For those of you who have already seen the screed, or who want a recap, here is a taste of her tactless take on Penney’s. (Find the full thing here.)
On its move to Manhattan:
“Why would this dowdy Middle American entity waddle into Midtown in its big old shorts and flip-flops without even bothering to update its ancient Helvetica Light logo…”
On its sizes:
“It took me a long time to find a size 2 among the racks. There are, however, abundant size 10’s, 12’s and 16’s. The dressing rooms are big, clean and well tended. I tried two fairly cute items…. Each was around $80; each fit nicely and looked good. I didn’t buy either because I can do better for $80, but if I were a size 18, I’d have rejoiced.”
On its mannequins:
“..it has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. It’s like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of ‘Roseanne.’”
Again, on its sizes:
“The petites section features a bounty of items for women nearly as wide as they are tall; the men’s Big & Tall section has shirts that could house two or three Shaquilles. And this is really, remarkably smart.”
Once more because she hasn’t belabored it enough, on its sizes:
“…we discovered that even a Penney’s medium is five times larger than any large T-shirt either of us had ever seen: The sleeves came down to the elbow, and there was enough room in front for eight months of unborn twins. And that will probably make some guy feel pretty svelte.”
Ooof. About this time every gal (or guy – equal opportunity anger here) who is not a size 2 is probably pretty pissed. You see, instead of just insulting the clothes – which is perfectly valid if you don’t like the clothes – she is insulting everyone who wears the clothes. She is mocking people who – in her eyes – have the audacity to squeeze their fat asses into Penney’s fashions. Don’t you know this is Manhattan?
To be fair, as nasty as her piece is, she did say that the store serves a niche that “has been almost wholly neglected on our snobby, self-obsessed little island.” But then, in the accompanying info at the end, she couldn’t resist one last zing: “No matter how many Grand Slam breakfasts you’ve knocked out of the park, Penney’s has a size for you…”
Ha ha ha, fat people eat a lot!
Like I said, ooof. The lady blogs have rightfully ripped into her. Her piece was remarkably insensitive, obnoxiously elitist and (what she would probably consider the biggest sin of all) simply not funny. My size 2 svelte self can buy a lot of cute things for $80 but your size 18 wide-load can only afford dumpy Penney’s. Hilarious! What is this, grade school where you point and laugh at the heavy kid?
And it just gets worse. As so often happens in our write-and-respond world, she went and apologized on her blog. Twice. Sort of. You see, first she posted a rather long, somewhat snarky fauxpology which essentially boiled down to: “Sorry I hurt your feelings, fatties! Really, I love the chubbies! Also, Beth Ditto!”
And then, she took that one down and posted instead that “frankly, people, I think this has all gotten a bit ridiculous. You know I didn't mean it that way, so please remove the knot from your panties…”
Oh, and her last tweet read: “HATING: That lady website, teeming with humorless, enfeebled twunts.”
Surprisingly (look, appropriate use of sarcasm), people did not take kindly to her not-so sorrys. So then she later posted a shorter, more sincere apology in which she said she regrets wounding the feelings of people “who already feel they take more than their share of abuse from our very shallow and ridiculous society. I was not sensitive enough to this, and the extent to which my article exacerbated these feelings is a very real failure on my end for which I sincerely apologize.”
I’m guessing the fact that right about now her hate mail inbox could fill the Mariana Trench played a part in that last mea-so-culpa.
The thing about writing is as soon as you express an opinion, someone will hate you for it. That’s just the way the world works. I understand that; I live it every day. So, of course, I don’t hate Cintra. I don’t know enough about her to have much of any opinion. I’ve read her writing in the past and to know that bitchy is her calling card. And I, of all people, can certainly appreciate that. But there is a difference between being bitchy with a point and being bitchy just to be a bitch.
In the end, I think what this highlights most is a lapse in judgment in what should be our nation’s most prestigious paper of record. All the news that’s fit to print should not be an asshole to anyone over a size 2. Newspapers, especially great newspapers, shouldn’t stoop to the Perez model where insults equal eyeballs, so let’s hurl as many as we can. Now I realize given my chosen name that this might seem like an odd thing to say, but everything doesn’t need to be snarky.
Though, as long as we’re being bitchy, how obnoxious is it that her website menu calls its photo gallery “PIXX?” Oooh, two XXs? HOW FUCKING CLEVER.