Does this make me look fat?

Does this make me look fat?

Cintra Wilson took her Critical Shopper column in the NY Times to the new Herald Square J.C. Penney yesterday. And it confirms that she is an asshole.

I don’t have a problem with her hating on the clothes–as the Times’ resident “critical shopper,” she is well within her right to take a gander and not like the options. Though I have to ask, is there any non-poly blend to be found in H&M, New York City’s low-cost paradise? I am old enough to remember when H&M landed in NYC and the glowing praise it received from the media, the lines around the block to get in, the bouncers at the door like a nightclub, with nary a natural fabric in sight, but I digress.

The real meat  (ahem) or her piece is her complete slam of Penney’s core shopper, sniffing at the racks filled with sizes 10 and up, complaining about her near-impossible hunt for a size 2 and, finally, calling the mannequins obese. In the process, she manages to insult droves of women across the United States (NYC women included).

Her “if I were a size 18, I’d be thrilled” quote tells women of a certain proportion that they can only get clothing at places like Penney’s. Which she calls, a few graphs up, a company “encrusted with decades of boring, even traumatically parental, associations.”

But wait, there’s more! “J. C. Penney has always trafficked in knockoffs that aren’t quite up to Canal Street’s illegal standards. It was never ‘get the look for less’ so much as ‘get something vaguely shaped like the designer thing you want, but cut much more conservatively, made in all-petroleum materials, and with a too-similar wannabe logo that announces your inferiority to evil classmates as surely as if you were cursed to be followed around by a tuba section.’”

So, if you are a size 10 or larger, you are cursed to shop at a place where the clothes make you inferior but you’ll be thrilled? Cintra, take your size 2 ass and go home.

According to NY Magazine, she apologized, took it back, took another stab at it, blah blah blah. In the first mea culpa, she called herself a “chubby chaser,” and claimed to love the obese even before she interviewed Beth Ditto. Umm, OK.

Cintra’s reporting landed side-by-side with Guy Trebay’s uber-trend piece about the hipster boys sporting pot-bellys. My friend Mark has a brilliant crit of that on his Critical Condition blog. Perhaps all the editors at Thursday Style have the month off, which explains this week’s particularly shoddy section?

Cintra also takes a swipe at Halston for being the first fancy-pants designer to stoop to the Penney level and create an affordable line for the rest of us. In actuality, the man was a pioneer in the business of fashion (not artistry, business). How many women can afford the real thing? The rest of us unwashed, apparently massive masses need something more affordable. Mass market is “mass” because it is high volume (not because of our girth). Ca-ching.

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