Supermarket In China Used ‘Terrible’, ‘Rotten’ To Label Larger Sizes. How Can You Be So Daft?
Facts: China is on very thin ice with the world right now. And if I were China, I’d be exxxxxtra nice about how I do things. And yet, China manages to piss us off every other day. With India toh it’s playing this constant Kabaddi where it doesn’t respect any political borders. But internally too, there’s a lot of crap they’ve got going. For example, according to reports, as China is trying to ensure food security for its ever-growing population, restaurants have actually resorted to fat-shaming customers by measuring their weight before they enter the restaurant and giving them menu suggestions accordingly! But what’s stupider is this supermarket that used words like ‘terrible’ and ‘rotten’ on their size charts for plus size clothes.
Sigh. First they mess with a bat. Now, they want to shame fat? (Forgive me, weight is a touchy topic.)
Get this. A supermarket chain in China called RT-Mart store went viral on Chinese social media app Weibo last week, raking some four million views. The store had a sign put up, displaying a suggestive size chart for women’s wear between ages 18 to 35. Now while smaller and medim sizes were described as “skinny” and “beautiful”, the larger sizes had words like “rotten” and “terrible” next to them. The XXL size? Yep, that one had “extremely terrible” next to it.Representational Image of RT-Mart, China
See what I mean by continuing to mess up when it should be careful?
So guess what happened after the outrage? The store, on Thurday, “deeply apologised” for it and posted their apology on their Weibo account. Their post said, “After the incident, RT-Mart thoroughly inspected all RT-Mart stores immediatelyAfter investigation, it was confirmed that such an incident occurred in one store, and the headquarters has quickly requested the store to remove all signs.”
The backlash has rekindled the outrage against sexism in China, particularly the Chinese society’s standards of beauty and perfection for its women. The supermarket chain has also ensured that it will thoroughly check and ensure none of its other 400+ stores pull something like this off.
Great. But my question is, WHY? How are the store managers so daft? I get it if there were a translation error or something in the case that two languages were involved. But from the looks of it, the store very well knew what was up on their wall. And they let it stay until the backlash forced them to remove it. Which means that apology feels rather empty.
While this store went out of their way to make women of larger sizes feel unwelcome, I don’t think the problem of fat-shaming is limited to China alone. While body positivity is surely having a moment right now, it feels like the more positive we try to be, the more the negativity intensifies with a vengeance.
Recently, India’s self-proclaimed fashion watchdog Diet Sabya too called out designers and brands that levied a fat tax on their garments. Why? Because plus sizes require more fabric and embroidery, etc. on it than regular ones. After it called out certain brands specifically, there were many who came forth and abolished the fat tax for their brands. The victory felt very Lagaan-esque, TBH. But let’s remember that while we won against the goras, that didn’t mean they stopped looking down at us. And the same applies to the fashion industry when it comes to plus size fashion.
As someone who shops in the plus size section, I hate the fact that I have to pay more every single time, and still can’t find the range that normal sizes have. But theek hai, you know what? I am willing to pay even that extra 1k, if it means I don’t have to tolerate those jibes, side-eye glances and sniggering when I come to your store and browse for plus sizes. That is possibly the most annoying thing that store staff can do, and it happens mostly at a lot of high-end designer and brand stores who’d die a painful death than see their clothes on “terrible” and “rotten” women.
So here’s a reality check to fat shamers. Get with it. People aren’t going to stop wearing clothes because they are large. Oh and China, can you just please get your shit together?