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Fatphobic Woman Calls Out Store Mannequin for Highlighting ”Flabby Curves” and Promoting ”Dangerous” Body Positivity Movement

The mannequin is plastic, ma'am.


Bus meme but mannequin

When you’ve been fat for most of your life you come to expect some puzzling takes from the general public when it comes to your body. Case in point:

At least it’s not a New Year’s Resolution ad trying to make me feel bad about my weight during a pandemic? Yes, I have somehow done the impossible and dodged any “lose that COVID weight” ads this year.

In return? This:

I suppose if I have to choose between “COVID diet ad” and “woman calling plastic flabby” then I pick plastic.

So let’s talk about plastic.


The hypocrisy of fatphobia

I will admit that I took some time out of my day to scroll through this woman’s “dangerous” body positivity take just to watch her get dragged. That’s because I’ve been hearing comments like this for decades. This woman isn’t a rarity, she’s just the pick of the week when it comes to fatphobic rhetoric – and yes, it runs so deep with some people that they think a plus-size mannequin, in a FITNESS STORE, is promoting a “dangerous” agenda.

The hypocrisy of it all is nothing new. We had a rant about plus-size mannequins a few years back when Nike dared to release a couple. I’m also very familiar with being told to drop absolutely everything I’ve got going on in favor of attempting to lose weight, that my life will be better if I do and that I’m lying to myself if I think otherwise.

I’ve heard the “promoting an unhealthy lifestyle” scripture over things like “you’re smiling in this picture.” I’m very serious when I say that. I used to cosplay a lot and when I tell you folks were bothered by a fat Princess Tiana or Wonder Woman or Princess Peach, I mean it.

Everything I do has been labeled as “dangerous” by somebody because I exist in a fat body as I do it.

There’s a very real entitlement folks have over fat bodies where they think they can dictate how we go about living our lives, leading to a “how dare you” moment if you’re not doing something they think you should be doing. It’s a real shock to the system for fatphobic people when they see that fat people can manage just fine and, gasp, be happy. It’s the exact opposite of everything we’re taught to believe in regards to body image, that the only way to not be miserable and unsatisfied is to not be fat.

Except, well, even if you are doing the thing they say you should be doing (in this case, working out) they put parameters on that, too. “Yes, you should go work out,” they say, “But no, you shouldn’t be the focal point in this fitness store.”

Even if fat people are the ones being told time and time again to embrace fitness.

As if there aren’t fat people who already do that.

Lose weight, but not in the presence of those who harp on you to lose weight, except they will continue to ask if you’re working to lose weight, and only say you look good if it appears that you’ve lost weight.

Honestly, shouldn’t the mannequins in fitness shops be of a variety of body types, to begin with? I guess not, as there is a particular body type that will be looked at as some sort of setback, as the “before” picture that you shouldn’t be a fan of.

At this point in my life, I’m not surprised to see a tweet that has someone clutching their pearls over a mannequin, and really, it’s the lack of surprise that’s exhausting. I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve seen someone appalled over something as harmless as the size of a mannequin, but that’s how fatphobia works. It’s not always the standard name-calling and insults toward our appearance, it’s also this supposedly “helpful” tone where including our bodies is seen as “dangerous.” It’s this cruelty where we’re expected to do everything we can to not be fat so long as we do it in a way that doesn’t reveal that we’re fat.

It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it continues to be a way of thinking that fat folks have to navigate.

I, for one, think the mannequin is cool and that outfit is really cute. Not that my fat person opinion matters, of course.

(Original image: Genildo Ronchi)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)