A WOMAN who has battled an eating disorder has hit out at a leading fashion brand for selling a “tiny” outfit labelled as a medium.
Alice King, who was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, said she was shocked to see the monogram bodysuit on sale in the Urban Outfitters store in Churchill Square, Brighton.
The 22-year-old shared a photo of the outfit that she says looked more like “children’s clothing.”
She is now calling for standard clothing sizes to be introduced across the fashion industry to prevent the promotion of “unrealistic expectations for women’s bodies.”
Alice said: “It was labelled as a medium and straight away it put my back up. I thought ‘how can that possibly be a medium?’ It was so tiny.
“With my history of eating disorders, things like this just trigger me. I posted pictures on my Instagram story because I thought I cannot be the only one who thinks like this.
“I got so many replies from, mostly females, but some males too and they were just in shock, the same as me, that they could sell something like this.
“Urban Outfitters, along with other clothing brands, need to consider their younger audiences and the age at which people are more likely to struggle with these kinds of issues.”
Alice, who lives in Withdean, says the introduction of standard sizing in shops would help to be more “inclusive” and help people who struggle with their body image.
She told The Argus : “I think there should be a standard size and every brand should go by the same line.
“It makes it difficult for people who don’t think they look a certain way to feel like they can go into that shop or wear a particular brand.
“I think some brands want to be exclusive to this unachievable beauty standard.”
Alice first experienced an eating disorder at the age of 12 after becoming “obsessed” with fitness challenges at school.
She says it took years for her to receive the help she needed, but eventually she received support from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) and was clinically diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
While Alice has now recovered, she says she felt “triggered” after seeing the clothing item for sale in Urban Outfitters.
She says: “I was 12 years old when my mum first noticed that my eating habits had changed.
“I wasn’t the most popular person at school, but my friends would talk about taking on these different exercises like a squat challenge and see the results after.
“I took that, and I ran with it. I think because I had gone through family problems at that time, and I was looking for something I could take control of.
“It just engulfed me and at this point I was a walking, talking eating disorder. It didn’t feel like I was there.
“When you have an eating disorder, there is this fog clouding every single thing you do, everything you say or your judgement.
“As soon as I saw (the bodysuit), it brought me back to where it was and my lowest point. I was thinking if I were younger, and I saw that, I would then be aiming to try and fit into it.
“With my eating disorder, it would have been difficult for me to say I was a medium. I only ever wanted to be a small or an extra small and I thought that would make me feel better about myself.”
Urban Outfitters have been contacted for a statement.