by Mandie Mutchie
The other day, my boyfriend Tommy and I went to the mall, which is unusual for me, as I normally prefer to buy from small, local boutiques. We were walking, and a large, octagonal form in the middle of the hallway caught my eye. People were getting inside of this box that looked like a big elevator that was going nowhere, and standing very still in a specific way, then getting out and getting a printout.
Since I am a beachbody coach, and very interested in physical fitness and the body in general, I was quite intrigued. I at first thought this was some sort of scanner to determine body fat percentage/body composition, but then I started reading the signage, and discovered Me-Ality, a radio wave body scan that is used to tell you where to find the perfect pair of jeans, to eliminate the time needed to try on millions of pairs.
I had to try it! So I filled out a bit of information (name, email, year of birth), and soon I was inside. I stood with my feet on the foot censors, my fingertips on my thighs with my wrists bent at 90-degree angles, and stared at the circles on the inside of the machine while radio waves used the water in my skin to do a general scan of my body and measurements.
When I got out, they handed me my results, which included scales that showed how close to a perfect fit a given pair would be. Apparently, if you buy any of the jeans listed on the paper, I could come back and show my receipt and get a Starbucks giftcard. In fact, I was supposed to get one anyway, because they were giving them away to every tenth person who tried it, but they were all out of them, and I am still waiting for it to come in the mail (we’ll see if that happens!). Anyway, I was SHOCKED when I saw that my results said my best pair of jeans were a size 00 from Chico’s. I had never shopped at Chico’s in my life! And, size 00?! Clearly, the sensor missed something, like my entire butt!
I had to try them on. So after Tommy’s scan – during which the power in the mall went out and we were concerned that he would be stuck in the scanner – (it had his size right, and also recommended a brand he’d never tried), we walked over to Chico’s, and I tried on the most awful pair of “Mom jeans” I had ever seen. It didn’t help that the only pair they had was a very light, dated wash… And I looked at the sizes, and they were so ridiculous. The next size after 00 was 0, then .5, and so on. What?! I had definitely noticed that some stores had me listed for a size 9/10 and everywhere in between. I was so surprised by the discrepancy!
The look on Tommy’s face when I came out of the dressing room was priceless – it was like I was wearing a Halloween costume or something. We talked a bit, and wondered if it is because I don’t exactly dress my age, so I decided that I would come back and lie about my year of birth, and see if that made a difference. The Me-Ality staff said that the reason why they asked age was to see who was using their service, which made sense, but was contrary to the fact that the second time I went in, two days later (and said I was six years younger), Chico’s (and, sadly, size 00) was nowhere to be found on my list, and the top spot was now a size 5/6 pair of jeans from Wet Seal.
Despite the fact that my experience was strange and inconsistent, I definitely see a future for this technology. I think that with some tweaking (perhaps a short survey to get a sense of the user’s style, as opposed to just using age and assuming how someone that age would dress), this could be a great service. The idea itself is definitely brilliant, in my opinion! Apparently, they are working to soon be able to use the same for shirts. What’s next? Bras? Like I said, lots of potential! It’s just a same that the jeans industry hasn’t figured out a more standardized sizing system like the bra industry has. But, at least I feel better now when someone asks my jeans size and I’m flummoxed – now I have documentation that I am either a size 00, a size 9/10, and every size in between!
You can check out this service and look for locations at www.Me-Ality.com. Please let me know how it goes for you! I am very interested to hear if anyone is using it successfully!
Amanda Mutchie began her professional modeling career nearly ten years ago, and has appeared in many national and international publications, and commercials. Over the course of her modeling career, she worked with many acclaimed makeup artists, learning from them along the way. She eventually became a makeup artist herself and started FaceScape Artistry. Now she works with incredible photographers, models, brides, and other clients to create glamorous as well as natural makeup looks. She also channels her passion for fitness and nutrition and desire to help others into her work as a beachbody coach, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
For more information on Mandie go towww.MandieM.com, www.facescapeartistry.com, email Mandie at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @mandelicious. Don’t forget to “like” her pages on facebook, too! www.facebook.com/MandieLM &www.facebook.com/FaceScapeArtistry www.lipglossnlace.com
*Photo by Rafal Krolik of Seville Media