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SheFinds News: Argentine Fashion Police Crack Down

December 19, 2005 by shefindsrebecca
shefinds | Style

A beautiful – and very skinny – Argentine woman performs the tango in Buenos Aires.

I spent about six months in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the past year, and here are some of my observations: The women (and the men) are strikingly beautiful. The women are perfectly thin, even though they love to eat medialunas (mini croissants) slathered in sweet, gooey dulce de leche (a caramel-like sauce.) And then there’s this: All of the clothing runs so small and skinny that, even at a petite 5-foot-2, I found myself having to buy larger sized clothing.

Well, a recent Wall Street Journal article reports that the Argentine government is cracking down on fashionable stores that only offer small sizes. Starting December 21, stores in the Buenos Aires province that don’t offer a range of sizes – equivalent to the American sizes 6-16 – will be fined up to $170,000. Their reasoning, officials said, is that small clothing puts pressure on young women to take up extreme dieting, contributing to one of the highest rates of anorexia and bulimia in the world.

This may seem like a drastic measure, but Argentina really is a fashion- and image-obsessed nation. In 2003, Argentina was fifth in the world in cosmetic surgery procedures, with women undergoing 87% of the procedures, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. And a recent study shows that women from Buenos Aires go to the gym more often than those in any other Latin American country. You know there’s a problem when you have 5-foot-8, 114-pound models saying that, because Argentine women are fitness and style conscious, retailers, “are not going to sell all of that large-sized clothing.” She said that Argentines have a special look and, “whatever country we’re in, people say we’re divine.”

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