman who is under 5'4" (163 cm).
Size Zero and the fashion world:
In European fashion circles, the concept of 'size zero' models has gained recent notoriety in the media when the organizers of Madrid Fashion Week 2006 prohibited models with a Body Mass Index below 18 — classified as unhealthy by the World Health Organization — from participating in the event. International debate followed concerning the purported effects upon impressionable people of the fashion industry's continued use of underweight models.
Size zero has been linked to anorexia nervosa and bulimia as many women have to lose a large amount of weight to become so thin. The deaths of models Luisel Ramos and Ana Carolina Reston have been attributed to the Size Zero trend. Luisel Ramos, aged 22, died of a heart attack in August 2, 2006 after apparently trying to survive on Diet Coke and lettuce leaves. Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston too, died from the pressures of maintaining slimness; her diet was reported to consist solely of apples and tomatoes and she died from renal failure.
The media have labeled many celebrities as size 0, which dilutes the meaning and "size 0" now often refers any woman no matter what her size as long as she is slender.