Spain resizes clothes for women


Spain is to change its clothing sizes for women. This is part of a Government decision to prevent eating disorders in young girls and women.

It's a source of frustration for customers and shop assistants alike that in Spain women tend to go into the changing rooms with an armful of different sizes never knowing which one will fit this time or whether any will fit at all.

But by 2008 those days could be over. Spain's biggest fashion retailers have bowed to Government pressure to standardise their sizes and reflect the real size of Spain's growing population. For the first time ever the National Consumer Institute will measure Spanish females -- more than eight thousand of them to be exact -- between the ages of twelve and seventy. Spanish fashion houses will then try to fit them, rather than the other way round.

They've also agreed to decorate their shop windows with slightly bigger manikins. The Ministry of Health described the current ones as unreal dolls of alien dimensions which it sees as directly encouraging eating disorders such as anorexia. The move is likely to affect women and girls all over the world as international brands such as Mango and Zara have signed up to the agreement.


Part A. Reading Comprehension.

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text (2 points: 1 point each)

a) Why is Spain to change clothing sizes for women?

b) What have Spanish fashion houses agreed to do?


II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)

a. The move is likely to affect women and girls in Spain as well as abroad.

b. Sizes in Spain may have become standardised by 2008.

c. It is normal for Spanish women to take lots of items of clothing into the changing rooms.


III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)

bowed to     a source of        fit            retailers         disorders         manikins

a) models of the human body.

b) be the right size.

c) agreed to do something unwillingly.

d) a reason for.


IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct. (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

1. Spain’s biggest Spanish retailers…

a) have accepted that the Spanish population is growing.

b) have pressured the Spanish Government to standardise sizes.

c) refuse to bow to Government pressure.

2.The Ministry of Health describes the current manikins as…

a) from another planet.

b) dolls whose dimensions correspond with reality.

c) directly promoting eating disorders; for example, anorexia.

3. The NCI will measure…

a) exactly eight thousand females

b) only girls

c) over eight thousand females


Part B. Composition (130-150 words approximately). Choose one of the following topics. (4 points)

1. What do you think about the world of fashion?

2. What can we do to avoid eating disorders in young people?