Saturday, March 17, 2012
Fat: We don't deal with those kind of people
I was flipping through channels last night waiting for a phone call and saw this most recent episode of What Would You Do? It's an interesting hidden camera program that puts people in really awkward positions and films how they would react. For example, the clip above, showing a hoity-toity boutique in New Jersey where the sales lady is being really rude and offensive to a size 14 girl. The sales lady and the girl are actors, and so is the size 4 best friend, but the customers are real and their reactions are very real.
The first lady that they showed who walked over and said, "I'm a customer, but if you come with me, I'll show you some lovely things..." I just loved her. By the end of the three minute segment, she was in tears because she was so angry on behalf of a complete stranger.
I think it hit me even more because I've been in this situation. I was at Nordstrom Rack near Salt Lake, and had quickly noted that there was nothing in my size. So I went rack to rack looking for my sister, who is much smaller than me, and was approached by an employee who simply said, "You won't find anything here for you." She said it with such a tone of disgust and superiority that my whole face flushed in embarrassment and my whole body shook with indignation. I was too humiliated to speak, but I think I managed an apologetic, "I'm not looking for me." She sniffed and walked away and the whole time I just wished I had told her off. I quickly found my sister and hid behind her the remaining tour of the store.
What would I have done if someone had overheard and actually stood up for me? What if I had stood up for myself? I guess I will never really know.
There are times when I enter a new store that I would like to save myself the embarrassment altogether and walk straight up to a clerk and ask, "Do you carry this size?" And if not, walk right out if they say no. I have never had the gumption to do it, and normally just stick to shopping where I know I can find something to try on.
At the beginning of this segment, the narrator talks about how fashion caters to the smaller sizes and for the average American woman, it's hard to keep up and be fashion forward. That much is true. I always say that I would dress much differently if I were smaller (and wealthier), because the things I like vs. the things that are available in my size are very different. I pretty much hate my entire wardrobe. But in the end, as a consumer -- while we are supposed to wield the power with supply and demand -- we have to purchase the things that are available to us. This means a lot of ugly prints, stupid sayings, and more polyester than should ever be legal. It's not like we can walk around naked in protest... Although, maybe we should?