Blinds to Go has a new commercial, I’ll not be linking to it. It starts with a man who is gray-haired, hairy, and fat doing yoga in his home with the windows open, interspersed with shots of a couple walking and chatting outside. Then the couple happens to look in the window and sees the man doing yoga and everyone is horrified. The announcer chimes in with “You need blinds. Now” After the sales pitch it cuts to a final shot of the man doing yoga with blinds on all the windows, looking happy and relieved.
This is severely screwed up. Blinds to Go is betting that more fat people will buy their product based on the fear that we are not sufficiently ashamed of ourselves and hiding ourselves away from society in our own homes (and that thin people will think this is funny and be inspired to purchase their product,) than will refuse to be customers because we believe it’s despicable to use sizeism to sell blinds (or anything else.)
I am really disappointed in Blinds to Go for using sizeism/ageism/lack of conformity to the single stereotype of beauty to sell their product, instead of finding a way to advertise the need for privacy that doesn’t suggest that some people should hide themselves from the world because of how they look.
I am sad to live in a world where this ad got made – where nobody stopped the process and said “we don’t want body shaming to be the image of Blinds to Go.” It is a seriously messed up society that concern trolls fat people in one breath insisting that we have some obligation to exercise and that no matter how much exercise we do it’s not enough unless we get thin, and in the next breath suggests that the idea of seeing fat people exercise is so horrifying that we should feel obligated to spend our money to protect people from the sight of us – as if we are responsible for accommodating both other people’s beliefs about how we should behave, and their bigotry about how we look.
I am also frustrated by arguments I’m seeing that suggest that this man shouldn’t be fat shamed because he is exercising, rather than the truth which is that he shouldn’t be fat shamed because fat shaming is never ok. Screw the good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy.
Many fat people do yoga at home not because they choose to but because of the very real possibility (or past experience) of being fat shamed at a yoga studio, so screw Blinds to Go for trying to convince us that if people can see us in our own homes then we haven’t done enough to hide ourselves from the world, and that we don’t have the right to do yoga in our homes with the sun shining through our windows.
Inevitably it will be suggested that those who speak out against fat people being used as the butt of a joke for someone else’s profit are too sensitive, need to get a thicker skin, or learn to take a joke. As if we should think that the idea that looking at us is horrifying, and that we are responsible for fixing it by hiding ourselves, is hilarious. The suggestion that we should be willing to participate in our own oppression to avoid being accused of lacking a sense of humor is, in and of itself, oppressive.
Fat people who are being fat in public (or in our own homes without blinds) are fine as we are and it doesn’t matter if we are exercising, or eating, or just hanging out. The people who are wrong are those who are laboring under the misapprehension that they are owed “aesthetically pleasing,” “beautiful,” and/or “fuckable,” by their own definitions from everyone they meet including everyone whose windows they peer into, and that people who they don’t want to look at should hide themselves. I’ve said it on this blog before and I’ll say it again – Don’t like the way I look? Feel free to practice the ancient art of…wait for it…looking at something else. You can do it, I believe in you.
Activism Opportunity – Tell Blinds to Go what you think: http://www.blindstogo.com/en/contact-us
UPDATE: Click here to see the update!
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