Extra Large Enablers

Extra Large Enablers T Shirt Tag

Scene: While at the grocery store, rummaging through the produce section like I know what a good cantaloupe looks like (I don’t), my afternoon is instantly ruined by the venomous noise of a screaming toddler.  It’s an unmistakable combination of unreasonable complaining with pure hysteria.  Words, screaming, and dry heave crying are blended together like it was the latest offering from Jamba Juice.

“BUUUUUTTT MAAAAAAAHMMYY…I WAAAAAAANNNNTT (scream/cry/snot chorus) THE ROBOT DINOSAUR BOATTTTTTTT DVVDDDD (repeat chorus)”

Of course by the end of this song, Mom is so suicidal that she’ll grant Screamy whatever material object will allow her 12 seconds of escape from the constant torment of raising a child.  Screamy gets the robot dinosaur boat DVD (i have no idea what kids like), mommy gets a little bit of quiet, and The Good Badger gets livid.

When you give your kid what they want after throwing a tantrum, you reinforce their bratiness.  You teach them that tantrum –> reward, the same way Pavlov’s dogs learned ringing bell –> food (this is how Pavlov got the idea to start Taco Bell).

There’s a term for these kind of parents – they’re enablers.  While their poor parenting techniques make for brattier children, I’m always an iPod away from sweet salvation.

Fat people, however, directly effect me.

Sure, they drive up the costs of health care, can make for an uncomfortable plane ride, and are endangering our tables, but these are facts I can live with.

So what’s my beef with fat people?  (Clearly pun is intended)

Fat people are ruining free t-shirts for America, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

I’m a big fan of giveaway t-shirts.  This is not because I’m cheap (I am), get irrationally excited by free (I do), or am being funny by wearing a Municipality of Monroeville shirt (I try).  I get a sincere joy out of free clothing because it delays any need to go near a mall.  However, this joy is almost always immediately met by an equal degree of disappointment when I discover what I’ve been handed is not a t-shirt, but instead a small tent with holes.

tent t-shirt

Really Humana– the only people who can fit into this t-shirt will be denied your insurance due to pre-existing lard (for at least the next few months anyways).  I realize that 97% of the population can fit into an XXL, but just because I can easily cover my torso with this fabric doesn’t mean it fits. This is just another example of how trying to please everybody pleases only very big bodies.

You’re punishing the people who take care of themselves.

Linda runs 4 triathlons a year, consumes only salad, salmon, and Starbucks, and when she’s handed a long sleeve shirt at the Bronco’s game, she’s not sure whether to put it on or camp in it.  Sorry Frontier Airlines, you and your socially unconscious giveaway clothing just cost you a customer.

You’re rewarding the fat.

Even worse than punishing the fit, is rewarding the fat.  You’re enabling bad behavior, just like the pushover mom.  When a heavy set dude walks into Dodger Stadium and comfortably slides into an XXL, you’ve just made his weight issue a non-issue.  His only semi-obese friend feels the need to eat a half dozen Dodger Dogs in order to make his gut conform to the parachute draped over him.

The cynic in this argument might say, “don’t they go through enough torment living in their fat shoes without making them feel terrible about not being able to squeeze into a large?”  No.  This isn’t about making people feel bad.  This is an effort to reiterate the sincerity of their problem.  Either this will open their eyes to show how unhealthy they are or it will infuriate them.  Either way….

So am I picking on fat people, or the companies that cater to them?

I’m targeting companies that cater to fat people.

When a 300 lb. woman can fit into your free shirt, it means it’s too big.  Way too big.  The only thing that should cover 300 lbs. is two shirts because 300 lbs. should be two people. You’re helping to keep fat people fat, and enraging Good Badgers in the process.  Do I have the authority to put all of these businesses on Colbert’s “On Notice” board?

I’m targeting fat people.

Businesses don’t have free will.  They’re not able to make decisions based on things like social conscious, in your best interest, morality, or any other phrases that would imply caring.  Businesses are built with profit tunnel vision.  Their purpose is to make money.  They will cater to the masses, even if the masses are massive.

