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Um, excuse me? The colour of WHAT?!

I am part of a team of graduate students who are jointly teaching a Biochemistry class. It’s pretty cool, and I got this opportunity because I was 1 in 4 people who won a Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MMoD) training grant. The other 3 MMoD candidates plus an additional graduate student make up this team and together, we are doing our best to teach sophomores scientific analysis and technical writing (the un-official name of this special topics course).

I own a lot of raggedy clothes, with lots of holes in my t-shirts, food stains all over the boob area, and pants with the crotch half gone (hey, it happens when you wear the same pants over and over again, and when your thighs touch.) Usually, I don’t care what I look like. When I am teaching a lecture/discussion based class, it turns out, I do care because I want to be taken seriously. This is when Kristi REJOICES because she can finally take me shopping (something I don’t like to do) and buy me new things. This is just another thing she loves and I don’t love (for more reference, I wrote an article on this here).

We have a coupon for $50 off a $100+ purchase at Younkers, so we go there first. I like Younkers because this store is the only store in the mall that sells the brand of pants I just love. What greets me when I enter the store? This kiosk:

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The colour of skinny. That’s right, you didn’t mis-read that sign. You will notice at the very bottom of picture, some black jeans. Some very uncolourful, black jeans. The largest size on that table? A whooping 4. This kiosk was placed in the part of the store that does not sell “women’s” sizes (ugh, don’t get me started on this sub-classification). There was another kiosk next to this one saying “Dangerous curves ahead” (I couldn’t get a picture of this one because there were people standing in front of it.) This second kiosk also rubbed me the wrong way.

I wish, for once, that size was left out of marketing. If we are a size 4, we will find our way to the size 4 pants; and if we are a size 18, we will find our way to the size 18 pants. People are not stupid. But signs like this can hurt anyone.

I have to admit, at first, I kind of liked these signs. Until, I started thinking about who they were targeting and who they were excluding. We have the skinny table and the curvy table … but not the skinny with curves table or the skinny as a rail with no curves table or … you get the drift (I hope).

I put this out of my mind as we made it to “the fat section” as I like to call it. The section of the store I can call home and the section of the store I always hate. Why can’t I have the same prints and designs as the “skinny section”? Instead, my section of the store is usually filled with animal prints (because every heavy person wants to wear zebra print) or sweaters with cutesy animal embroidery on them (just like my mom wears). (No offense mom! She is seriously adorable in those sweaters.) But, lo and behold! I see fashionable, if I can be a judge of fashion, clothing this time! I grab a few shirts and head to the dressing room to see if I can tolerate anything this nice on me.

What is that? What do I see staring at me in the dressing room? THIS!
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“WARDROBE MUST HAVES” …. an advert for full-body SPANX! What is spanx? They are modern corsets, and are worn to make you look slimmer.  Only, it seems that people never question where the fat goes. It goes in, folks. As in, into all of your precious organs, thereby placing an enormous burden on tissues such as your bladder and your lungs. Spanx are used to hold all of you in, so you don’t bulge out of your shirt/dress/pants/etc.

Needless to say, I felt like crap after shopping here. Kristi does a great job cheering me up, we even went to buy some tea from Teavana!

Younkers, you get an A+ for making me feel poopy. I just don’t understand why fat is the worst thing you can be. I agree with J.K. Rowling.

Is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil, or cruel? Not to me.
-J.K. Rowling