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Kim Cattrall —

December 5, 2012

Warning: The following post is chock full of sarcasm and conspiracy theories for fatties.

Well, good job Fatties, you’ve done it again.

You’ve pissed off reddit.

Yes, you can’t be content with hurting the poor wittle fee fees of weight-lifters. Now, you have to rub it in society’s face that you prefer to see fatty clothes modeled on fatty mannequins.

In particular, this fatty mannequin:

Fat Mannequin


The photo was posted on reddit with the question, “Anyone else horrified that they make obese mannequins too now?”

A few things intrigue me about this question. First, the “too.”

Who are “they” and what other obese products were “they” making before this mannequin?

Or is the author suggesting that the mysterious “they” has been responsible for all the fatties getting all fat in the first place, and now that we’ve reached critical mass “they” have moved on to fattening up inanimate objects?

It’s certainly a stupid question that deserves an stupid answer.

But my question for “they” is much simpler: who did they base their mannequin on? Tommy Boy?

Look at that fucking head? Is anyone else horrified that they make tiny-headed mannequins too now? No wonder he’s fat. His head only has room for a brain stem and a hypothalamus. If that mannequin could talk, it would only say, “Mongo eat. Mongo model husky jeans.”

And I love how the huge forearms end abruptly at the wrists. Clearly that mannequin has read my best selling book, “Dainty Wrists for Fat Men.” I hate to give away the secret, but you just tightly wrap a broccoli rubber band around your wrist while slurping down tubs of bacon grease.

Seriously, though, what the fuck happened to this mannequin? They had no problem finding feet that were proportionate to the ankles and legs, but it looks like during the search for a proportionate head and hands they just said “Fuck it” and moved on.

But back to the argument at hand: this fat mannequin is a fat enabler.

This whole “fat enabler,” claim gets routinely lobbed at Fat Acceptance, at fat actors and actresses, at fat accommodations, at fatshion and, now, at fat mannequins. It’s a way for outraged “normals” to say, “You brought the fatties here!”

But the claim crumbles under the slightest examination. The primary shift in obesity rates occurred between 1980 and 1999. I was born in 1979, so I’ve lived through that time and I do not recall any of these fat-enabling culprits being around to influence the general population during the greatest weight increase in modern history.

On the contrary, every image, every actress, every mannequin available in the ’80s and ’90s emphasized slenderness. If the portrayal of bodies is a form of enabling that influences behavior, then the last two decades of the millennium completely disprove that theory.

Besides, there’s even some “experts” who think that using fat mannequins will backfire against retailers, according to an ABC News story on the reddit outrage:

According to Jennifer Thomas, a body image expert and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, retailers may be right in hesitating before they upsize their displays.

“Walking into a store and seeing nice clothes on a mannequin that has a body type similar to your own could be a huge boost for self-esteem, but it might also backfire,” she said. “A lot of fashion is aspirational, such that people hope they will look like the mannequin if they buy the clothes. In our society, most people would rather be thin than obese.”

Although I understand where Thomas is coming from, I find her theory pragmatically ridiculous. Yes, fashion is aspirational, but I would argue that fatties have become less deluded in the last decade. Most people don’t base their clothing choices on how the mannequin (thin or fat) wears the outfit. Most fatties realize that if a plus-sized outfit is pinned and folded to a slender mannequin, then they will have to try it on first to see how it looks on their own body.

The only difference that a fat mannequin will make is that it may give someone a slightly better idea of what the outfit would look like on a bigger body. I seriously doubt that a fat person out shopping is going to see clothes on a fat mannequin and say, “Ew, gross, I’m not buying that!”

Now that fatties are here (and seemingly here to stay), you can’t demand that they remain out-of-sight, out-of-mind for fear that they may inspire a whole new generation of fatties. I mean, you can demand it, but we’re going to tell you to shut the fuck up.

As consumers, we have the right to demand that the products we buy are displayed on fat bodies that represent the intended consumers. So, enough with the pinning and folding of fat clothes on thin mannequins. Enough with the ever-so-slightly-zaftig underwear models in plus-sized catalogs. Enough with the unfounded complaints of enabling.

We can and will send a message with our pocketbooks: stores that respect us and treat us well will get our money and our repeat business; stores that attempt to conceal their shame with token gestures will be left behind.

It’s time to make the free market work for fatties.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2012 11:02 am

    IM a wee bit older than you, and was alive and fat in the 60s. At that time all the rage was that 1/3 of the women are over size 14 or fat. Wow, what an increase since then. So now it is 33% oh my. What a difference. Gee, you think maybe that it is natural for 1/3 of the population to be fat? There hasnt been a change. Although we tend to grow bigger and taller with each generation. I was considered tall and now I am the ‘shrimp’ in my family. It is all just bulls*&%! Thanks for the blog, I hope ‘they’ continue to use large mannequins. Some stores dont use heads or hands on their mannequins, take them off.