Now if you will excuse me, my frozen bacon pot pie just finished in the microwave….


  • I’m with The Good Badger on this one. Fat people suck, like, a lot. I was more sucky when I was fat than any other time in my life.

  • Meghan

    THANK YOU for pointing out something that has always bothered me! i can never get appropriately sized t-shirts in the “free t-shirt giveaways” because they NEVER have smalls. when we got free grateful red t-shirts with our bball tickets, the smallest size they ordered was medium. wtf?!?! granted i’m a small person but come onnnn

  • zachrd99

    THANK YOU Meghan for proving that the need for small giveaway t-shirts is substantially undervalued. If there’s demand for this in Wisconsin, think about all of the other less beer and cheese dependent states. It’s America’s biggest secret. Or should I say smallest secret.

  • Yup, it angers me as well, and guess what happens next time; the volume of their screaming will increase directly proportionate to the level of their spoiled little experience. They will do what works evertime based upon their experience and rewards/failures. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert in child rearing, however, if a rat can be taught to turn right to get the cheese, so can and will an not so much different child. Pavlov was certaily right and conditional reflexes will increase to the level that they need for them to do in order to get what they want . It’s clearly a power struggle. Mommy needs to be willing to stop right there, leave her shopping cart in the ailse, exit stage left and show jr that he will not be allowed to run the show. The easiest thing will most certainly rise up and bite mommy squarley in the arse next time. Do us all a favor mommy and have the fortitude to teach your children well. There, I’m done.

    Robin

  • Pat

    I agree with Robin! I feel sorry for the parent of the little sob, but giving in is NOT the answer. Mommy 0 – obnoxious brat 1 — I’m not sure leaving the little brat is the answer. He/she just might lie on the floor and continue the rotten behavior — or run up and down the aisles yelling and screaming. Perhaps it’s time to swat the little behind! 🙂 Yes, I still believe in spanking.

    Been there, done that.

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  • Uhura

    I kind of agree with this. One thing is to have some seats for xxxl people, other thing is to give xxxxl free t-shirts only.

    Thinking in a related topic, if it is forbidden to sell alcoholic beverage for a person that is mentally disabled or has clearly signs of being drunk (at least in my country), why not do the same with obese people? Put some restrictions at each supermarket and restaurant (“sorry sir, but I you can’t have fries! The law forbids me”).

  • Uhara, I think you’re up to something with the food restriction law. You should probably take hold of some high ranking political position.

  • T_guardiola

    Fat (obese) people outnumber “normal” sized people in America nearly five to one and extremely obese (morbidly obese) people are catching up fast. Scooters in stores enable this trend. Walking is a healthy, low impact activity, and probably the only physical movement (other than eating) for many fat people. Physically disabled folks have their own scooters. So why are stores enabling fat people to get fatter and lazy people to become morbidly obese? MONEY – that’s why. The diet and weight loss industry in this country is in a conspiracy with the multi-billion dollar-a-year food industry…. and just think of all the money the pharmacy machine is raking in annually. Healthy, normal-sized people eat less, are sick less, only need one seat on an airplane, and can buy skinny jeans (less fabric = cheaper). Fat people are consumers – and that means money spent on clothing, food, medications, and so on. If you are a fat person and want to stick it to all those companies taking absolute blatant advantage of you, go postal on them and decide to eat less, buy less, spend less. You’ll benefit by feeling great inside and out, and the normal people will have to gripe about.
    From a former morbidly obese person who got tired of feeding the money machine. Instead of Taco Bell, I get my “fix” from the gym and instead of giving my money and health away to lying corporate thieves, I give them the finger every chance I can by refusing to consume their addictive, poisonous fast foods, or buy anything that is labelled with an “X” or an “L.”

  • Jas

    I’m almost drunk enough to send this to every fat person on my Facebook.

  • Shock4luv

    I am a large woman and I think that you have no right to just single out big people. For many years I have acquired free t-shirts and it made me feel that companies were leaving out us large people with teeny weeny shirts. So I guess we feel the same on both sides of the fat/scrawny debate huh?

