Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NY Times: JC Penney is for Fat People

For those of you in Middle America, NYC is bracing itself for its first JC Penney store, which opens this weekend in the Manhattan Mall (yes, there's actually a mall in Manhattan - but it's nothing compared to malls elsewhere around the country.)

Anyway, The New York Times published a review of the new store and boy - oh, boy - was it something. The writer, Cintra Wilson, in so many words, says the store is for fat people and/or people with no style.

Here are some excerpts from her review:

"A good 96 percent of the Penney’s inventory is made of polyester. The few clothing items that are made of cotton make a sincere point of being cotton and tell you earnestly about their 100-percent cottonness with faux-hand-scribbled labels so obviously on the Green bandwagon they practically spit pine cones.

"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: a modified domino-print swing dress with padded shoulders by American Living (a Ralph Lauren line created for Penney’s) and a long psychedelic muumuu of a style generally worn by Rachel Zoe. 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."

Not even the store's mannequins are safe from her size 2 fingers.

"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.'"

Not surprisingly Cintra has gotten tons of mail from people who took offense to her review; she has apologized.

She wrote on her blog:

"I don't have any negative feelings at all about extra weight — I think fat is totally sexy and gorgeous. I saw the light on this way before I interviewed Beth Ditto, even. I'm an unregenerate chubby chaser. I didn't write the piece from an inner place of look-ist elitism or anti-fat condescension."


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Anonymous said...

JC Penny has been around longer than malls, and doubt they aren't sophisticated enough to know the difference between patrons in Manhattan from Des Moines. And also, if you're going to shop at Macy's than there's really not that much room to judge shopping at Penny's. Maybe that chick was just hungry. )

Anonymous said...


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