    • December 5, 2012 11:30 am

      Funny, Marla, I remember being in grade school in the 60s and being taught that there are three separate body types: ectomorph (read Twiggy/Iggy Pop), mesomorph (read Serena Williams/Arnold Swarzenegger), and endomorph (read Beth Ditto/Chris Farley). Theoretically, this was nature’s way of ensuring that at least one third of the population would be metabolically fit for any environment. I guess the fat moral panic is a reflection of the creationist movement.

      • fatology101 permalink
        December 5, 2012 3:38 pm

        You know, I often wondered if when the week all died off thur famin, walking with wagons across America, etc. that is would leave more ‘hardy’ people. Not necessarly fat, but prone to gain weight and keep it on. That way, there would be people left in the and they all wouldnt die off from starvation. Just a thought.

        • fatology101 permalink
          December 5, 2012 3:39 pm

          ooops my spelling is awful, ment weak and famine.

  2. December 5, 2012 11:15 am

    I don’t get the title of this post. What does Kim Cattrall have to do with it?

    • December 5, 2012 11:38 am


      • December 7, 2012 4:17 pm

        This was awesome!!!! The post and the re-visit to MST3K, I loved that show!!! And I admit, that occasionally I am a bit frightened of the tiny headed people from MIB coming and taking over…But as a size diversity activist, I have managed to open my mind to all head sizes.

  3. vesta44 permalink
    December 5, 2012 4:32 pm

    Oh, but we’re not supposed to be able to see what our limited clothing choices will look like on our bodies. We’re just supposed to shut up, buy whatever is available, and be glad we don’t have to run around naked. We’re not supposed to care that we don’t have fashionable clothing options shown on models/mannequins that look like us, we’re just supposed to be glad that there’s even clothing out there for us, limited as it is – and then we’re supposed to ignore the comments aimed at how poorly we’re dressed because we don’t have fashionable clothing options. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, so I say to all of those who don’t like fat mannequins “STFU and deal with it.”

  4. lifeonfats permalink
    December 5, 2012 5:52 pm

    That mannequin’s face looks exactly like Robert Z’Dar. Shannon, I know you know who he is being a MST3K fan. 😉

  5. Happy Spider permalink
    December 5, 2012 10:44 pm

    That’s a really good quote you’ve found, Atchka. It really strikes me. “A lot of fashion is aspirational, such that people hope they will look like the mannequin if they buy the clothes”. I am the slovenly badly dressed type but when I actually go shopping for clothes I do feel unusual aspirations awaken in my heart. I aspire…. To be beautiful. To be powerful. To be regal. To exude charisma in a way that turns the head of onlookers. Infrequently, even to be sexy.
    But according to this person, no, what I actually aspire to, what the great longing of my heart is, is to be thin. I aspire to be someone who is completely different from who I am. I mean, I AM inwardly powerful and beautiful,so I can see wanting clothes that show that, but thin? Does thin move mountains? Is thin exciting and interesting? Is thin well-read and well-travelled? How can society narrow everything down to that one trait “thin”? What a small view society has of the hugeness of people’s souls.
    I lost my train of thought. Right, so apparently I aspire to be someone completely different from who I am. Is that not tragic? And this psychology professor who specializes in body image sees no problem with this? No wonder retailers offer fat people voluminous bland clothes that hide the figure. They are just trying to be helpful to us, since obviously we are so ashamed of being unable to live up to our thin aspirations that we just want to erase ourselves altogether.

  6. Len permalink
    December 7, 2012 5:07 am

    I own a clothing shop that sells clothes for as many sizes as we can get. I’m DESPERATE for a fat mannequin. We cover 16 human sizes (we’d love to cover more but have not yet pinned down the suppliers). Six of these sizes are NOT defined as ‘fat’ (whatever). This means we need nice mannequins that will fill out TEN sizes and we can. not. find. them.

    Yes, we have ‘plus size’ mannequins but although they have size 16 bottoms they have size 12 tops. We pad them heavily, top and bottom, so they can model sizes 20 and over. But it’s just not the same.

    In short, I would kill for pretty mannequins that I can dress in, say, sizes 26 – 34 and look even HALF as lovely in the clothes as our actual customers do. If anybody knows how to find them – my eternal gratitude.


  7. The Real Cie permalink
    December 20, 2012 6:39 am

    The manikin looks like a Dr. Who villain. But I am glad to see them dare to use fat manikins in some shops. Because, shocking though it may be, fat people have existed for many a millennium, and we will continue to exist.

  8. January 29, 2013 7:58 am

    HAHAHAHA! My aspiration for the future is to be as witty of a writer as Atchka. And I love a fat mannequin. I know Lane Bryant has bigger ones. I believe they are probably 14/16, but they have curves and actually wear one of the sizes the store carries without adjustment, so I appreciate that.

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