  • Shock4luv

    Were you fat as a kid or were your parents?

  • Shock4luv-

    In regards to this post, yes, I single out big people. In the scope of the site, however, I single out as many different groups on a very regular basis. Also, I actually do have “the right” to do this (see: amendment #1).

    With that said, I’m sorry if you were offended by the premise of this post. I’m not telling fat people that they must lose weight. I was attempting to make commentary on the state of obesity in our culture and the way it effects how businesses try to appease the greatest mass.

    Maybe you’ve had a different experience, but in my own, I’ve never seen a giveaway t-shirt any smaller than an XL. The term “extra large” implies that someone is not only big, but to a degree that requires an adjective to qualify it above normal standards. A large shirt is for big people. An extra large is for really big people. I’ve received giveaway XXL’s. That’s insane.

    I thank you for taking the time to read the post, but attacking other commenters will not be tolerated. It’s okay to be critical of a post, but direct the criticism in my direction.

    Zach

  • matthew

    i know that you have the first ammenment dehind you but i think that it is wrong to single out any one for there flaws have you ever thought that maybe some bigger people cant help but be big? like they have a thyroid condition or they were slim and slender at one point and then  got diagnosed with heart disease or  joint problems and they can no longer exersise so they put on wieght over the years? i am a plus size person and if it wasnt for plus size clothing i would probably get made fun of all the time because of my wieght because bigger clothes make me look slimmer and feel slimmer plus when i do lose my wieght i want to wear baggy close because i think its stupid to wear somthing that looks painted on that you cant even move in and that makes you look bigger and another thing if it wasnt for bigger cloths that bigger people would be exposing more of there body and then you would probably complain about that im a 3 to 4x size and i wear a 5 to 7x and proud of it! other than that i agree with you about parenting and stuff…  so i think that you need to get over judgeing fat people because either way your probably going to complain so get over it!

  • I came across this thread through searching for some documentaries on society and obesity. You have such a collective ideas and great info supporting your argument. Though if I may… I wish to add a few info to support your thoughts further. I do apologize ahead for the long post.

    How or where do I begin… Fat people ruin the way clothing are sized are too. Vanity sizing was caused because of stupid fat people who don’t want their feelings hurt and blah, blah blah. I’m sorry, but being a formal obese female I can’t pity these fat *beep*s.  They ended up fat because they don’t have control over what they put into their mouths and having a stationary lifestyle… plain and simple! Thyroid disorders is an excuse… overeating fatty foods would be your culprit for the reason why that person ended up with the disorder in the first place. Being overweight due to genetics and/or disorder is only suffered by a small percentage (I read in medical journals as low as 1% of people who are overweight ended up that way due to thyroid issues). …but Thyroid disorders is a poor excuse. I have relatives with thyroid issues and they’re not XXL … not even a size medium. Seriously, fat people need to stop giving themselves excuses why they’re fat. They’re fat because they eat too much of everything. I was once at 149 pounds, for a petite 4ft 10in woman I was clinically obese. I was wearing sizes 16 and 18 and was on the path to go into a size 20. I was always tired and was on the brink of getting diabetes (runs rampant in my mother side of the family). I also knew of the connections between me being fat and how it impacted the environment in a negative way. I knew I was the only one controlling this and I took control for the better. I didn’t exercise (I don’t care for it it’s stupid) but I ate healthier. I limited my food intake. At first it was hard but grew accustom to it. I cut back meat (Atkins doesn’t work for me) and increased fruits and veggies. I shrunk my portion sizes to kid size meals and ate five times a day. I went from a size 18 to a size 10 is just eight months. I’m currently a size 6 and still shrinking due to another switch in the diet a more dominant vegetarian diet.

