JCPenny’s New Body-Positive Campaign: “Fat girls can do whatever they want”

National retailer JCPenney launched a new body-positive video featuring different plus-size women on behalf of the brand’s line for size 12+ ladies. Some of the faces you may recognize in this video: singer Mary Lambert, Project Runway winner (and JCPenney designer) Ashley Nell Tipton, blogger and designer Gabi Fresh, Instagram star Valerie Sagun, blogger and designer Gabi Fresh, and writer Jes Baker.

Some of the notable quotes in the video:

“As the fifth-grader called hippo… I was spending my entire life trying to change.”

“In high school I was one of those girls who was like, I would be so much prettier if I were thin.”

And on a positive note:

“Fat girls can do whatever they want… Fat girls can run, fat girls can dance, fat girls can have amazing jobs. We can walk runways. We can be on the covers of magazines. Wear stripes. Bright colors. I am beautiful; I am sexy. There’s no ignoring this when it walks in the door. My size isn’t an indicator of my worth.”

tumblr_o1q7nv89My1qffbxbo1_500  Gabifresh-on-the-real-1

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fat girls photo, fatgirls

51 thoughts on “JCPenny’s New Body-Positive Campaign: “Fat girls can do whatever they want””

  1. No you aren’t beautiful or sexy! They are the ones basing their own self worth in their looks. Being obese isn’t cute, unless you’ve got a fat fetish. These women have way way too much fat and their facial features are distorted because all the fat around them. Double chins, unhealthy belly fat etc are biologically not beautiful. It’s a sign that you eat way too much and aren’t active. And despite what they say, 99 percent of the time your size is a big indicator of your lifestyle habits and health. Getting sicker and sicker of this.

    • That’s harsh, but I have to agree in part. I think Mary Lambert and the blogger are actually attractive, because they have pretty faces and aren’t extremely obese. The others are too big to be able to run or even take a long walk comfortably, Regardless, they shouldn’t have to hide or feel like they should hate themselves because of their size.

      • We ate saying sewing , doing yoga , playing the piano and wearing fashion is ok.
        Or would you like the taliban law instead?

          • Ate is “are”.my autocorrect is a bit bad.
            It makes perfectly sense: you are hating about this girls saying the shouldn’t show up and they should exist, while in the video they are showing what they are passionate about and what they do. There is no food nor eating in the video. You want them to disappear. Guess what they won’t.

        • because sewing, doing yoga and playing the piano don’t increase your risk of serious health problems (quite the opposite, in fact). not sure what advocating for healthy diet/exercise habits has to do with sharia law

          • This is the taliban style law: a group of people can’t sew,do yoga,play piano or wear fashion because when they do so we are bothered for the concept per se. They should basically hide in shame instead of doing things.
            Who are you?

          • nobody here has an issue with them sewing, doing yoga or playing the piano.

            the issue here is health. nothing more, nothing less.

        • my comment has nothing to do with the video. it’s science… being overweight puts you at risk for more health problems.

          all of a sudden, they are idols… and people think, “hey, it’s not that bad being overweight… all of these celebrities are… look at them, they’re fine”.

          this has nothing to do with them sewing, doing yoga, or playing the piano….. please.

    • Everyone, especially on this forum, always comment how bad eating disorders are, but the majority of the eating disorders they comment on are women who are completely healthy or thin. Yes some women are too thin, but 99.999% of eating disorders which cause death (I could be wrong, I’m sure it’s much higher than this) are caused by over eating. Once every few years you hear about a model or women who dies from the eating disorder anorexia, but you always hear about women dying from heart disease which is associated to the eating disorder of obesity. I don’t know why so many people make a big deal about being too thin, but they praise women who have much more serious eating disorders and are obese. Don’t get me wrong, anorexia is a terrible thing, but it pales in comparison to much more serious eating disorders such as obesity which we like to promote.

  2. What I find interesting and also completely ridiculous is that fat acceptance folks are trying to mainstream their fatness as if it’s a race or culture that cannot be changed. So.. accept me as I am and tell me I’m beautiful and believe me when I say I can run 25 miles at a drop of a hat because the majority of us are healthy. Nope, after a certain size, science like peer reviewed research on obesity and just simple everyday physics say it’s just not true.

  3. All these companies are just pandering to the new fatter public. 20 years ago I went Vegas and my mind was blown by all the beautiful fit people hanging out at the pool. Now I go to Vegas and you can go almost an entire afternoon without seeing one single fit person at the pool. People are just fatter and companies are just trying to get that new fat money.

