Friday, January 29, 2016

Another product for the fat of the land?

Mrs. Walt received, the other day, a promotional package of something called Herbacin. What's that? Could be a herbicide. I don't know. It was "her" stuff. Included as a little bonus was what I call an emery board -- something you use to file your nails. [I don't file mine. I just throw `em away. Ed.] It's the top one in this photo.

While Mrs. Walt was giving herself a manicure, I observed that she was struggling somewhat with the board. (It should be noted here that Mrs. Walt is petite, and not Born in the USA.) It seemed a bit bigger than necessary for her delicate fingertips. I got one of her "standard" emery boards for comparison -- the bottom one in the picture -- and found that the new one is a tad shorter but almost three times as thick as the old one.

Why so? My guess is that the Herbacin board -- I think it's just a promotional item, not the Herbacin product itself -- is yet another product designed for the hopelessly fat. By "hopelessly fat" I mean the average American. I first wrote about this trend to "fatten up" everyday products to match the expanding population almost five years ago. See "Fat and fatter", WWW 3/3/11.

Pens, cutlery, emery boards -- everything is getting super-sized, so as to be more easily managed by people with finers like sausages. There are curved shower curtain rods to accommodate those who bulge out over the edge of the tub. See "Showers for those who can't see their toes", WWW 29/4/11. Even coffins are being built bigger. See "FAT in life, FAT in death", WWW 14/1/12.

And the list goes on. Just this week we learn that Barbie has put on some weight. It's not that the new Barbie is "fat", you understand. That word is no longer politically correct. To call someone "fat" is "body-shaming". Tut tut! No, the new, bigger Barbie is "curvy", or you might say she has "a more realistic body shape". That's the official Mattel line, anyway. But the pix I've seen suggest that Barbie, like emery boards, has been redesigned for not-so-little fingers.

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