Kim Cattrall —
Warning: The following post is chock full of sarcasm and conspiracy theories for fatties.
Well, good job Fatties, you’ve done it again.
You’ve pissed off reddit.
Yes, you can’t be content with hurting the poor wittle fee fees of weight-lifters. Now, you have to rub it in society’s face that you prefer to see fatty clothes modeled on fatty mannequins.
In particular, this fatty mannequin:
OH THE HUMANNEQUINITY!
The photo was posted on reddit with the question, “Anyone else horrified that they make obese mannequins too now?”
A few things intrigue me about this question. First, the “too.”
Who are “they” and what other obese products were “they” making before this mannequin?
Or is the author suggesting that the mysterious “they” has been responsible for all the fatties getting all fat in the first place, and now that we’ve reached critical mass “they” have moved on to fattening up inanimate objects?
It’s certainly a stupid question that deserves an stupid answer.
But my question for “they” is much simpler: who did they base their mannequin on? Tommy Boy?
Look at that fucking head? Is anyone else horrified that they make tiny-headed mannequins too now? No wonder he’s fat. His head only has room for a brain stem and a hypothalamus. If that mannequin could talk, it would only say, “Mongo eat. Mongo model husky jeans.”
And I love how the huge forearms end abruptly at the wrists. Clearly that mannequin has read my best selling book, “Dainty Wrists for Fat Men.” I hate to give away the secret, but you just tightly wrap a broccoli rubber band around your wrist while slurping down tubs of bacon grease.
Seriously, though, what the fuck happened to this mannequin? They had no problem finding feet that were proportionate to the ankles and legs, but it looks like during the search for a proportionate head and hands they just said “Fuck it” and moved on.
But back to the argument at hand: this fat mannequin is a fat enabler.
This whole “fat enabler,” claim gets routinely lobbed at Fat Acceptance, at fat actors and actresses, at fat accommodations, at fatshion and, now, at fat mannequins. It’s a way for outraged “normals” to say, “You brought the fatties here!”
But the claim crumbles under the slightest examination. The primary shift in obesity rates occurred between 1980 and 1999. I was born in 1979, so I’ve lived through that time and I do not recall any of these fat-enabling culprits being around to influence the general population during the greatest weight increase in modern history.
On the contrary, every image, every actress, every mannequin available in the ’80s and ’90s emphasized slenderness. If the portrayal of bodies is a form of enabling that influences behavior, then the last two decades of the millennium completely disprove that theory.
Besides, there’s even some “experts” who think that using fat mannequins will backfire against retailers, according to an ABC News story on the reddit outrage:
According to Jennifer Thomas, a body image expert and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, retailers may be right in hesitating before they upsize their displays.
“Walking into a store and seeing nice clothes on a mannequin that has a body type similar to your own could be a huge boost for self-esteem, but it might also backfire,” she said. “A lot of fashion is aspirational, such that people hope they will look like the mannequin if they buy the clothes. In our society, most people would rather be thin than obese.”
Although I understand where Thomas is coming from, I find her theory pragmatically ridiculous. Yes, fashion is aspirational, but I would argue that fatties have become less deluded in the last decade. Most people don’t base their clothing choices on how the mannequin (thin or fat) wears the outfit. Most fatties realize that if a plus-sized outfit is pinned and folded to a slender mannequin, then they will have to try it on first to see how it looks on their own body.
The only difference that a fat mannequin will make is that it may give someone a slightly better idea of what the outfit would look like on a bigger body. I seriously doubt that a fat person out shopping is going to see clothes on a fat mannequin and say, “Ew, gross, I’m not buying that!”
Now that fatties are here (and seemingly here to stay), you can’t demand that they remain out-of-sight, out-of-mind for fear that they may inspire a whole new generation of fatties. I mean, you can demand it, but we’re going to tell you to shut the fuck up.
As consumers, we have the right to demand that the products we buy are displayed on fat bodies that represent the intended consumers. So, enough with the pinning and folding of fat clothes on thin mannequins. Enough with the ever-so-slightly-zaftig underwear models in plus-sized catalogs. Enough with the unfounded complaints of enabling.
We can and will send a message with our pocketbooks: stores that respect us and treat us well will get our money and our repeat business; stores that attempt to conceal their shame with token gestures will be left behind.
It’s time to make the free market work for fatties.