Most of us live in image-conscious societies and currently, “thin is in”. Well actually, it’s been “in” for a consecutive number of years.
Down here, some men will tell you that they like a little meat on the bones, and my more generously endowed sisters will get their share of catcalls and whistles – which when I was younger I considered a compliment, but at this age, I consider an annoyance. (I prefer to be called by my name, thank you very much).
Anyway, I was on my way to making the point that although most societies are focused on praising the leaner ones among us, I make a point never to say anything mean or derogatory about larger folks – especially in front of my children. When they express alarm at “getting fat”, I don’t drive the fear of God into them but I tell them what I’m supposed to tell them which is that looks aren’t everything – but please remember to comb your hair.
Even though I’ve never been overweight myself, I have at times been a little heavier than I’ve wanted to be and I know that it’s not easy to lose those last five or thirty pounds. Besides which, I always consider myself two Snickers bars away from “fluffy”, so I don’t judge.
But a Japanese clothing company isn’t quite as accommodating. It’s doing away with the label sizes that we’re accustomed to seeing – you know, small medium and large – and is replacing them with tags that say titch, skinny, fat and jumbo.
What? “Plus size” and “Full-figured” not descriptive enough anymore?
Now I have a little anxiety whenever I discover during a shopping trip that I’ve moved up a size from the last time. So can you imagine if a week of poor dietary choices causes my waist to expand enough to move me from skinny to fat? Or if I couple that with no exercise for two weeks and end up getting bumped from fat to jumbo?
Talk about an incentive to lose some weight – or slit my wrists.
However, this company’s new marketing strategy may be a direct result of Japanese lawmakers setting limits on waist sizes, and citizens being required to have health counseling if there’s some spillage over the belt. Yeah, I didn’t believe it when I read it either.
It probably works out to be a good preventative measure though, because while at some point all of us may know that we could stand to lose a few pounds, none of us is going to pick up that dress if the label says “fat”.
Now if it said “big-boned” that would be a whole other story.