They’re eating all the cake and smothering your lovers with their giant breasts. They’re using skinny girls as toothpicks to make sure there isn’t any unsightly baby-flesh stuck in their pearly whites. They’re devouring everything they can get their hands on: desserts, hot lovers, the Olsen twins, gun control lobbyists, Bill O’Reilly, etc. They’re running up the cost of your health insurance and shortening life expectancies. They’re harboring terrorists in their plus-size bathing suits. They’re lounging around in their government housing enjoying bon-bons and sharing ways to commit welfare fraud. They’re secretly at work in their laboratories cooking up a special mutagen that will let them turn the rest of America fat. Fear the power of the fat girl!
Oh, Salon, does it make you feel better to have all your fears confirmed? Because it makes me feel better to have all my fears about your unacknowledged sexism* confirmed right there in your hook: “Clothing company Torrid makes cool clothes for overweight teens. Its bodacious bras and extra-large camisoles help salvage fat kids’ self-esteem. But do they also encourage obesity?”
What’s wrong with specificity? Why can’t you say “Clothing company Torrid makes cool clothes for overweight teenage girls and cross-dressing boys. Its bodacious bras and extra-large camisoles help salvage fat girls’ and cross-dressing boys’ self-esteem.”? Is it because that kind of specificity makes the true target of your article–teenage girls–more apparent? Is it because, someplace, you had a tinge of guilt over heaping one more pile of steaming shit upon a group already inundated with it? Too bad you didn’t heed that discomfort.
Actually, I’m starting to wonder if articles like this don’t have their uses: a good laugh, for one. Take “Yale-New Haven Hospital dietitian Lisa Tartamella” who says “We should be alarmed about this epidemic because we know the consequences.” Salon goes on to ask and answer “Such as? Well, death.” Oh, no! Death! Please, Salon, tell us the bad news, how an “excessively gloomy” study shows that this second leading cause of preventable death “could reduce life expectancy in the United States–this century–by at least two years.” Yes, you read that right, being fat might, just maybe, perhaps reduce life expectancy by a couple of years over the course of a century.
Oh, Sweet Jesus, we’re all going to die. It doesn’t matter if you’re thin or fat or rich or poor; you don’t get out of dying. It’s going to happen. And, here’s the other truth of it: death is not a punishment. You don’t die because you fucked up in some way. It’s not like losers die and winners live. There’s no way to get out of dying. You can’t “prevent” death. Something is going to take each and every one of us out.
To hold death out in front of these girls–like it’s the inevitable and quick consequence of and appropriate punishment for them being fat, as opposed to the inevitable consequence of being alive–in order to promote an aesthetic ideal without having to be honest with yourself or these girls that that’s what you’re doing sucks.
If you don’t like fat girls, fine, don’t like fat girls.
But, if you don’t like fat girls, why do you stick such big boobs on your fronts? Why do you fill your lips with collagen so that they’re plump? Why are you constantly imitating what you say disgusts you? And, if it really disgusts you, why are you looking?
* I use misogyny to mean the hatred of women and homophobia to mean the fear and hatred of homosexuals, but sexism as a kind of lump term to capture general anxiety about anyone who doesn’t fit a very narrow definition of normative sexuality or gender.