Archive | April, 2012

Fat Defenders

20 Apr

So the other day I went to Target to have a look at underwear and maternity clothing. My pregnant body is growing rapidly and my clothing options have become somewhat limited. In the store, next to the pitiful singular maternity rack was a huge new section for plus size women’s clothing. And I don’t mean clothes for women who are unusually tall or broad these were clothes for obese people.

What the hell is wrong with the world?

Here’s what I think… If you are obese, your body is desperately trying to tell you that you are unhealthy. Your diet is wrong, you eat too much, you don’t exercise enough and perhaps you’re also unwilling to take responsibility for yourself and lack the courage to try something different. That is the truth.

So, department stores are going to reward you for ignoring your health by providing you with reasonably priced, stylish, accessible clothing to keep you trapped exactly where you are.

Did you see this Mama Mia article about how there isn’t enough plus size clothing to go around? WTF? Firstly, I am a short, petite, healthy woman and I have the same problem – I cannot find clothes that fit me. My options are normally limited to: supre, miss shop, teen sections or buying larger clothes and having them altered (which is what I normally end up doing). But when I do go to places that specialise in small sizes like supre, do you know what I find? The small sizes are the first to sell out. Small people are desperate!!

I used to be a size 8 but now I am a size 6 (or XXS). My body hasn’t changed, the clothing sizes have! Probably in an attempt not to offend women who are becoming increasingly fatter. And now obese women are complaining that they can’t find stylish clothing!

So this article reports that trendy brands want to associate their product lines with slim people – what is wrong with that? Everyone is capable of being healthy and losing weight. In fact the desire to be able to fit into stylish clothing could be a great incentive for someone to lose weight.

They go on to list 3 points

1. The cost and fear of changing patterns to suit a curvier figure. The grading between sizes 6 and 12 is quite uniform but when you get up to sizes 16 to 24 women put on weight in vastly different ways and the pattern needs to be adjusted to make the garment work.

That cost is a real one! It would cost more to make bigger clothes and have more options. Would obese women be willing to pay the extra? It’s crazy to expect that clothing using twice or three times the fabric should cost the same as a smaller item. Maybe the additional cost would get people motivated to lose weight.

2. The stigma attached to a plus size clothing. The cooler, edgier labels have a reputation that the customer wants to buy into. Plus sizes aren’t part of that.

I recognise the danger of using unusually tall and slender models and not having realistic clothing sizes available however I do believe that part of the image that those “cool” labels promote is in fact, health! This is not a bad thing. Plus sizes are not a part of that because they are (generally) for unhealthy people.

3. They simply don’t think plus size women want fashionable clothes. There is a mentality that if you really wanted to wear fashion, you would lose weight.

And so there should be. Creating new lines of clothing for overweight people to stay as they are instead of encouraging them to lose weight to be able to fit into “normal” clothes is like taking out a loan to pay off your debt – it doesn’t make the problem go away. If overweight people needed to lose weight in order to fit into better looking clothes then they would realise that they can take responsibility for their own life! That is the biggest barrier to weight loss right there!

Another example in futility would be lap band surgery, I’ve known obese people who have seen this as their only option because they lack the self control to stick to a healthy lifestyle. I know that people can have amazing weight loss results from this surgery however it cannot be denied that the underlying issues are rarely addressed, not to mention the fact that the surgery is a huge expense and it pretty much entirely unnecessary.

I know I might be coming across a bit unsympathetic especially to those people who are naturally large or busty (as opposed to being obese) and require larger clothing. This is just the journey that some of us have to bear – I understand what it’s like! Of course I recognise that all people need clothing and I wouldn’t want to deny anyone of that right however I just think that a more realistic and sustainable approach is needed and that it would be so easy to promote normal sizes as healthy and provide overweight people with a real incentive to change and take ownership of their health.

Target on the other hand obviously caught on early and realised there was money to be made from the poor forgotten fatties.

Ask a question

12 Apr

Now that I have quite a noticeable pregnant belly, suddenly people think that it’s an invitation to have a chat!

I can understand the human tendency to be excited about a new life coming into the world but unfortunately most of the time, people take the opportunity to either judge me, be negative or tell me their life story… all uninvited!

So you know I’m a bit anti-social. It’s not that I don’t like people, I like alot of people. I just don’t have much time for whingers, egotists and those who think they have the right to randomly and publicly penetrate my personal space for the sake of their beloved ‘story’.

Since when was connecting with people about telling someone else how they should feel and talking about only yourself? I try to avoid encounters like this at all costs yet they find their way into my day again and again. So people ask me how I am feeling (a thoughtful question to ask someone who is 6 months pregnant) to which I reply “I feel amazing” (it’s the truth).

Then they either:

A) Tell me why they think I am feeling amazing or

B) Tell me that I’ll soon be feeling terrible or

C) Tell me their life story.

Obviously they had no intention of engaging with me otherwise surely it would have occurred to them to simply ask another question to find out WHY I feel amazing and hear more about my journey.

I recognise that because my work requires me to engage with people on a daily basis that I have skills in this area… so yeah, it’s possible that I have high expectations that I’ll get the same level of depth from the general population. I get it. I know that I’m just setting myself up for disappointment by wanting it to be different but I find it so hard to understand why people think that talking at someone equals caring. It doesn’t.

I have a feeling that once the baby is born it will probably get worse. Not that I’m complaining though….