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One size does not fit most; proof is in the body

Joyce Walter reflects on misleading advertisements
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

Truth in television and catalogue advertising often falls quite far from the bar of excellence set by legitimate advertising agencies and local media outlets.

In any given three hour period of evening television bingeing, one can be subjected to dozens of questionable claims directed at sales to the gullible.

One fast food outlet promises the tastiest burger among the chains of such businesses. Certainly the burger looks delicious there in set-up photos showing absolute perfection in design. The burger and all the additions like onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon fit perfectly on the absolutely round bun.

When one is lured to the burger outlet where this pseudo perfect burger is ordered, perfection is absolutely missing. The whole darn thing falls apart before it is out of the wrapper. The tomato slice is like a chunk of plastic, the lettuce was wilted long before it ever reached the hot meat, and the meat would embarrass any self-respecting cow.

Even the attendants have not been captured by the accuracy of the TV ad: when asking for the onion to be left off the burger, the employee advises that onions are never put on that particular hamburger. But there it was, on the television ad, a slice of onion being promoted as one of the condiments.

But it isn’t just food ads that lead potential customers astray. Company-produced, colourful and slick catalogues, also do not pass the smell test.

I’m always on the search for tops and bottoms that will fit a burgeoning body, a body whose pear-shape dimensions could more accurately be called turnip-shaped: not much on top and lots on the middle and bottom.

One particular catalogue is filled with lovely photos of sweaters and blouses, a wide variety of trousers and just as many shoes and boots to keep the keenest shopper happy for hours.

A sweater catches my eye and I carefully read the description that tells about the material, and provides back and front views. It also helpfully gives directions on how to launder it when the time comes. The price is within range too.

Then comes the sizing. “One size fits most,” the ad copy reads. “Most what?” I wonder to myself. A glance at the model tells me I should not consider myself in the “most” category. She is slim, not a bump or lump to be seen, her hair is long and flowing, her teeth are perfect and that sweater looks as though it had been made specific to her measurements.

I know for sure that I would never do justice to this garment

Ditto for the trousers that catch my eye. How can one size fit most? Surely not everyone has the same waist and hip size, and I know most definitely that the 32 inch leg is mostly five inches more than I require. With the material left over I could make a small quilt, if I sewed.

Maybe the new vacuum cleaner just purchased will live up to expectations. At least it didn’t come with the claim that it will “suit most homes.”

I bet it has never before encountered the size of dust bunnies this household will produce. One size definitely will not fit most.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 


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