Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NYTimes Critical Shopper Cintra Wilson offends nation

A JcPenney shopper I am not. It certainly wouldn't be the first place I'd think of for fashion, but one Critical Shopper has me of the mind to go see what I can find. They certainly have a market, after all, enough to warrant a new flagship in midtown Manhattan.

This would be the market Critical Shopper columnist for the New York Times, Cintra Wilson, has outraged, by snidely reporting that the discount department store has catered to "people of all sizes" through the ends of installing, "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.' "

Wilson also complains of being unable to find a size 2, but finding 10's, 16's, etc. in abundance. These few size 2's also being of the "fairly cute" variety too, which she said "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." She can do better. Middle America, not so much. See, we don't know fashion here in the Heartland, being so far removed from the edge of the coasts.

Strong words coming from a woman who readily admits that, "New York boutiques tend to cater to the stress-thin, morbidly workaholic, Pilates-tortured Manhattan ectomorph." Which makes me wonder, is Wilson claiming to be a natural size 2, lumping herself in with the "stress-thin" New York populous, or something else entirely? Completely above us all?

Being from Kansas, I know a little bit about what it's like to defend your state, your pride, yes, your fashion sense, and, well, civility. Even in the farmlands of Ireland, even in Mississippi, poor Kansas can't seem to shake its Dorothy and tornadoes, prairie and Indians reputation (making me grateful growing up, that my parents moved out of Prairie Village to a neighboring suburb when I was still just out of diapers).

I also know a little bit, admittedly, about being a fashion snob - though I'm no label fanatic, not by a long shot. I just appreciate good design and quality fabric and craftmanship. That's not to say I don't often find myself at knockoff giant Forever 21, either though. In fact, I love and appreciate the place. I can understand Miss Wilson's frustration with shotty design, but I think it's the attitude that did her in.

And, well, as New York Mag's blog the Cut noticed, we here in Middle America also read the New York Times. Yes, even the fashion section. Wilson's now on her third attempt at a apologyn this time emphasizing her faith as a Buddhist and her deep regret for any abuse. Hmmmm. Better, I suppose, then "now go spread your virulent misery elsewhere, darlings," or, proclaiming her love for the generously sized: "I'm an unregenerate chubby chaser." But since apologies don't seem to be neither her strength nor sincere, as one commenter on her blog said, "why apologize for being a bitch?" We all know who put her up to the apology attempts. And also, that ignorance is still ignorance when one pretends to be more informed, and simply isn't.

Find the original article at And her apologies on her blog,

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