Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"Well-dressed fat lady" deemed offensive, clothing store clerk fired

Every now and then I rant about how fat is the new norm for the English-speaking peoples (in alphabetical order: Americans, Australians, Brits and Canadians). The AABC countries are facing an epidemic of not just fattitude but obesity. If you have any doubt about this, just watch a couple of episodes of Judge Judy or check out one of my favourite blogs, People of Walmart.

The females of our species seem more susceptible to the fat virus or gene or whatever it is. That's a fact of life, but not a fact you're supposed to state so plainly. Calling someone "fat" is now known as "body-shaming", an act of political incorrectness to which no decent slim person would ever stoop. (Fat people, of course, cannot stoop.) Just the other day, Scott "Dilbert" Adams wrote, "Most civilized people agree that so-called 'fat-shaming' has no place in our modern world. The unwritten rules of polite society say that a person’s appearance is out of bounds for criticism."

I disagree, because I believe most fat people could lose weight if they really wanted to, by eating less or exercising more or both. It's essentially a question of self-control and self-discipline, isn't it. But we can't say things like that. The PC thing to do is encourage fat people to feel good about themselves, no matter how gross they may look. Better they should think of themselves as "curvy" of "shapely" or "plus-sized". The last expression is that of a lady named Rebecca, pictured, who writes a blog called The Plus Side of Me.

Rebecca is the kind of BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) who shops at a "plus-size" retail chain called Addition Elle. (Geddit? -- Lots of pictures of BBWs on their website, if you're into that kind of thing.) They have an outlet in Edmonton, Canada, which has a vacancy at the moment for a saleslady/clerk/thingy. Why? Because they just fired one after she posted a comment online using the words "well-dressed fat lady".

Connie Levitsky, who only started working at Addition Elle in the West Edmonton Mall last week, said she was fired within days due to a Facebook post she made about the store's clientele. Her post read: "Conquering the world, one well-dressed fat lady at a time."

Ms Levitsky told CTV news her boss called that language unacceptable. "My manager specifically said 'fat' isn't a word that the company wants to associate themselves with," she said, noting that her manager said the company preferred words like "curvy" and "shapely". But Levitsky said those words are often associated with a certain highly-sexualized image of plus-sized women, like the ones featured in the company's lingerie ads. (Hey, I already gave you the link to the website!)

"If you go into any Addition Elle or Penningtons or Reitmans, you know that's not how all fat women look," she said. "So to use words like 'curvy' or 'shapely,' where you're essentially talking about a very specific type of fat woman, I think that's doing a disservice to the clientele that they were afraid I was going to drive away."

So let's have no more of this "fat-shaming". As an alternative to telling someone he/she is fat, Walt suggests asking politely, "Are you getting into the same elevator as I am? Perhaps I'd better wait for the next one." Or maybe just hold your tongue. You're welcome.

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