Benjamin Ashton Cooper was helping his girlfriend clean out her closet when he noticed something about her clothes that really, as he put it, "pissed him off."
"I noticed that a lot of what she was getting rid of was of the XL size," he wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. "That didn't look right to me, and here's why: They fit me."
Cooper put on some of his girlfriend's clothes and noticed that even though they were labeled "extra large," they fit him well. "I am not an extra large man, and, more importantly, a woman my size is NOT an extra large woman," Cooper wrote. "This bullshit right here is why we have 8-year-olds with eating disorders. This shit right here is why men shout 'fucking fat hog!' at even nominally curvy girls on the street."
Since Cooper uploaded his message to Facebook, it's been shared more than 240,000 times.
It turns out the labels on clothing sizes are actually pretty arbitrary. In August, the Washington Post examined women's clothing over the years and found that even though American women have been getting bigger, the sizes are only getting smaller:
Here are some numbers that illustrate the insanity of women's clothing sizes: A size 8 dress today is nearly the equivalent of a size 16 dress in 1958. And a size 8 dress of 1958 doesn't even have a modern-day equivalent — the waist and bust measurements of a 'Mad Men'-era 8 come in smaller than today's size 00.
So if the numbered measurements are arbitrary, imagine how extra-meaningless size designations like "medium" and "large" are.
But to many, clothing sizes aren't meaningless. A 2014 study found that the size a woman wore could have a direct effect on her self-esteem. "Smaller sizes were found to have a positive effect on body image, particularly for younger women," Tammy R. Kinley, an associate professor at the University of North Texas, wrote. "Larger subjects felt more positive about their bodies when they achieved fit in a smaller size."
The numbers all seem to back Cooper's callout of wack clothing sizes for perpetuating unrealistic body image standards on women. Or, as he put it, "Fuck body shaming."