    • I just love to read your comments! I can’t even imagine that. I live in Germany, where the majority isn’t obese. And when they are, it isn’t about how they look, it’s always about the health issue. I am a nurse, and everything is far more difficult with overweight. It starts with healing, getting rid of infections, worse case if you need a surgery and after that you may need artificial respiration it’s nearly impossible to get obese people off it again. Obese people causing a lot of costs for the state and the society. Forget the smoker, or the drug addicts, the alcoholics, obese people are going to break the neck of every health system worldwide. That will be a huge problem in the future.

      • Thank you so much. Here in the US my wife actually runs a diabetes prevention program for one of the biggest healthcare providers in the US, that shall remain nameless. It’s so frustrating for all of the doctors and staff because they deal with patients who get health warning after health warning, and yet they never change their ways. Even after they get diabeties they just continue down the road of self destruction with poor diet and exercise. Maybe one in ten is a success story. Maybe! It’s very frustrating from a healthcare point of view.

        • Yes it is. But that’s a big problem in healthcare generally. People want little nice pills for everything, the want a “Everything will be fine”. They don’t want to hear, they have to change their way of living. Even when you work in the medical profession, the psychological mechanisms refuse a change. It’s human. Every change, every step is a bitter negotiation. In every case. For example, I have a very ill child, tortured by a spasm minutely, of course, it’s very painful. I needed more than one year, that the mother is starting a pain therapy. But that included all, refusing me, refusing now everything I tell her. Hating me, but at the same time, knowing I was right. Just by seeing her daughter now. It’s a hard and terrible dance, with an exhausting beat. It’s frustrating from every point of view. Sometimes I wish, I wouldn’t love my job. 😉

        • Here is where the problem lies. Blaming individuals isn’t going to change the obesity problem in America. Everything has added sugar and synthetic ingredients. Every corner you stop on has fast food. It can’t be that 1/3 of Americans are lazy. It could be that the way food is being prepared and marketed is sabotaging everyone’s health. It seems as though the food companies care more about getting us addicted to their food than they do about everyone’s health. I’ve lived in other countries and no they weren’t nearly as fat as us. Their supermarkets look a lot different and they don’t have all the added sugars. It also seems as though eating healthy comes at a premium cost here. Fruits and vegetables are not as affordable as less healthy options and they spoil much more quickly. IF you want to buy something healthy you will probably spend 3 times as much. I also wonder if women in the workforce has something to do with it. IF no one is home to prepare food, you probably have less time to cook good meals or everything is rushed and it is a bigger burden. I really think it has to do with all the added sugar in everything though.

      • My boyfriend is a cardiovascular technologist and he says 99% of his patients are morbidly obese, quite a few of them go in for scans, get sent upstairs to wait for results and have heart failure or cardiac arrest while they’re waiting. He tells me all the time that what he sees is just fat cells choking the heart and the blood vessels. Most of them are younger than 60, too, which is very sad. We live in a time where we have the ability to live a lot longer than we should, but instead of just maintaining a relatively healthy diet and exercising moderately, a lot of people are actually killing themselves and just pandering away the scientific gifts we’ve been given that allow us to live so long. It’s so sad.

        • You’re absolutely right. Terrible, your boyfriend’s experience. I don’t throw stones, you know. I am a smoker myself. Sadly it’s something very common in the “medical world”. I try to reduce it, on my good days I “achieve” just 10 cigarettes a day. I know my heart vessels will thank me later. It’s really strange, it’s the main reason for heart attacks, but I guess in the future obesity is going to top that. But it’s really confusing, first smoking was good, nobody knew about the risks, now people are completely educated. Being morbidly obese is known now for a long time as a terrible risk for your whole body, but somehow gets more and more positive promotion. Strange, isn’t it?!

          • Hey guys, instead of blaming individuals, why not take a look at the ingredients in all the foods we consume. Why not look at the way things are advertised to us. Do you expect everyone to be a saint? No mistakes just eating perfectly every day? That is not realistic. Look at the food makers. Demand they stop adding sugar to everything.

  4. Delusional young women. I don’t believe they love their bodies, but they are good in tolerating their life style.

    • They have to love themselves, because is by not living yourself that you mess up yours and others people’s life. They might not like their bodies much but still loving what they can do.

