the Fat Tax

nature or nurture? If you are not a fat girl, and especially if you are not a fat girl who has ever been a bridesmaid, then you may not be familiar with the “fat tax.”

                Basically, someone along the way had a brilliant idea to charge more money for fat women’s clothing. Interestingly, when I was younger, I worked at a department store, in “special sizes”, which was comprised of both the Plus Size department and the Petites department. (Perfect! So if you didn’t already feel like a beached whale, you could hang around with women who are 4’9″ tall and weigh 85 pounds soaking wet. I loved being in the fitting room and hearing women complain about how the size zero was too big!!!)

ANYWAY . . . in both of these departments, the clothes cost more. This caused many people to question the reasoning behind all of this– “Well, if the fat clothes cost more because they use more material, why do the petite sizes cost more? Don’t those use LESS material?”

             My boss used to say that it was something to do with the machines they used to make the clothes (and we hope that by “machines” she didn’t mean “Honduran children”) and how they had to be “re-calibrated” to adjust to making the clothes in different sizes. Others might say that it was a simple matter of supply and demand–nobody, least of all myself, missed the fact that there were three floors of “misses” sizes and only 1/4 of a floor each for Plus sizes and Petites (we shared the floor with seasonal–coats and swimsuits, never at the right time of the year–and with lingerie.)

                Obesity Is NOT A Disease! smaller graphic

                   But yesterday I was going through a catalog, and saw that they had actually broken the prices out into THREE tiers of pricing. The tiny people (sizes 12, 14, 16) pay the least, then the “regular size” fat people (sizes 18, 20, 22, 24) pay a little bit more, and then, worst of all, the fattest of the fat (size acceptance folks sometimes refer to this as “super-sized”–not because these people eat too much McDonald’s, but because mainstream stores tend to exclude them from the mix)–anyway–the larger sizes were actually listed at a THIRD (yes, higher still) price!!!

                    And it became very clear to me in that moment WHY they charge more. It’s simply because they can . . . because we who live in this world in larger bodies think that we deserve to be treated like shit.

all I’m saying is, don’t believe the hype. FAT AND PROUD, BABY!

3 thoughts on “the Fat Tax

  1. I wish I knew how to sew (and draw I guess) because I would design a line of clothing for fat people that had no “fat tax”. It would also include trendy, cute clothes that I seem to never find in stores and sparingly online. And I am not even at the biggest size but can’t seem to find a freakin’ dress for a wedding I have to go to. UGH! I share your frustration.

  2. I totally, totally get your point, but to play devil’s advocate–it does take more material and in theory could cost more to produce?!

  3. I have noticed a similar problem with ‘large’ shoe sizes in the U.K. I think it’s unfair that people with ‘big’ size 11, 12 and 13 feet should pay above the odds for their shoes. End both the ‘Fat tax’ and the ‘Big feet tax’.

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