Friday, June 8, 2007

Livin' Large

So, I'm always fascinated by what marketers and retailers think Big People need and want in their lives. It can make quite the sociological study.

Obviously, for example, women's clothing manufacturers and retailers have several preconceived notion about overweight women:

  • Our arms hang down beyond our knees so we need extremely long sleeves;
  • We are very fond of very large prints;
  • We enjoy clingy midriff tops (preferably in very large prints);
  • Novelty items with pigs, elephants, or cows on them are big favorites, so that we can invite rude comments from strangers; and
  • Two words: fluffy chiffon.

Note to manufacturers: these assumptions are not true.

So it was with extreme interest that I came across the LivingXL website, with products designed for plus-sized men and women.

And what do the folks at LivingXL think we need? Let's see: robes up to 8x; super-sized towels; hand-held showers; and the "Big John" toilet seat that holds up to 1,200 pounds. Egads. High-capacity scales. Hmm..a Leg Lifter. Wonder what that does? A "bottom buddy." That's in the personal hygiene category and I don't want to delve too deeply into its use. Large patient gowns--and if you've ever gone to the doctor and had to don a gown that doesn't quite meet you'd see the beauty of having your own. Large-sized life jackets. Don't laugh--I have one of these, for those Hurricane Katrina-like events. I also own an inflatable boat for the same reason, but that's a topic for my other blog. Benches. Picnic tables. Are picnic benches a problem for overweight people? Ah, an airplane seatbelt extender, which you can choose by airline. Travel iron. Uh...fat people need special travel irons? How have I lived this long without realizing that? Oversized clothes hangers. Now that's a great idea.

Oh well.

I'm making light of all this, and admittedly some of the items are pretty strange. But others sound dead-useful, so why not.

On the other hand, let's see what we can do about those orangutan arms that manufacturers insist on putting on plus-size clothing.

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