  5. I want to see the purple haired girl run a sub 25 minutes 5k. After some training, of course, maybe a year (that’s how long it took me). It’s by no means an impressive time but it’s good enough. Since they can do everything thin girls can do. Oh, and I know about the fat girl marathoner, she has an over 6 hours marathon PR and a 3 hour half. That’s not really running, because her size stops her from being faster, even though she trains like crazy. If she lost some serious lbs, with the same amount of training she does, she would improve her times dramatically. But I don’t care, if they want to pretend they are healthy and sexy (lol, why is this so important to them, I was constantly called ugly in my teens, I don’t care I’m not beautiful I have several more redeeming qualities) and have a fulfilling life. It doesn’t bother me. Live and let live.

  6. Let me get this straight: if you are fat you are not beautiful, you are not pretty, you are not even average. You are terrible. It’s not fair to all the girls out there who work outdiet and you are consuming more resources than you need, meaning that you are polluting the world more than you should. I am sick and tired of this trend of “fat is beauty”. It’s stupid just like promoting borderline anorexic women as beauty standard.
    (Of course I’m not referring to chubby girls, but with really fat ones, like those above).

  7. I agree about loving yourself regardless of size, but if you love yourself & respect your body, you should strive to be in a healthy size range. Most of these women are obese and of course they can wear bright colors or horizontal stripes, but they are also more prone to heart disease, diabetes, joint issues, etc.

    Obesity is a public health issue and should be treated as such. It’s not a body type or shape, but a serious health condition with real consequences.

    • yes, exactly. a serious health condition with consequences.. I don’t understand how people don’t understand that. being fat is suddenly being glamorized under the title of “love your size.”

  8. You dumb –kers don’t get the sense of the campaign AT ALL.
    like, at all.
    Probably you have zero knowledge of the topic and don’t know how living in shame is.
    Me myself, never been more than half their sizes, I can get it…its easy. Here it is the message:
    ” worry about doing actual things, and produce something with your brain and life that is unrelated to the food or food issues”
    Why? Because if you expect yourself to fix your body as the sole goal of life and freeze time until you will be considered human again you are A – joking yourself. B – helping your eating disorder.
    These girls all need a break from food. They need to have other things to invest time and brain on.
    Then they will be able to be successful in introducing a limiting calories policy or in just “eating less”.
    It doesn’t work the other way around, people become empty panicking weak skinny people that are still unhappy and gain back with a backslash of depression and disappointment that I wish you never to know.
    These girls are being something other than obese. You can’t stop it.
    Then they will eventually depower the obese habits they have.
    Geez…not difficult.

    • Oh cool your jets, you really think JCPenny cares? They are just pandering to a market to increase their sales. We are directly criticizing their qoutes that they are beautiful and sexy, because they aren’t other than the tiny minority that have sick fat fetsishes.

  9. I get so pissed off with these FA types who are so obsessed with BEAUTY, equating health and self-worth with exterior appearance whilst screaming feminism at any who might criticize their obviously unhealthy lifestyles. Beauty is not everything, and not everyone is beautiful! Where did this ridiculous notion that everyone is beautiful come from? Self-worth has to come from other facets of the self, it’s unbelievably stupid to think otherwise. And as for the claims that they can do what other women can… reality check time. You cannot be as obese as they are and not be consuming a surplus of thousands of extra calories a week, putting tremendous strain on the body. Fat is not attractive or healthy and is never ever going to be. If they want to be seen as more than their size, they should suck it up, accept some responsibility and lose the weight before the health issues really set in.

    • Loosing much weight takes two things skinny people much underestimate: Time (substituting habits along time), and Faith in oneself(to bring away the shame telling you to reduce your lifestyle as the one of a stay at home psychiatric patient even if you are a girl full of other talent).
      Fat people have to much food in their mind, as long as they make space for other things it is virtually helping the problem to become manageable. Let’s talk about health, but not shaming people. Let’s shame the habit itself. Not the person when doing something else!

