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Madeline Nichols

Primary Research Analysis

Introduction

As of 2018, the average American woman was a size 16. (Wessels 1) This might be

surprising to many readers, as most clothing stores only carry sizes up to 12 or 14, and most

advertisements feature a woman between size 00 and 6. (Williams 5) This gap between reality

and the representation of women in the fashion industry no doubt impacts the dynamic of our

society, and by looking at why this misrepresentation exists, how a lack of inclusion impacts

women, what these problems can lead to, and finally possible solutions the fashion industry

could adapt, I will explore how.

Research Questions

- What size do you typically wear? (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL)

- What numbered size do you typically wear? (Example: Size 8)

- Is finding clothes in your size difficult?

- Do you feel that most clothing stores have ads that feature models with your body type?

- On a scale of 1 to 10 how much does seeing a model with your body type impact your

shopping habits?

- Check each variable that impacts where you shop:

Price

Sizes available in store

Atmosphere of store

Employee Interactions

Sales

Advertisements

Values of company (Religion, politics, etc.)

- Do you only support brands you believe in or is your shopping random?

- How much influence do you feel the individual consumer has?

Results / Analysis (What/So What)

is your shopping random? - How much influence do you feel the individual consumer has? Results
Reviewing my research, this survey really surprised me. I received a much larger response than
Reviewing my research, this survey really surprised me. I received a much larger response than

Reviewing my research, this survey really surprised me. I received a much larger

response than anticipated and those results were different than expected. Most answers to

multiple choice questions were close to being even, with a slight majority. So while there wasn’t

a huge gap between most answers, the answers that the majority chose surprised me. I learned

that I might be more alone in feeling misrepresented in retail than I originally thought.

As a whole, I did not receive as much information to support my argument as I had

predicted. Although I did obtain a decent amount of students that said finding clothing that fits is

difficult and advertisements don’t represent them well, the majority of students that filled out my

survey seemingly don’t have much issue with misrepresentation. This does impact my research

quite a bit because now I understand that when I am addressing my main audience I cannot really

rely on the female students understanding the feeling of being left out in the fashion industry. I

need to change my argument a bit to explain why it’s important to support brands that support

people of all kinds, not just brands that target your size and race.

Reflection

When reviewing my procedures, I would change a lot of things about how I went about

this project. To start, I would have immediately made a survey for OHS students, as opposed to

how I made a survey for retail employees and then ultimately changed my goal. I would also

have sent out my survey earlier in hopes of getting an even wider range of responses. My

responses were helpful, but not in the way I was hoping, and I wonder if more time would have

helped me obtain the results I was expecting.

My survey was also sent out at a time that many other surveys were sent out, and if I had

more of a choice as to when I sent my survey out, I would have done it at a time when students

weren’t being overwhelmed with other surveys. From this project I have learned a lot about how

timing and circumstance can impact your results. I have also learned that although your results

might not be what can directly help your research, they can still give you important information

about your audience and how to shape your argument.