05 December, 2007

Clothing and body weight: an unobvious conspiracy

I've read an article today, about fat people not wanting to lose much weight. Having myself lost about 50 pounds with 25 more to go, I don't really care about what motivation they have (or lack). One thing, however, amazed me: "[C]lothing line's sizes seemed to fluctuate with the designer's own weight."

So, basically, the designer puts on weight but still assigns the same size to the pants that fit her. That is again, fine with me since I don't buy haute couture wear, but the whole situation hinted on a vast conspiracy, which neatly explains why people get fatter and fatter (on the average) in the "developed world".

As the productivity grows, people have more money to spend, but do they have more savings? No, because the more money you have, the more incentive thing-makers have to lure you into buying stuff. A TV-set, A refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner, a car used to be purchases of a lifetime, but not anymore. Not only new, "better" products emerge constantly, they are also deliberately made not to last, leaving the consumer no choice but to buy a replacement.

It was perhaps even easier with clothes with the invention of "fashion". While you can secretly keep your granddad's vacuum cleaner in the darkness of your closet, you have to show the world what clothes you wear. And if you care about what other people think, you have to buy what is "fashionable" now. Needless to say, fashion changes much faster than clothes wear out.

However, some people just refuse to follow suit, wearing the same clothes continuously until they become obscene to show in public in. And it is perhaps infeasible to make clothes too prone to tearing because fabric either holds for years or rips right after you put the pants on. Solution? Make people fatter, so they wouldn't fit into trusty old pants anymore!

And the beauty of it, you can ride the wave both ways: once there's a saturation of fat in the society, you could start a "health campaign", promoting losing weight and all. People would get leaner, old pants become too bulky and unwearable without a belt => they buy a smaller size, discarding the big ones, naturally hoping to not get fat ever again. But ooops -- then you start a campaign that "big is beautiful" and "fat is phat", etc. => a new wave of bigger size sales.

//off to Ross

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