      • Absolutely I agree let’s shame behaviours. I don’t believe that people should feel ashamed due to their appearance when it is beyond their control, but I think trying to normalise such unhealthy and frankly disordered behaviour is beyond reprehensible. It is not easy to lose large amounts of weight without dealing with the issue of dependence on food for psychological reasons, whether it is boredom, stress, depression or anything else. People like the FA crowd promote misinformation and victim mentality and refuse to accept the consequences of their actions when they say things like “it’s out of my hands, I’m beautiful and fabulous no matter what, it’s genetics I can’t help it” and so on, and that’s what really annoys me. Admit you have a psychological and physiological dependency on food and get help for it, don’t try to hide behind body positivity because that’s just a band aid for a serious problem when you’re dealing with the obesity epidemic :/

  10. I do think they are all beautiful and I don’t believe that anyone should ever feel bad about themselves because low self-esteem is a killer, but I keep seeing these commercials and Instagram fat-advocates but still have yet to meet a fat person in my day-to-day life that expresses any kind of notion of being proud of being fat. Everyone I know is actively trying to lose weight. All the fat women I know are always dieting and most of them actively work out in an attempt to lose weight. I understand staying positive, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide that you’re upset or angry, it just means you keep moving forward, which is what all my fat friends and fat family members continue to do to get healthy because their doctors have advised them of that. I just can’t help but feel like the face that is put forward like in this commercial and on social media is just a facade.

    I have never been fat, so I can’t speak from that point of view, but my friends and family members are always having conversations about their weight and health and in my 28 years of relationships with fat people I’ve never heard a single one express that they were proud to be fat.

    • They are not proud of being fat. They are proud to be able to love themselves for what they can do. People don’t know anything about obesity and how one gets there, and we are at a point where we will soon see vegan fanatics(I’m not against veganism) and other hater-types trashing and screaming in disgust at an obese person running. Oh wait, it just happened here. TF? ?
      It’s completely twisted as much as girls like ashley Graham or tess saying fat looks better and they are the ultimate body and it’s ok to overeat.

      • Okay, but your creative skills and your health are not mutually exclusive. No one is surprised that they’re creative and skilled BECAUSE they’re fat. I guess I don’t see how the two are connected.

        • People are annoyed to see then even running because they are fat. People feel free to judge poorly and undermine any goal they reach and any non – food activity they put effort into because they should stop being fat first. As if it was easier to slim down without self value and skills and a passion and a love for life out of food. You are constantly tearing fat people doing good stuff down. As if it was your right or your mission to do so. Women who might be actually doing better than you and yes, you should even admire the effort if even…because running or moving your body at that weight is sooo much more difficult than while being already in shape. They are doing the good anyways. Health issue is another thing.

  11. Say whatever you want, but self acceptance and finding self worth that’s not based on appearance is essential before you can even start a healthier life style or reach a weight loss goal in a healthy manner. When the subject isn’t an obsession – realizing that being fat isn’t anything that holds you back… You can start the change. Some may say that accepting and embrasing your body even while fat will not lead to a change or will even influence other people to become more fat… But I tend to think that when you learn to really love yourself you’ll see the need for change and most importantly do it for yourself and not just because you think people judge you (which is what essentially holds you back).

  12. I think that many people with obesity are also strugling with depression, like in a way, they are eating themselves to death. I feel that I can say this because I had a period like that, and also because as a medical doctor I’ve learned that many pacients undergoing bariatric surgery have to address that psichological problem first and for most. Anyways, I`m saying all this because the negativity obese people get on their day to day life can be the cause for their on going issues with excessive food and less exercise. So the message in this video is pretty powerful in that way. You can love yourself, go out, be happy, most who encounter that inner happiness will finally be free and go on to actually loose weight without any odd diet or surgery. I think that`s why some plus size models have been losing weight, it’s not that they gave in to the industry, it’s more that they learned to love themselves and take better care of their health.

  13. I don’t know how I feel about this.

    Your size should never determine your worth as a human, but I don’t think we should encourage obesity to become the new normal. Overweight people shouldn’t be shamed, but they should be educated and supported to lose weight and lead healthy lifestyles.

    Very few people are “naturally” as big as some of these women and when I look at many of them, I can’t comprehend how much they must have to eat every day to reach such a large size. Overeating is a type of eating disorder and I don’t understand why we (society) are encouraging them to embrace their unhealthy lifestyles.

    If someone is a bit big and doesn’t want to change, fine. But extremely obese people do impede on the people around them – if you’ve ever had to sit next to an obese person on a plane you’ll understand. Once you cannot fit your body into standardised items that we as a society have to share,(seatbelts, chairs, etc) then you’re impeding on the comfort and safety of those around you.

  14. Another thing to remember is that I’m sure that these girls are “healthy” on paper b/c they’re in their twenties or early thirties. They’re in for a rude awakening when they hit 40 and their joints start to ache, they have high cholesterol, and become diabetic. It’s similar to seniors who insist that all of their health problems, like cancer or kidney failure, are a result of old age and not the effects of drug use and a party lifestyle from when they were young.

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