More Fat-Hatin'—and Assvertising

Has taking a shower become a pain? Are you bending and twisting yourself just to get clean? Tired of scrubbers and brushes that just don't work? Well, no more—introducing Body Snake! Finally, a way to clean and scrub those hard-to-reach areas of your body effortlessly. Watch: Simply bend, and it holds its shape! Throw it over your shoulders and easily reach it with your other hand. No more fumbling and stumbling in the shower. … But wait! You also receive our foot scrubber! This amazing foot scrubber cleans and scrubs your entire foot without ever having to bend over—guaranteed! Suction soles hold it in place while you scrub, exfoliate, revitalize your feet like never before! …
So, first of all, I hate this commercial for employing the loathsome "There's an easier way!" premise. But mostly I hate it because, while a long body loofah with footie loofah might actually be a useful product for someone who is injured, disabled, and/or has age-related limited mobility, it's being sold on the implicit message that it's for people TOO FAT TO BATHE PROPERLY. I've seen this discussed several times now on telly or online, and it's always just a bunch of lulz at teh fat fatty fatfats who can't reach their butts HAR!

The thing that really pisses me off about it is that they're showing people smaller than I am and implying someone of that size cannot reach their feet to clean them just because of their weight. Now, I'm big and I've got a bad back and I've got no problem reaching my goddamn feet just because of my fat. (On the other hand, Iain, who is thinner and way more athletic than I am struggles to reach his feet because he's super inflexible.)

Which is not to say it's inconceivable, because every body type is different and everyone's capabilities are different, that someone of my size exists whose fat does prohibit them from reaching their feet, or other parts of their body. But it's not typical—and I am deeply contemptuous of the implication that is it, because it feeds into a ubiquitous prejudice against fat people that they aren't clean.

Years ago, I saw an episode of Oprah on which she had as a guest a woman who refused to use a toilet or sit on any seat after a fat person, because she was convinced that fat people couldn't reach their asses to wipe—and no matter how much (then-fat) Oprah and her fat guests assured this woman they had clean asses, she wouldn't believe them. Fat and dirty were inextricably linked in her mind, and that prejudice wasn't about to get dislodged with any amount of reasoned discourse.

That's the kind of bigotry that fat people face every day.

In fact, I would argue that a lot of the fat hatred underlying stuff like airline regulations for fatties is really about the endemic presumption that fat people are gross, smelly, dirty. Untouchable.

Ruby Gettinger, the woman at the center of the eponymous show on the Style network, who has weighed as much as 715 pounds, spent part of one episode talking about how she's faced discrimination because thin people assume she doesn't/can't clean herself. She allowed the cameras to watch her as she cleaned herself, her nearly 500-pound body, in a meticulous ritual designed in no small part because she's keenly aware of the stigma against fat people, rooted in the assumption they can't keep themselves clean.

So when I see commercials tacitly reinforcing that erroneous narrative, I just want to scream. No less a commercial that treats it as some kind of goddamned hilarity—because, of course, there are some fat people who can't reach parts of their body just because of their weight, and what the fuck is funny about that?

[Assvertising: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five, Fifty-Six, Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Eight, Fifty Nine.]

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