    Back to the topic of vanity sizing. I hate going shopping because when I pick out clothes I have to go to the smaller sizes and most of the time there aren’t any. There was even a day I had to buy a size 2 pair of pants because the other sizes were too big. Now I know for a fact that I had been a size 6 for four yrs now and I do measure myself using a tape measurement. My waist and rare end haven’t shrunk, so I know damn well I’m no size 2. The changes are due to companies not hurting peoples feelings because hurting feelings = lost of money. BS I say! If anything it makes me feel worse about my body. It’s like a general ed teacher telling a student who is labeled for special ed that “It’s ok. At least you’d tried.” BS!!! The kid got the answer wrong… tell the kid it is wrong and to double check the answers. By saying “It’s ok” these companies are just patronizing and insulting ones intelligence. What do they think I am? Stupid? Seriously fat people need to stop it already. If they don’t like themselves than FIX IT! Otherwise shut up! …and stop pushing their ideals and BS onto the rest of us. I changed because I want to live a better quality of life…not just for myself but those around me too. I know exactly how you feel, zachrd99 and I was an obese person. I’m still considered overweight, but I don’t put my depression and BS onto others… that is childish, immature, redundant, selfish and most of all idiotic. Fat people need to learn they’re not the center of the universe and get over the fact that some people will put out the flaws of their selfish fat *beep*es. By these people being fat it causes a whole chain reaction of damages to not just themselves, but EVERYONE! Fat people are the reason for vanity sizing (I don’t know what my actual dress is because of them), the subsidizing farming (increase of processed corn in everything…thank you so much for that fat *beep*s), poor nutrition in school lunch programs (fat people buy the most junk garbage foods and since they out number skinny folks we have more processed garbage foods to eat), poor education (poor foods = poor energy = poor brain function = poor education.. fat *beeps* don’t see this connection…can’t blame them the fat has impeded their brain function), poor economy (poor brain function due to all the fat squeezing the blood flow thus poor decisions in the market place), environmental disasters (poor farming techniques to support processed food economy due to fat *beeps* eating the garbage that washes into water supply and throughout the ecosystem; also they eat too much which means more transporting foods = more carbon waste and green house gases in the atmosphere), and there are many more damages to what fat people are doing. They only think about themselves. Hypocrites they are…. they want pity and support but they don’t return it by being healthy and supporting a system that will benefit all.

    Great post zachrd99. It’s good to see I’m not alone on how fat people are effecting the world in a negative way. People around here can complain all they want and even trash talk against you or I, but we have the facts while they’re going by emotional outbursts and whining (they’re no better than the moms who are supporting rotten, spoil, tantrum children). It is a fact that the fatter people become the worse the economy is getting, the education system, the environment, and the quality of life overall…. there are numbers, facts, charts, data that backs this up fully. People just don’t want to see it or admit it. Again, I was once obese, so it’s not like I don’t know how it feels to be fat in this world, but I’m not naive or emotionally depressed enough about it to allow my over-consumption to cloud my thoughts and overlook the research that states that by me being fat I cause so much pain and suffering to myself, my love ones, and the whole world. Fat people need to know that too. This goes beyond just oversize t-shirt give aways. Thank you again for your thread and time… peace be.

  • Flystnby73

    I do agree with you on some level, that being the companies should have different sizes to give away for free. It’s free not really a reason to get mad about it, but what about the money people do spend on clothes, bigger sizes cost more, and the bigger the size the less in style it looks, kind of reminds me of table cloth patterns or moo moo’s at that point. So where you might be a small size person with a lot  of choices for fashion a bigger person has to get that ugly thing that fits. So if they get that free tee that fits them and you feel left out just remember they are paying more for their over sized clothes then you are. 

  • Anya

    wow, what an angry and unhappy person… Good for you that you lost your weight, I did too and I was really obese 287 pounds… down to 140… and it was very hard, and heartbreaking and rewarding at the same time. However I don’t think dropping the weight makes you love yourself immediately, or that your life is magically better because you lose the weight… its a journey… I never called myself an obese *bleep* for starters I never did, and I´ll never call other people that ,… if you look good and feel good it wont matter if you are size 10, size 2. size 14…

    its hard to believe you were obese 149 pounds is not obese,… but to each its own… for the rest of this article… get over it, if you don’t like the sizes of FREE t-shirts… go buy some t-shirts… if you care for you body like you say, why would you penalize it with an ugly free t…