Tag Archives: department store

I run because–t-shirts and food policing.

Today, while visiting my sister, I happened to look at an ad flyer for a local department store.  And guess which t-shirt was being advertised (just in time for back to school body hatred…)

CupcakeShirt1Look, I have no problem with people making their own choices.  Want to run?  Awesome, me too!  Want to eat cupcakes?  Yes, please.  I’ll have mine with extra sprinkles.  What burns my butt is the notion that we are not allowed to eat certain kinds of foods unless we do certain kinds of exercise.  What chaps my hide is the notion that we share a whopping dose of food policing and body shame as some sort of back to school special.  And by the way, this shirt was conspicuously absent from the section of the flyer advertising plus-sized clothing, junior or otherwise, because, duh.  Fat girls don’t get to eat cupcakes EVAR.

It always astonishes me that clothing buyers at these stores are so incredibly clueless that they still think this is okay–this after the controversy over the “girls can’t do math” t-shirt and the “asking Santa to bring me a new butt for Christmas pillow”.  Seriously?  Don’t these guys pay attention to social media, like ever?

This notion of fitness as punishment or penance or atonement for some sort of sinful eating is one of the reasons we have such a hard time sticking to exercise.  Rather than seeing fitness as something joyful we do because we love the way we look, we see exercise as something painful and awful we have to do because our bodies are in some way unacceptable or because we have to avoid even the slightest chance our bodies will become less acceptable in the future.  We don’t bother finding fitness that we love because we don’t feel we deserve it.  And then we are surprised when we choose not to stick with the icky, painful, punishing routine we pick for ourselves.

But in the end, this sort of body shame and food policing is unproductive, punishing and downright damaging.  It doesn’t help us feel better.  It doesn’t help us feel better about ourselves and it doesn’t help foster healthy behaviors of any kind.

So my advice is to go ahead and run for a different reason.  I’ve even immortalized it as a t-shirt.  Here ya go!

Bodyshirt2

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to speak at your school or company or organization?  Learn more HERE!

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Now Trending on facebook: Mannequins that Look Like People

mannequins

Late last week, these lovely ladies started going viral on facebook.  Apparently a shopper named Rebecka, took pictures of these mannequins at a store in Sweden and posted them on her blog.  This image was picked up by Women’s Rights News and posted to their facebook page with along with the statement, “Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these.”  Since then, the photos have been seen by over 600,000 people and have become something of a worldwide sensation.  There was some initial confusion.  At one point, someone suggested that the mannequins were being displayed at H&M.  When H&M denied that the mannequins were theirs, some media entities (including the Washington Post) declared that the whole thing was a hoax.  But Rebecka assures us that the mannequins are real and are currently on display at a major Swedish department store called Åhléns.

So why such a fuss over a couple of clothing dummies?  It seems some of the excitement stems from the fact that these models seem to have bodies that are at least a little bit closer to average women around the world.  So often store mannequins are proportioned much closer to the tall and thin range of the human weight spectrum.  While some women are six feet tall and a size 4 or 6, this is certainly not average.  The Åhléns mannequins are a little softer and rounder.  Maybe they look a little bit less like the personification of a media ideal of creatures who wear fashionable clothing and a little more like, you know, people.  (Frankly, I adore the fact that they are wearing socks along with their pretty undies.  I mean it gets freakin’ COLD in the winter, ya know?!)

It’s interesting that these mannequins have attracted so much attention.  I mean they aren’t sporting alien antennas or tentacles.  They were not launched with a smug press release or a huge fanfare.  They were simply displayed, wearing socks and undies in a Swedish department store.  And just because they look a little bit less like an “ideal” and a little more “real” to many people, they have been viewed over half a million times since last Friday.  One would hope that other clothing stores and fashion designers and advertisers are taking note.  What is the dollar value of the marketing that this department store in Sweden is receiving just for taking a chance on giving its customers something for which they have obviously been waiting?  Is somebody taking note of the fact that there is a lot of pent up desire for seeing clothing displayed on a variety of body shapes and sizes to which more than just a very select few women might possibly relate?  Good heavens, I certainly hope so!

The last five years have not generally been kind to retailers.  And while it seems that sales are starting to pick up, I don’t think many would suggest that business is booming.  So it’s especially important now for retailers to focus on what customers want.  And it seems to me, what customers want, is to see clothing displayed in a way that reminds them a little bit less of some industry-driven ideal of how they should look and a little bit more of themselves.  Here’s hoping the message is finally getting through.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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