“I don’t want to look like a weirdo. I’ll just go with the muumuu.” –Homer Simpson
I know I’m late to the party on this, but I’m not too worried about it considering the whole “controversy” started when someone dug up quotes older than my nephew.
Do you remember a month ago when some 7-year old comments from Mike Jeffries, the Abercrombie and Fitch CEO, resurfaced?
“Candidly, we go after the cool kids,” he said, “We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
THAT MOTHERFUCKING SON OF A BITCH! How dare he imply some people are more attractive than others and that it’s better for a brand to be associated with the more attractive people! How cruel! How insane! How honest and completely correct—er, I mean...JERK!
What really set the arms wobbling was the fact that Abercrombie and Fitch doesn’t sell anything above size 10, which means no clothes for fat people, which means he’s saying fat people aren’t attractive. But as we all know, everyone is equally attractive. Abercrombie and Fitch looks just as good on a tight size 2 or 6 bottom as it would stretched across an IMAX-sized ass. Or buried underneath said ass as it sits in a Mcdonald’s booth..
So it was time for another Million Pound March. Which was of course done from behind the safety of keyboards because marching is hard and tiring. Plus, you can eat and type at the same time.
And so we were subjected to the usual nonsense:
“Fat is beautiful!”
“Fat is natural!”
“You’re setting unrealistic body images!”
And then came the cherry on top of the 5,000 calorie sundae. An enormous blogger names Jes Baker somehow squeezed herself into Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, paid an attractive model to be interested in her, and used the Abercrombie and Fitch font to write
Oh snap! No, that wasn’t the sound of her jeans exploding, but the collective response of the internet. This somehow showed those anti-fat assholes. CNN says she “cut Abercrombie and Fitch down to size.”
Yeah, I’m sure this dropped like a bombshell at A&F HQ. In fact, I imagine it went a little something like this:
Johnson: Mr. Jefferies, Mr. Jefferies, horrible news. Some fat chick is taking a stand by wearing our clothes.
Johnson: Well, all the fat people think she’s a hero. And they hate us.
Jefferies: Who gives a shit? We don’t want them buying our clothes anyway.
Johnson: But... look at these pictures.
Jefferies: Ye gads, they’re disgusting.
Smith: Wait, it says right here that she’s attractive. And there’s a male model with her. And if a fat person calls herself attractive, then it’s got to be true!
Jefferies: No, she still looks terrible.
Johnson: But the media is saying that she’s really taught us a lesson.
Jefferies: Whatever. As long as no one really thinks are clothes are for people like her, this won’t last any longer than one of her farts. Hey, Smith, what are you doing? Stop masturbating.
Smith: I can’t help it. It says she’s attractive so I have to masturbate. God help me, she’s hideous but I just can’t stop!
And of course it’s already been forgotten (so smooth move by me waiting to post about it). Which is good, because it’s so fucking stupid.
She’s upset that A&F is selling “unrealistic body images,” because they don’t sell clothes above size 10. Size 10! Size 10 is now “unrealistic.” Every young girl is going to develop an eating disorder trying to match those size 10 waifs.
And if she thinks fat is beautiful and attractive, why did she hire a completely shredded male model to pose with her? Why not get a fat guy if fat people are so attractive? Oh right, all this fat talk only affects women. I don’t know if men should be insulted that no one cares about our feelings or flattered that everyone realizes we’re not stupid enough to go into some shame spiral every time we see someone who looks better than us.
Oh wait, she has an excuse for this:
“I just thought we don’t see the juxtaposition of typical and atypical bodies in advertising specifically. Since I am a woman and I am fat and that’s what I have to work with, I wanted to show that contrast by finding a male model.”
See? She had a real artistic reason for doing this. She wanted to send a message to those non-fat cats at A&F. It wasn’t just an excuse to finally get a good-looking guy to take his shirt off and get close to her. And I’m sure he fell in love with her because she’s so attractive. No? Must be because the patriarchy filled his head with lies. Or he’s gay.
Doesn’t matter, because she’s comfortable in her body. She’s had to overcome years of self-loathing—brought upon by men, natch, because women never judge each other—and start living in a body-positive world. And she wants to promote fashion for fat people—fatshion. Because why should fat people be embarrassed to wear spandex pants that squish all their fat together and make their asses look like lava lamps? Why shouldn’t they wear super-short shorts that lets their fat ooze onto the seat next to them? Why shouldn’t they wear bikinis that let us imagine drawing motocross courses over their fat rolls? If we think that it’s disgusting when someone’s gut and lovehandles seem to have melted over their pants, that’s our problem because they are beautiful! We’ve just been brainwashed to think that we’re being subjected to these atrocities, instead of blessed to see such visions of beauty.
Nope. If size 10 has disappeared in the rearview mirror of your motorized scooter, then you’re not beautiful. And a little shame might be good for you, because you need to lose some goddamn weight. Not for the rest of us—although we’d appreciate it—but for yourself. I don’t care if you somehow feel good about your looks, do you really feel good about breathing heavy after walking for a few blocks, about the pain in your ankles and knees and back, about being unable to sleep on your back because you’ll stop breathing? That’s great that you can look at yourself in the mirror and flaunt your body, but take a look into your future and see if you’ll still be flaunting your diabetes and heart problems.
Speaking from experience, it’s great if you don’t let your looks define you and aren’t depressed and ashamed by your body. But you still shouldn’t be celebrating it. You’re lying to yourself if you think you wouldn’t be happier if you lost weight. There’s a whole world out there that you can’t really experience until you get down to normal size and it’s much better than a few cupcakes. So next time someone shames you by suggesting you shouldn’t be wearing certain clothes, or can’t fit in just one airplane seat, don’t get offended and defensive. Get motivated. Don’t demand bigger clothes—and for the love of God, don’t squeeze yourself into smaller ones—just lose some weight.
And this isn’t just for fat people. We’ve become a nation of whiners and quitters. Oh, not everyone can be good enough to win at sports, so we shouldn’t keep score. Not everyone can climb the rope or run laps so we should stop making them do it. The kids that aren’t on the honor roll are embarrassed so we shouldn’t acknowledge the kids that did well. Forget trying to get people to practice, or try harder, or study more—Participation trophies for everyone
Everyone’s got to start sucking it up. No, not like Jes Baker at the dinner table. I mean stop getting insulted, stop getting offended, stop making excuses, and try to fix the problem. Exclusion isn’t an insult, it’s a challenge.