Let’s review the law of sizes: what we have, what we need.

Let’s review the law of sizes: what we have, what we need.

By Abril Neiman

Body stereotyping is a social problem that has serious consequences for people, everywhere. For this reason, various awareness programs try to reduce this generalized view of the human body in order to begin a process of acceptance.

The law tries to combat this conflict through its legislative function, and thus in 2019 Law 27.521[1] was enacted in Argentina to establish a single Standardized System for The Identification of Clothing Sizes (SUNITI, after its initials in Spanish).

It is worth mentioning that there were already other provincial laws that tried to regulate this issue. Since early 2000, the Province of Buenos Aires and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires passed laws on the subject, where a distinction between female and male bodies (in the Province of Buenos Aires’s regulation) was made:  sizes should consider women’s bodies, without referring to any other sex or gender.

Law 27.521 eliminates gender distinctions and establishes a “single standardized system for the identification of clothing sizes” for the manufacture, confection, commercialization or importation of clothing for the population aged 12 and over.

This law is also an attempt to ensure that consumers are given accurate and clear information about the product and that no embarrassing or discriminatory situations appear while shopping. Sadly, this type of behavior still persists, as companies choose to perpetuate stereotypes driven by fashion and marketing rather than ensuring the comfort and safety of the population.

While the law requires shops to comply with SUNITI, which must be established according to the respective anthropometric surveys, this is not the only obligation to be met. Shops must place a label on the clothes indicating the size in a precise, clear and detailed way; they must also display a sign of certain measures in an easily visible place; and, in accordance with the National Civil and Commercial Code and the Consumer Protection Act, they must avoid abusive behavior, they must guarantee conditions of attention and equal treatment for consumers.

With regard to the anthropometric study mentioned above, although it has already been carried out, its results could not be examined because the body set up for this purpose has not yet been integrated and the size system has therefore not been completed in time.

It is therefore worth asking whether the non-compliance with the regulation under analysis is simply the fault of the clothing stores, which, aiming to make a profit, do not take these needs into account, or whether this is a failure of the government, which is supposed to impose the corresponding measures.

For the time being, Law 27.521 on the Single Standardized System for the Identification of Clothing Sizes and its regulations have not proven to be sufficient or at least not entirely efficient in reducing the existing discrimination on the basis of body size.

[1] Law 27.521 on Standardised System For The Identification Of Clothing Sizes, published in the Official Gazette on   December 20th, 2019.

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